See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. –Colossians 2:8
Hi all! I am super duper sorry to have missed doing an article Friday. I snuck away with my bride and got some R&R…much needed. Last time we tried that, if you recall, was on our 30th Anniversary in the fall when I ended up in urgent care with a wound/staph infection in my side. It seems any time we sneak away, we expect for the unexpected and have a great time anyway.
Along those lines, I just had a few random thoughts about dementia regarding the setting and accepting of expectations in no particular order:
- Life is all about expectations. The longer I live the more I get that. This is what makes certain televangelists particularly nefarious to me. You know the ones… Expect only good things. Confiscate God’s promises (often not a direct promise to you). Just have enough faith and all will be healthy and happy and wealthy (ignoring that faith is a gift…Ephesians 2:8-10). Can I just give you some “real” news? It may not seem like good news at first hearing, but trust me… God’s will is bigger than the snake oil these folks try to sell you. His will MIGHT be that you are healthy, wealthy, happy, and the like… It just might be. However, it is just as likely the opposite. We are called to love Him and love our neighbors regardless, knowing the reality that the good and the “bad” are for our good, either here or in heaven (Romans 8:28).
- Should you have symptoms/warning signs, temper your expectations. Don’t assume you have the disease regardless of risk factors and warning signs…but DO get checked.
- If dementia is on your plate, prepare for the worst, but embrace the best. For better or worse, Dementia is often a slow moving disease. Work hard with your family planning. Share your wishes. Don’t waste limited time by dwelling on tomorrow’s sorry, but live in the day. Love like there is no tomorrow.
- If you are a new caregiver, prepare for surprises. The last 3-4 years have had so many surprises in caring for my mom. Just when you think you have seen it all, something else wild happens. Go back and read the first several dozen posts about the first of days of mom’s time in the memory unit with the Sweet 17. How can you prepare since the diversity of directions you are going to be yanked is extensive? Learn. Study. Spend a lot of time at Alz.org. Join in person and online Alzheimer’s support groups. The more you know, the better prepared you will be and the more resources you will have to answer the unanswerable.
- If you are a caregiver or any other advocate, expect a cure. One of the most frustrating parts of this disease is the temptation to give up. Consider Aducanumab and similar miracle, then not miracle, then maybe miracle or at least kinda helper drugs… It is easy to watch the Alzheimer’s Science Hub app (If you don’t have it, get it from the app store of your choosing…it is very good!) and get discouraged. Every day there is encouragement and heartbreak. Every. Single. Day. And it gets tiring. That is why many who ride this journey along side a loved one want nothing to do with it when they lose their loved one….and stop advocating and telling their story. Please let me offer some encouragement…there will be a cure. There will be better treatments. The brain is more complex that nearly every other body part. It will take failures. It will take clinical trial after clinical trial! But it will happen. Trillions of dollars and millions of folks beckon for a cure… We know more today than we ever have. It will happen.
- Prepare for heaven. Life will be hard, whether you have the disease or care for someone who does. Embrace the situation and lean in on Christ. This is the time for peace through storms. Just so happens He is in that business… Pray early and often. Read the Word. Gather loved ones and trusted friends to help you. And, some sweet day when you arrive in heaven and see these friends and teammates, you can relish together of how He brought you all through the mess. 🙂 Oh, and did I mention that there is no dementia in heaven? Let that one soak in and rejoice in it.
Update: Nothing new to report. Mom gets her 2nd Covid vaccine shot Wednesday. I am hoping the experience doesn’t mess her up for the week as mush as most people I know. It is worth it, even for her even though she has had Covid before. We are just stalling and trying to buy time.
WW and Running ‘Til I’m Purple updates: I had a great week last week on that front. I ran a little over 30 miles last week, which I do admit isn’t enough considering the trail itself is 35+ miles all at once, in the heat… BUT, I am getting stronger and more resilient. Today I ran 7 miles on the dreadmill (spelling error intentional), and I hope to do the same several more times this week. Do I expect to run the complete trail? I sure hope so…or I will turn purple tryin’. 🙂 Thank you for the donations on the GoFundMe and the Longest Day sites! 🙂 On the weight loss front, I am still around 100 pounds down and want to lose 30 more by the time I run. I have a four months left…should be able to get that done. 🙂