Tag Archives: #alzheimers

All I Know Is I Love You

As my dad’s health began to decline in 2008 and my mom became his main caregiver, I would often hear him say to her, “All I know is I love you.” And he sincerely did. 

They were perfect characters you might find in a romance novel. Dad was tall, dark, and handsome while mom was petite, blonde, and a blue-eyed babe in my dad’s eyes. He was smitten.

Dad was a resilient man who worked for the Rural Electric Association (REA). He knew how to climb poles like nobody’s business, and his interpersonal skills were out of this world, which got him promoted to the main Public Relations man. Not bad for a guy with an 8th grade education.

His electrocution in 1974 took a lot out of him, but he persevered and lived way longer than all those St. Paul Ramsey Burn Unit doctors predicted he would. He survived 72 hundred volts passing through his body so I’d say he was a walking miracle.

Alzheimer’s and Macular Degeneration are the two opponents that took him down. This is when my mom showed her Wonder Woman strength in her ability to take care of him…for a while anyway. He declined quickly and ended up living in the nursing home. She visited him faithfully every single day. During the first few years, they would still dance the waltz and two step during the live music entertainment out there at the Good Samaritan Society. And through it all, you would hear him saying, “All I know is I love you.”

Mom’s health also began to decline. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, went through the Whipple procedure, and we did not think she was going to make it. I called her grandkids home to say goodbye. Well, her Wonder Woman powers showed up again and she lived 2 ½ more years after that.

I guess it’s not the greatest to be on the operating table for 8 hours when you are her age. Her memory began to fail after that surgery, and she was unable to regain it back. Sadly, she also ended up in the nursing home.

When my dad lost his ability to communicate with others and just sat in his wheel chair with his head hanging down chin to chest, I witnessed a role reversal…it was my mom who started whispering to my dad, “All I know is I love you.” And she sincerely did. She was still smitten.

As time passed and my mom’s mind was worsening, she thought my dad was her dad. In her mind, she was still a young lady and that old man in front of her had to be her dad. Mom would say things like, “I’ll be back later, daddy.” Or…“all I know is I love you, Daddy.” It broke my heart, and yet, it warmed my heart, too, because of her evident love for him.

On August 17, 2013 at 2:00 in the afternoon, I walked down to my mom’s room to get her so she could say good-bye to my dad because he was on his way home. She sat down in a chair next to his bed, and said “Hi Daddy” then began to sing him the song she had always sung…You Are My Sunshine.

About thirteen hours later on August 18, 2013 around 3:00 in the morning, with my forehead pressed softly against my dad’s cheek while I quietly sang “God Be with You ‘til We Meet Again,” this kind, gentle, handsome dad of mine took his last breath and peacefully went home to Jesus. I ever so gently slid my brow to his chest and through my tears I whispered, “All I know is I love you, Dad.”

Here I am, nine years later, and I still say that. Only now I say it to my Heavenly Father. When I am struggling with sadness or celebrating with joy, I lift up my voice to my Heavenly Father and whisper, “All I know is I love you, Lord.” And I sincerely do. I am smitten with my Savior who holds me tight in sadness and celebrates with me in joy and has a love for me bigger than I could ever imagine.

Let’s face it, life can be really hard sometimes. So, to find peace, I place my trust in the One who I know is always there for me (Hebrews 13:5). The One who I know is always faithful (2 Thessalonians 3:3). The One who I know is my light in the darkness (John 9:5). The One who I know is MY Sunshine (Habakkuk 3:4).

And when it’s my turn to go home to Heaven, I imagine I’ll run to Jesus, jump in his arms, give him a huge squeeze and say, “All I know is I love you, Lord.” Next, I’ll run to my dad and my mom and my brother for a joyous reunion, then embrace them in a huge family bear hug and hear us all say in unison, “All I know is I love you!”

And, to all of you reading this, know you are loved! Thanks for being here.

My mom and dad – 1955

Stay Calm & Know You Are Loved!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V.   

 

Hello…I am a Child of Alzheimer’s

Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of Alzheimer’s. Yes, I am a daughter of parents who both suffered from cognitive decline. My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and my mom was diagnosed with dementia and they lost their battles with this memory thief. Quite frankly, cognitive decline scares me way more than the virus being dealt with these days.

I had a moment of confusion the other day, and it caused a little bit of a panic in me. I was in a new school building reading to PreK children. A friend had also joined me. When we finished with the PreK students, this friend wanted to head to the first grade classrooms we had read to a few weeks prior so she could share a gift with them. As we began to venture to those classrooms, my memory failed me as I thought those classrooms were on the next floor up. She reminded me they were on the same floor just over on the other side. While we were chatting and walking to the other side, I got a little discombobulated on which way to go.  

When I returned home, I fretted about this confusion for a little while. I’m sure you can imagine the negative rabbit hole my thoughts jumped down. “What if I have early onset of cognitive decline? What if I end up in a nursing home like my parents did? What if, what if…”

I am not a fan of the words what if… As Matthew West sings in his song, “Is my story gonna have the same two words in every chapter? What if, what if? What I’m trying to say is I don’t wanna say these words again, What if, what if!”

I decided to call my daughter to talk it through with her. She is good at speaking words of reassurance to her mom.

She gently reminded me: “Mom, you know you get disoriented easily. That is not unusual for you. Don’t let satan do that to you! You are just fine. It’s a brand new building and you were in a different classroom!” After we hung up, I didn’t even try to fight the tears. I just let them fall because tears of relief have a cleansing effect.

I love Jesus and I believe in scripture! So, WHY on Earth do I allow these fears to become a stronghold in my mind and heart? I know I am to “fear not” (Isaiah 41:10 NKJV), to “not worry about anything” (Philippians 4:6 NLT), and that “worry does not add any single hour to my life” (Matthew 6:27 NIV)! Yet, these fears sneak in and try shoving me into a deep dark hole. Grrr…

Well, after the encouraging words from my daughter and after my tears finally stopped flowing, I lifted up a prayer and boldly asked Jesus, again, to protect my mind and my heart and to help me replace the lies of the enemy with truths from God’s Word.   

So, here is the truth…

Hello. My name is Wendy and I am a child of the one true king, daughter of my Savior and best friend, Jesus, who loves me unconditionally. I know “His goodness and loving kindness will follow me all the days of my life” (Psalm 23:6 ASV) no matter what life challenges come my way. Furthermore, as Priscilla Shirer has preached: “Jesus is our savior, our guide, our peace, our joy, our comfort, our Lord, and…He reigns to bring us peace.”

Those are the truths I want to focus on! Those are the truths I need to replace the lies!

Will I never fear again? Oh, heavens no. Every single day I need to intentionally capture my thoughts, and give my absolute best to change my mindset to thinking positive thoughts and quote the Truth instead of focusing on lies!

Here is our challenge…to think about such things such as “whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy” (Philippians 4:8 NIV).  To start speaking life over ourselves and others (like my daughter did with me when I called her) rather than speaking death. To delete all our “what ifs.” And finally, let us defeat all lies that torment us, and replace them with Truth! God’s Truth!

Stay Calm & Speak Life!
Profs Dr. Wendy Dr. V. 

Let’s Fight Against Alzheimer’s and Dementia Together

Me, my mom, and my daughter, June 6, 2014 ❤

On June 6, 2014, my mom was able to show off her beautiful smile during a three-generation wedding ring photo shoot because her only granddaughter was getting married in August.

On June 8, 2014, my mom forgot to use her walker which caused her to fall and fracture her pelvic bone in three different places.

On June 11, 2014, my mom died.

On June 16, 2014, we buried my mom on her 77th birthday (and yes, we celebrated her life with one last birthday party because she always loved a good party. Pizza and (root) beer were served in her honor 🍕🥤).

My mom had dementia (my dad had Alzheimer’s). Dementia is a thief. It robs its victims of memory. It causes them to forget to use their walker. 😟 Such a cruel disease.

BUT…there is hope!

Let’s join together and fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s! Awakening from Alzheimer’s is a 12-day series of interviews with doctors who specialize in the brain. Fourteen doctors over 12 days reveal how they are winning the war against Alzheimer’s in this groundbreaking series. These doctors share their expertise on how to prevent or miraculously turn around cognitive decline.

This is FABULOUS news.

My hubby and I signed up for this series of interviews and we enjoyed all of them. Each doctor interview is between 30 – 65 minutes long. There were many eyebrow raising moments while watching. We learned Alzheimer’s is called “diabetes of the brain or Type 3 Diabetes.”  😳 We also learned that the only sure way to know if a person truly had Alzheimer’s is through an autopsy after death.  😳

All of these interviews were worth our time!!! Some episodes were better than others, however, each offered incredible information on how to combat against this nasty disease. My favorite interview was Day 10 with Dr. David Katz. Below is the blurb sent with this episode:

Day 10: Feet, Forks, and Fingers: Lifestyle as Medicine in the War on Alzheimer’s Disease with Dr. David Katz  

Episode 10 is live and you do not want to miss it.

In his interview, Dr. Katz is going to help you understand…

  • The characteristics of long-lived, healthy populations.
  • How big food companies want you to be addicted to their products.
  • Why preventing coronary disease could help you prevent Alzheimer’s.

Be sure to catch this episode with Dr. Katz before we take it down for good. (email from info@awakeningfromalzheimers.com)

One key thing to know is the interviews are free. The links to the interviews will come to your email and you have 24 hours to watch each episode. Another main thing to know, is once these interviews are done, you will continue to get emails from Awakening from Alzheimer’s. Yes, they have products they want to sell to you. If you do not want to clog up your inbox with these emails, just click on their ‘unsubscribe’ button. Easy as that.

Below, we share our few takeaways from this series, however, we hope you watch it for yourself. Especially if you worry about the possibility of suffering as your loved ones might have. A few common denominators from all interviews…

🏥 Dementia/Alzheimer’s is considered Type 3 diabetes. 

🏥 Decrease consumption of sugars and simple carbs (my hubby’s reaction to this…”NO, they are taking away all the good stuff” 😃).

🏥 Decrease inflammation. 

🏥 Increase gut health (our gut is our 2nd brain).  

🏥 Increase exercise (especially aerobic…anyone want to go for a fast-paced walk with me? 🙋). 

🏥 Increase sleep to at least 7.5 hours each night (I was excited to watch this one as I have difficulty sleeping!).

🏥 Increase intake of healthy supplements such as fish oil, vitamin D, B-vitamins, vitamin E, and more. 

🏥 Increase intake of healthy fats such as avocado, wild caught salmon, coconut oil, Omega-3’s.   

It’s all about wellness and making smart life choices. Won’t you please join me in the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s? My mom (and dad) would be grateful.

Three-generation wedding rings ❤

Stay Calm & Let’s Fight Alzheimer’s Together!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.