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Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado

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Dementia Diary. (Part One)
By Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A man deals with his wife's worsening dementia. He writes down his concerns in journal form.

Image of approaching storm clouds (C) 2007, by Karla Dorman.

Feb. 19, 2011~

I am most concerned.  Seems that Ethel's memory is slipping fast.  For the past six months or so, it seems that she has been forgetting people's names, where she left her purse, the checkbook, or even the car keys, or forgets where we even live.  Think another visit to the doctor's office is on order; it can't happen too soon ...

Feb. 20, 2011~

Up until six months ago, Ethel was a vibrant, capable woman.  Now she's turning into a shell of her former self, and it's scaring me to death.  I don't know what's going on, but I'm scared that she might be developing Alzheimer's disease or some other form of dementia ...  She no longer takes pride in her appearance, and she also doesn't take care of herself like she used to.

It's embarrassing to have to take her anywhere because she wears the same old sweats for about a week; she doesn't even change her underwear.  Ethel is starting to smell, and people are starting to take notice.  I wonder if there is another underlying problem besides the worsening memory loss; this isn't anything like Ethel.  She used to be fastidious about her appearance.  No more.  She is starting to look like the Wicked Witch of the West.

Feb. 21, 2011~

Today Ethel asked me who I was.  She kept threatening to brain me with the frying pan upon entering the house when I'd gone out to get the mail.  I had to do a lot of sweet talking to convince her that it was me, Maurice, her loving husband.  It's a good thing she didn't hit me: I mean, I didn't want to have to end up in the hospital with a frying pan halfway buried in my skull ...  

She also had the same smelly clothes on.  Her hair looks like a bird's nest caught in a windstorm, and she refuses to wear her dentures.  Even though Ethel is only in her middle sixties, she looks more like a woman in her middle nineties.

I can't wait until we see Dr. Patel tomorrow.  He is her neurologist.  Maybe he can get to the bottom of what is causing Ethel's worsening memory; I'm all out of options, and things are starting to get desperate ...

Feb. 22, 2011~

Dr. Patel has scheduled Ethel to go to the hospital, so she can have an MRI.  Oh, this is not good: Ethel is severely claustrophobic.  Always has been ever since she got trapped in an elevator ten years ago.  They are going to have to knock her happy ass out, or else she might try to dismantle the MRI machine!  Will let you how it goes ...

Later, same day~

Ethel is currently sleeping in the bed, purring like a kitten.  The MRI went without incident; they gave her something so she could sleep during the procedure.  Small favors.  She looks so sweet; to see her serene face causes me to cry because there is no tellng what is going on neurologically with her mind.  I am waiting to see Dr. Patel now, with the results.  Say a prayer that it's something treatable; I don't know what I would do if Ethel had Alzheimer's disease ...

Still later, same day~

Confirmed diagnosis: mutli infarct dementia.  NOT Alzheimer's, but still it's bad news.  She is going to continue having small strokes; each stroke will further damage her brain, and in time, she will become helpless, unable to recognize anyone or anything.  Heartbreaking; I don't know what I am going to do in terms of trying to find a nursing facility for her because Lord knows, I can help her at the current time, but down the road .... I don't even want to think about it!!

~Feb. 23, 2011~

Today, Ethel was more lucid than in recent days.  She seemed to know me and kept asking questions about the past few days.  I didn't know how to answer her.  I would look her directly in the eyes, and I would do anything to keep from crying.  I didn't do very well; the tears still spilled over my cheeks, and all I could do was hold her in my arms while I bawled my eyes out ...

~To be continued~   

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 2/24/2011
This one hit close to home though my Nonnas real name was Adelina everyone called her Ethel and you captured the feelings and emotions well
In Christs Love
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner 2/24/2011
So sad, to watch a loved one deterioate before your eyes ... well done, Karen.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
Reviewed by Paul Berube 2/24/2011
Quite the story, Karen and a tough one to deal with. Well written.

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