8.31.2010

Our weekend.. and an Alzheimer's PSA

Hope you all had a good Monday and great weekend!
 
Our weekend was pretty laid back. We had the Alzheimer's Memory walk and that was about it. Brent's 10 year high school reunion was Saturday night, but we decided not to go. We are great friends with a large amount of people he went to high school with, but considering there were over like 800 in his graduating class, we thought it would be best if we avoiding the chance of the inevitable question..for now. A reply such as "yes, one son in Heaven" isn't usually the hard part, it's the look of wanting an explanation following. I got asked four times last week "oh, you had that baby, how is it?" and "how is that baby of yours?" One time on the phone and three times in person. Like I said, I know it's inevitable, and I really do pretty good answering, but it still makes the following moments tough. Then, the people who ask feel AWFUL for asking, but it's like how were they supposed to know? I end up having to tell them it is fine that they asked, and I really don't mind. I just try to have a calm reply and hope for a calm response.

We heard not many people actually attended the reunion and that we didn't miss too much.

I work for a company that specializes in care for senior citizens. This weekend we participated in the Memory Walk with the Alzheimer's Association. Over the past three and a half years, I've worked first hand with many seniors who have dementia and Alzheimer's. I will tell you, it really is some of the saddest situations I've ever been in. The person won't remember their spouse, family, home, etc. It is by far one of the most terrible diseases out there. It makes me so sad for the person with the disease as well as the ones around them. There is no cure at this point, but there are medicines that are helping some.

Early on-set Alzheimer's is awful because it can occur in someone under age 65. At the walk on Saturday, we had a gentleman speak with us about his wife who had early on-set Alzheimer's. She was 57 and developed it about 3 years ago. Can you imagine at 54? She was physically healthy but she could barely remember anything and could not be left alone.

For more Alzheimer's facts you can visit the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org. If you don't already have any foundations close to your heart, I would highly recommend considering this one.

A few bullet point facts from the website
  • Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Scientists have learned a great deal about Alzheimer’s disease in the century since Dr. Alzheimer first drew attention to it. 
  • Today we know that Alzheimer’s is a progressive and fatal brain disease. As many as 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer's destroys brain cells, causing memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal. Today it is the seventh-leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Is the most common form of dementia, a general term for memory loss and other intellectual abilities serious enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 50 to 80 percent of dementia cases. Other types of dementia include vascular dementia, mixed dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia.
  • Has no current cure. But treatments for symptoms, combined with the right services and support, can make life better for the millions of Americans living with Alzheimer’s. There is an accelerating worldwide effort under way to find better ways to treat the disease, delay its onset, or prevent it from developing. Learn more about recent progress in Alzheimer research funded by the Alzheimer’s Association in the Research section. .

Thanks for listening.


Over the weekend, we did spend a little time with some fun people. For example, the best nieces and nephew ever...



Sorry again for my post stationery drama. I'm sure many of you cringed if you read before I made the corrections! Please feel FREE to email me next time! haha
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23 comments :

  1. I work with people who have AD, too. It is such a terrible thing. I almost cried at work the other day because one of my patients saw a picture of his great granddaughter, and he told me about it. It was just a sweet moment.
    A coworker of mine said she thinks people with dementia are cute. I wanted to karate chop her in the throat. IT IS NOT CUTE!!! Not even if they "parrot" everything you say. SO NOT CUTE.

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  2. I did not even notice the mistake on the previous post and probably would have done the same thing:)

    This disease is just horrible, but hopefully they are making strides in developing a cure.

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  3. That's a great cause to work on - thanks for the info! It affects some people in my life and my mom also works in the field. Great work!

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  4. You have some of the cutest nieces and nephew ever!

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  5. GREAT cause. My husband's grandmother died with alzheimer's. That's the other scary thing about it...it leads to so many other things. Apparently you forget to do everything, including even how to swallow sometimes and that's how she died. My husband's in his last year of med school and he says that's a really common result of alzheimer's.

    Also, don't worry about the stationary/stationery comment! At least you noticed...that's what's important!

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  6. My daughter just lost her child at 21 weeks. I was wondering what gift I could give her as a remembrance of her son. I would like to know what your most cherished gift you received when you lost Cohen

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  7. Such a good blog! I enjoy reading and the pictures. Could you please add my three year old son to your prayer list? He has a rare/aggressive cancer. Thank you.

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  8. On Friday night, a friend of a friend came up to me and said, "Congratulations!" I was like, "Why?" She said, "Aren't you pregnant?" I kind of looked at her for a second, felt my face twist into a frown and said, "Not anymore." Then of course, the inevitable, "I'm so sorry, oh my gosh, I didn't know..." came.

    I react just like you do. I tell them it's ok, it was nice of them to ask or to think of me, tell them we're doing alright, etc. And I really do mean all of that. It's nice of them to care.

    If you need a laugh today, come visit my blog. It's pretty ridiculous.

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  9. Thank you for posting this. My grandmother had Alzheimer’s and it was so hard on everyone. She didn't know who her husband was, and she confused us grankids all the time. It was so, so, so hard on my grandpa to watch him suffer with her.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing this.

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  10. My Grandpa had Dementia before he passed almost a year ago, and so this post really hit home for me. It’s a horrible disease!!! And what a great cause for this walk!!!

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  11. Thank you for posting about Alzheimer's and the Memory Walk. Early-onset Alzheimers runs in my family and my mother was diagnosed at age 48. She passed away 6 years later of the disease and it is one of the most heart-breaking experiences I can think of. Eventually, my mom didn't know I was her child and she even threatened to kill me once, although I know that was not really her speaking. Many people think of Alzheimer's as only afflicting the elderly population but it is a disease that affect people of all ages, as young as in their thirties and regardless of age, it is a devastating existence.

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  12. It's the 7th leading cause of death?! Wow. I had no idea... It's one of my biggest fears after seeing my grandma suffer with it. To not remember who people are, etc.. it's jsut so sad. Like memories are stolen. :(

    You likely didn't miss much at the 10 year. Those things are torture after you get past all the fun hellos! ha! ;) But, yeah.. I couldnt imagine having to tell people about Cohen, both for the awkwardness it puts the conversation in and for your still-healing heart.

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  14. Thank You so much for posting about Alzheimer's. My grandmother, who is 97, is suffering from this awful disease...also suffering from this is her family. It is sooo sad to witness what she cannot remember and watching how she gets through this day after day. I didn't really know all the facts about this disease but what you have posted...Helps. I posted a comment a few weeks back just letting you know what a strong couple I think you and your husband are. I hope everyday gets to be a little easier for you both and wish you nothing but a better future. You are always in my Prayers.

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  15. I led a team in the Alzheimer's Walk in Tulsa this weekend as well. It's something I'm very passionate about and this was my 3rd year to have a team. Thank you for putting the info about it on your blog.

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  16. Thank you for supporting AD. My 80yo grandma has it. It's just so sad. I miss the grandma I grew up knowing. We are lucky that hers has progressed really slowly, but it's so sad that she's just not the same.

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  17. I have to agree that you have the cutest nieces and nephews! I spell stationery/stationary WRONG all the time too so you are not alone in that girlie! I hope you are having a good week and I am praying for you always :) Love, Becky

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  18. This weekend I was at Woodland Hills and seriously, I almost started crying in the mall with the art show of Alzheimer patients with the captions that said, "I am still me." Seriously, typing it makes me want to just bawl. Have you seen it? It really was touching and had there been a donation box, I would have given money right then and there.

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  19. My mother in law has Alzheimer's, and it's heart breaking. She doesn't even recall my husband as his son, and my son as his grandson. It's so frustrating, I wished she can enjoy being a grandma.
    You are very strong woman, and you have a wonderful husband. I will continue praying for both of you.

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  20. Thanks for posting about Alzheimer's!

    My grandpa had Alzheimers.

    I am participating in a Memory Walk on Oct. 2. This will be my second. It's such a good cause!

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  21. I have a good friend that walks every year in honor of her grandmother. It's such a brutal disease!

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  22. Alzheimer's just makes me so sad. My dad just turned 50 and I can't even imagine him getting something like that. 54 is just so young!

    Very cute kiddos!

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  23. Our family is doing the walk this Sunday in Portland OR. My sister-in-law had Alzheimer's. She was in her late 30's. It was very hard and sad to watch her go through this. ~Thank you for posting

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