Daughter bought yesterday what I thought was a book, turns out its a Wreck this journal.
Since when have we needed instructions to write and draw in a notebook
He is also posting about his experiences with his father, please take some time to read these posts and please consider donating.
Alzheimer’s: Dad carries on and lives with it.
I thought I would follow on from last week and tell you how I think my Dad has coped and deals with his Alzheimer’s.
I’ll just mention a snippet of his life when he was a little younger. I have to mention his brother, my Uncle.
Dad had an older brother called Chas. My sister and I always called him ‘Nunk’, Dad said it was a London......sorry, “It’s a Landon fing” apparently it is a nickname for uncle. My Dad’s family had this silly tradition that the men had to have the initials C.W.C. I’ve no idea why! I’m the first male not to have those initials, thanks to Dad. Who knows what I would have ended up being called! Dad and Mum had whittled it down to a few names eventually they settled on Stephen, because as Dad said “If you shorten it to ‘Steve’ it sounds good on the football pitch.”
Nunk was quite a lot older than Dad, but Nunk always looked out for him. I remember when we used to visit and my Grandma and Nunk on a Sunday. Dad and Nunk would sometimes slip off to the pub. Mum would sometimes have to drive home. Nunk would be at the Bar, this is when you could smoke and measures were done by eye. Nunk would come back with a drink double the size of what Dad had asked for and Nunk used to say “Sorry bruv, his hand slipped.” Dad’s family were always laughing and joking. Even when the bad things happened they would have a smile on their faces.
Dad was always quick with a joke, quite often they were bad ones, he also loved puns, quite often bad ones. He was always making us laugh. He had a great outlook, nothing really got him down. Not anything that my sister and saw anyway, but this is where it changes.
For a couple of years before the official diagnosis his outlook changed. He was less of the things I have mentioned previously. By now, myself, my sister and his granddaughter, (my niece) were the only close family Dad had left. He obviously felt that he couldn’t or more to the point didn’t want tell us what was happening. I think he felt really alone. No-one else he knew, had gone through or had someone who suffered with Alzheimer’s. He must’ve felt like he was going mad. We used to joke about forgetting things. Like, when you go upstairs and you forget what you went for. The rest of us would think for a minute and remember. Dad couldn’t. It made him feel much better that other people were doing the same thing. But, looking back now, that was the start of the Alzheimer’s.
He started to have a lot of time off of work because he couldn’t remember how to do his job properly he had been there for over thirty years, he was senior management. He claimed he had a bad stomach. Again, we thought nothing of it. He had stopped watching television. He stopped listening to and playing music. I think he was starting to really panic.
When I married my amazingly supportive wife, he didn’t really talk to her much. In fact he only stayed for about an hour at our reception. I think it was because he wasn’t in familiar surroundings with familiar faces. Nikki thought it was because he didn’t like her. We went round for Christmas dinner one year and he kept getting up, going upstairs, coming back down and sitting down again. Then five minutes later he was doing the same thing all over again. Nikki did say at the time that’s not normal behaviour. She was starting to feel a bit ignored.
A couple of months later I received a phone call from my sister saying Dad needed to have some tests done. Dad’s company had arranged everything. In fact, after the diagnosis they gave him a year’s full pay! Then, after that year had finished they gave him a retirement party at his office. They were so helpful and couldn’t have done more for him. I’m sure they would’ve if they could.
Anyway, after the diagnosis Dad was happy, he was laughing and joking again. He had a smile on his face, like he used to do when my sister and I were little. Nikki even commented on the dramatic change in him. Unfortunately, she didn’t really get to know him very well because the Alzheimer’s had changed him a little. I think the change happened because he knew there was actually something wrong with him. He could deal with that. Nikki even started to get kisses on the cheek and hugs when we went to see him.
His neighbours started to watch out for him more. The local shopkeepers made sure he got the right newspaper and looked after his change. I think he felt safe because everyone knows him and everyone knows Dad has got Alzheimer’s. My sister and I have never hidden his Alzheimer’s from anybody. I like to think that we have helped people to understand Alzheimer’s and dementia a bit more.
Advanced sufferers can be violent. Dad has never been violent. He has never shown any anger. Dad has taken everything in his stride. This is despite the fact that he will never get better. He can never be cured. However, he still laughs, he still jokes and he still has smile on his face when I visit him.
I would be extremely grateful if you help me by re-sharing and hopefully others will not feel so alone.
I would absolutely ecstatic if you could donate some money to help this underfunded but much needed charity.
There is no cure. No treatment. Only help, care and dedicated people who care.
#Alzheimers #alzheimersociety #alzheimersdisease #dementia
This is the event i'm taking part in.
My Dad was 63 when he was officially diagnosed with Alzheimers. Initially, the doctor who saw my Dad had told my sister and I that he had ‘global cerebral atrophy’. This means that his brain was slowly shutting down.
Let’s rewind a few years and give you a brief background of his life. He has had more than his share of heartbreak. He was three when his fourteen year old sister died from Leukaemia. Thirty when his Dad died. 35ish when his older brother died. He was in his early forties when my parents divorced and not much older when his Mum died. Wherever my sister and I were he made sure he saw us everyday without fail, even if it was for five minutes. He always used to say us “I don’t mind looking after you and driving you places because when I’m older you can do the same for me.”
When we got the diagnosis I was at work, my sister had sent me a text. I stopped what I was doing, sat down where I was trying to make to sense of it. It wasn’t until much later on we realised Dad had been suffering in silence for a couple of years. I used go and see Dad in the local (The Bird in hand or “The bird” to the locals.) He had his place that no-one else sat in unless you were part of that group, but he knew everybody who drank in there, and they all knew him. My friends and I would meet there before going into town at the weekend. They were more than happy to sit and chat with him even if I wasn’t there! We were typical men, talking about football, music and sport in general. I watched Linford Christie win Olympic gold in the 100m in 1992 with him, in that pub. We saw England qualify for the 1998 world cup in that pub. Dad was so happy he kissed a complete stranger on the forehead! I would always spend time with him in the pub. But, slowly something was changing. He would repeat the conversations we had had in the space of fifteen minutes. I didn’t think anything of it. His time keeping had also changed. He was getting to the pub earlier and leaving earlier. Then, he was going to bed at 7.30 every evening. Dad was always busy, running, playing his guitar or keyboard (he loved music), he used to make wine, was part of the local amateur dramatic society. Even when he was sitting down doing nothing he was completing crosswords. “Always keep the brain active” he used to say.
Then, he lost part of his vocabulary. He couldn’t name streets, place names. Everything was “over there” or “round there” or “up there” or “down there.” He was sullen, withdrawn and looking back now he just wasn’t very happy. However, after we got the diagnosis his attitude completely changed. He was smiling, laughing and joking like he used to do! It was brilliant see to him like that again even if it wouldn’t be much longer. Dad loved making people laugh or more to the point he loved making people groan. You know the jokes, the really bad ones where you get to the punch line and go “That’s terrible!” He would be the only laughing, those are the jokes Dad loved. We had him back.
He is still clinging on, there are some of traits still visible. I was talking to a lovely lady on social media after one of my posts and described Dad’s Alzheimer’s like this: I like to think he is still there, he’s just a bit confused! Unfortunately now though, I can’t have a two way conversation with him anymore. We can’t talk about how good the 2012 Olympics were and that magic Saturday night. We can’t talk about Liverpool’s chances of winning the premiership this season. I can’t tell him that in my last season of playing football my team won our division. We can’t talk about any of the new music he might like. We can’t talk about Nikki and I going to see Spamalot (lovingly ripped off from Monty Python’s Holy Grail.) We can’t talk about the Pythons possibly getting back together for a tour. There are a lot of things I can’t talk to him about and there will be many more, but, most of all I can’t talk to him and never will again!
Thank you for reading!
Please take some time to donate and make a difference!
I'm having my lunch at moment and normally I would be reading. I had to send this post out.
This morning I found an extremely generous donation on my Justgiving page. This has put my donated amount over the half way point for my required target.
The person responsible has donated as anonymous. So, respect the wish. But, could all of you who have donated so far please re-share this in the hope that the person who donated will hopefully get to see my message, which is this: Thank you so much for your amazing generosity. It means so much to me and I am extremely grateful!
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