Watching a Parent Who Has Pick's Disease Slowly Slip Away - Part 4
Mom Enjoying Wedding Cake
My Mom's Ongoing Battle With Pick's Disease
My mom has been in full time Alzhemier's care facility for a few months now. She has finally settled into her new home and seems happy at the facility. They facility has a few animals that belong to some of the residents; however, those animals are free to roam around. My mother loved cats so she loved it when one of the cats came to her room for a visit.
When I went to visit her, I often found her wondering the halls or watching tv. Her face always seemed to light up when I would bring the kids up to see her. She seemed like she still remembered who we were but she couldn't talk to us. It broke my heart to not be able to have a conversation with my own mother. She was way to young for this to happen to her.
While I visiting with her, I would often times sit with her and hold her hand or brush her hair. This made her smile really big. And when it was time to leave, she always seemed sad that we were going. Often times we would have to get the nurses to distract her so that we could sneak out. She would try to follow us. The facility was well protected so that she couldn't escape.
By April of 2008, mom was slowly losing her ability to control her bodily functions. She now has to wear depends. She is also starting to lose weight. These are symptoms of Pick's disease and it is part of the disease slowly shutting down her ability to control body functions. Her appetite is decreasing and she is beginning to lose weight.
I was getting married in a few months, and my husband met my mom for the first time. She didn't seem to understand but I am thankful that my husband had the opportunity to at least meet my mom. He didn't know her when she was well. I was very sad that she was unable to attend my wedding. But she was not far away, she was in my heart that day. I was able to honor my mother that day with a white rose. The white rose was a symbol of her participation in the ceremony. I carried the rose down the aisle with my daddy and placed it in the pew where she would have sat. After my wedding reception, my family took my mother a piece of cake. My dad said she sure did enjoy it.
My mom started having problems swallowing her pills in July of 2008. She now had to have them crushed up and put into some food such as applesauce. She is still slowly losing weight. And when we go to visit her, we are finding her in bed more often.
Purchase a Burial Plot Early On
If you have a loved one that has this Picks disease or Alzheimer's, it would be very beneficial to go ahead and make funeral arrangements for their burial as soon as you first get the diagnoses. My mom was given about 5 years to live from the initial onset of her disease. This was a pretty good estimate.
Go ahead and figure out where they would like to be buried at. Include them in the process if necessary. The next step would be to go ahead and purchase the burial plots and pay for the expenses up front or put them on a payment plan. The advantage to getting this taken care of early on, it will be one less thing that you have to worry about when the day comes.
Another benefit to taking care of this early, you will pay today's prices for the services and your money will gain interest as well.
Dealing With Grief
I realize this is probably not something that someone wants to hear, but I am speaking from my family's experience. It's very hard knowing that a loved one may not be with you much longer.
Pick's disease is very difficult to watch a loved one go through. And you have to give yourself time to grieve while they are still alive. They aren't going to be the same person that you once used to know. And they will continue to slip away and may not recognize you toward the end.
It is important that you take care of yourself during these hard time. Allow yourself to grieve.
Seek guidance from God during these times of heartache. Praise him for the small things.
If you find yourself becoming depressed, please seek medical treatment from your doctor or other health care provider. Some of the symptoms of depression include:
- feelings of over whelming sadness
- not interested in things that you were once interested in
- difficulty concentrating, making important decisions, or remembering details
- lack of energy or extreme fatigue
- irritable or restless
- excessive sleeping
- feeling hopeless, worthless, guilty, helpless
- over eating
- loss of appetite
- persistent pain, stomach problems, cramps, headache
- empty feelings
- thoughts of committing suicide
- attempted suicide
If your are feeling suicidal, get immediate help. Go to your nearest mental health hospital or emergency room.