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Grandpa - Impressions and Expressions of Ijon
December 20th, 2003
11:54 pm

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Grandpa
My paternal grandfather is not well. He has had Alzheimer these four or five years, and it took a strong turn for the worse after my grandmother died, almost two years ago.

He no longer remembers what day it is, or what was said in conversation twenty seconds ago. His early memories are still mostly intact, but he has lost significant portions of his vocabulary, and has obvious difficulties forming sentences and remembering nouns. He still recognizes us unerringly, and remembers where he lives, and functions on his own tolerably well.

But it's clearly deteriorating fast. As recently as four months ago, he never lost track of what day of the week it was, for instance.

He used to be quite obviously depressed and miserable (he was quite shattered by grandma's death), but I can no longer tell what he feels. I hope the disease has at least taken the load off his heart. I just have no idea what he feels or thinks of all day. I doubt he can enjoy himself at all. He just carries on. It's painful to see him so helpless.

I'm thinking the unutterable often.

Current Mood: sad

(14 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:reneighssance
Date:December 20th, 2003 02:19 pm (UTC)
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I know what you mean.
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From:ijon
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:22 am (UTC)
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Thanks.
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From:talash
Date:December 20th, 2003 02:35 pm (UTC)
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sorry to hear that :(
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From:ijon
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:22 am (UTC)
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Thank you.
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From:literaryartist
Date:December 20th, 2003 09:21 pm (UTC)
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My grandmother died from Alzheimers, her condition worsened in the same way you describe. The most heartbreaking part was when she would have a momentarily lapse of recognition--some memory sparked that she couldn't remember the words to communicate--but the fleeting joy in her expression was apparent. I think that the happiest memories persevere the longest.
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From:ijon
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:24 am (UTC)
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I hope it is so.

And thanks.
From:raisinlike
Date:December 21st, 2003 03:17 am (UTC)
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i had been there, i know what you mean - it is heart breaking.
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From:wildernesscat
Date:December 21st, 2003 03:28 am (UTC)
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Sounds pretty bad... Who takes care of him?
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From:ijon
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:23 am (UTC)
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He's in a home. So far he does not require constant care, but I fear it would not be long before he does. I see him on weekends, at my parents'.
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From:kazimish
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:24 am (UTC)

sorry man

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I'm sorry to hear that. My family went through this exact same thing with my grandmother. She too lost her husband and it seem to have quickened the course of the disease much like what you've described. I still remember staring into her confused eyes and wondering what her thoughts are and hoping, like you have, that at least it takes some of the burden off. The unutterable has passed through all our minds many times.
horrible illness.


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From:lilacsinmarch
Date:December 21st, 2003 08:56 am (UTC)

That's too bad

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One of my relatives who had Alzheimer used to take long walks and disappear,you can't help but wonder how they feel and if they know what's happening to them.
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From:mousa
Date:December 21st, 2003 09:54 am (UTC)
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*Hugs*
From:batgirl1536
Date:December 21st, 2003 03:40 pm (UTC)
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so sad/scary to read. the human brain is so fragile...
From:freedomrider
Date:December 22nd, 2003 08:41 am (UTC)
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I know how it feels, and all I can say right now is that I am sorry.
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