what do you become after you loose a loved one to Alzheimer's
what do we become after we love a loved one?
I know that after we lose a loved one to Alzheimer's people think we change. If the people had been with us through it all they know we have changed all along. It must be so small of a change to our friends. If the friends had to spend twenty-four hours and see how much we change in one day. You wake up from a troubled sleep and start another day. I mean really we have to get up and take our meds, get dressed and eat breakfast. That doesn't change. If we are close to the home we call and see how our loved one is doing that day. Then if we work we go there and have our ear peeled to hear the phone in case something goes wrong like falling out of bed. After work we go home and cook dinner and try to have somewhat of a normal life with our family.
Now what do we do with all the time we spent on our loved one when they are gone. Let's see there was the time we had to spend filling out paperwork for them. We had to go to the doctor with them so we understood what was coming next. I figure I spent about five hours a day doing for my Dad.
Okay loved one is gone. What do you do? You could take of gardening to fill the time. That is good for the summer but what about the winter? You find something to fill that time. What do you do when you find out that you don't like what you are doing? You didn't think it would be hard to fill that time. We have learned to do for ourselves with the house duties. You learned how to take care of the car. You swear to yourself that you aren't going to break down. You have mourned as your loved one got sicker and passed.
I know I thought and thought. I decided I could volunteer at a hospital that would be perfect. I soon realized that much as I loved to help people and take care of people that this was not the answer. It was just too close.
I thought I would think about going to college for something I wanted to do. I couldn't decide what to take up. Alzheimer's was still a part of my life. I wanted to make people understand that these people were not to be avoided. I wanted to do the best I could to teach others about this disease. It all started when I had to do a presentation on something. Teacher told me I would have to do research. Told her that I knew a lot about the subject. I did some research through an Alzheimer's support group and what I knew. When I was done, my instructor said she knew more than she had thought possible. She taught brain injury cases and she was happy to know this.
Where do you get a job in the field of teaching about this disease? Well there was no place that I could find. I help people get through what they are going through when they are put in my path. The one thing that no one realizes is that the caregiver has let their body suffer because the loved one comes first. I never thought I had let my body go so badly.
I think that the best thing to do with that extra time we have is to explain to others who are going through this what we have learned about where to get help, what the legal issues are and everything we can help them with. Who better to teach others going through something we have been through?
I love to teach other people about Alzheimer's because there is not such a stigma about this disease. It isn't catching. You can go and see the person that is sick and don't abandon the family member's. I don't make any money for teaching and have thought about going back to college to learn a new trade.
You can take classes to learn about the disease or go into something else. I have a couple of things going through my mind. It seems that one of them is different. I would like to get my theology degree or accounting or writing. It is a hard decision to go back to being one person.