1. Tony Heare

    Tony Heare Registered User

    Sep 13, 2004
    14
    Newport, South Wales
    Last Friday I attended the funeral of my uncle, who had had Alzheimer's for some 10 years but ultimately died of stomach cancer.
    It was doubly distressing as, on reading the newspaper obituary, I discovered that his wife (my auntie), had died in April of this year, on the same date as my late father's birthday. The family claimed at the funeral last week that they had tried all ways to contact me about my auntie, but without success, even though we're in the phone book and they could also have phoned my mother's care home, who obviously have my number. That's my family all over.

    But I digress. The point I want to make is one that all of us on these threads make - my uncle was the brightest, bubbliest, funniest, gentle man I have ever known. Yes, I know we all say that about our relatives and that's fair comment, but this man was, for many many years, a Senior Electrical Engineer for some of British Industries biggest names, regularly travelling all over the world in his work, until this evil disease cut him down. To see such a person deteriorate in front of your very eyes is frightening. I'm now going through it again with my mother and it's very painful. When I tell people about my mother, you can see that they either don't really care or that they cannot fully understand what I'm going through. I wouldn't wish this horrible illness on anyone, but it would certainly shake a few people up if they did experience its effects on a family.

    That's 4 funerals so far this year, with my father, 2 aunties and an uncle all leaving. 2003 & 2004 have been hell and I can only hope that my mother lives for a fair few years yet.

    Peace and love to you all and keep your heads up!!!!
     
  2. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Tony,

    It's a rotten fact that the older we get, the more funerals we attend. I've been to several this year as well, mostly older rellies and friends of my parents.

    My parents' sole topic of conversation seem to be about who has died and who's left these days and since they can't remember, these talks repeat themselves over and over again.

    I seem to be entirely surrounded by dementia and death. It's not actually a very jolly outlook on life really.

    Jude
     
  3. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear Tony, Jude has hit the button, it is an unfortunate fact of life as you get older. Since 2002 we have lost two aunts, a cousin, an uncle and now my Mum. It just keeps on relentlessly. Try to remember the good things, go forward, it does no good and just makes you sad to dwell in the past. Thats not to say you can't have a damn good cry sometimes. I did yesterday, sorting out my Mum's premium bonds. The first one she got was in 1964, £1, money was tight then. It gradually got up to £50 then it was just those that won and were re-invested. I was a shaking blubbering heap by then. We miss them, but they live on for ever in our hearts. Take care, thinking of you, love She. XX
     
  4. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Tony

    One of the most devastating consequences of AD is watching wonderful minds, talents, characters being subsumed by its very awfulness. Sometimes it's hard to remember the person we knew is still in there, however lost.

    I've had a sad day today, too, She, going through some of Mum's things to replace her clothes at the nursing home with the winter warmies. I hate having to do it and decided half way through that it will be better to buy some new, that way I feel I'm shopping for presents - just another coping mechanism. I can't bear my parents' bedroom. Every time I look at the bed it hurts that she'll never sleep in it again. God knows how sad it must make Dad feel.

    Lots of kind thoughts
    Chesca
     
  5. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Dear Chesca
    I too have had a bad day.I was released by Baljit the crossroads minder and off I went.
    Outdoor bowls are finished now but I have a cunning plan,I still go out and retain my 3 hours Wednesday afternoon pass.
    I felt a lousy swine packing Peg off with a comparitive stranger,I wanted to go home and be with her,but I didn't.
    I felt so alone and thought this is what it will be like one day,if I live long enough.
    I went home when the 3 hours ended,took some flowers,she was happy,didn't remember where I had been or where she had been,although she had been taken out and had a cup of tea and two cakes.
    It's a funny old life ain't it
    All bests
    Norman
     
  6. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    no future

    Norman,
    Thinking of what lies ahead is one of the scariest things: we can't bear the thought of being left behind/alone if and when our partners are no longer with us, and it is just as scary to think of what's in store while they get more and more incapacitated by AD.
    Day by Day is the policy, but it's sad not to be able to make any really happy plans at all, and not to have anything to look forward to (at least not anything that includes our spouses).
    --- as I am writing this, my thoughts are going off in two different directions: at least we can hang on to our memories. Our partners of however many years don't even have that ......
    Hope tomorrow is better!
    Love, Carmen
     
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Hi all, Tony, hope things are a bit better now for you. Chesca, funny you should do that, I did exactly the same. Mum had more new clothes in the last three years than she bought herself in a life time!Norman, don't you DARE feel guilty about having three measly hours to yourself (suppose you took your frog along in your pocket?) You are wonderful to do all you do for your Peg. Carmen, thats just it, day by day, all we can do is share our own memory of things with our loved ones and keep the past alive for them that way. Sorry, lectures over!! Thinking of you all and wishing it was better for you. Love She. XX
     
  8. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    Carmen
    does anyone worry about going first ,and in my case leaving their partner?
    I think I hope I have done all the procedures needed to make sure that my wife is cared for.
    I think the sons would turn up trumps I hope so.

    Things are a bit better I am after all these years becoming a past master at avoiding confrontation and it helps
    Norman
     
  9. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Norman,

    This is one of my constant worries. It would place my parents in a total state of disaster, as I fear they would be bundled off in to separate nursing homes.

    Having read the Pig, if I go out I now always carry a letter of instructions with me which include name, address and telephone number and mobile numbers for the carers. I also have a file at home entitled 'What to Do if Jude Dies'. This includes copies of Wills, Solicitor's name, Executor's name, Funeral Arrangments, etc. It helps a bit to be organised thus far.

    Jude
     
  10. Sheila

    Sheila Registered User

    Oct 23, 2003
    2,259
    West Sussex
    Dear all, I had a carers alert card clipped to my bag, I think it was done by Icis, I will have to check that out and post it. It had contact numbers etc. I also had a file at home with everything marked out. The first page had the details of the home that I had chosen if anything happened to me and Mum was on their waiting list. The second page had my second choice of home to make sure there would always be a place. So she was actually on two waiting lists!! (Little devil wasn't I?!) The third was a summary of Mum's finances so that any of the family could take over. Love She. XX
     
  11. Nutty Nan

    Nutty Nan Registered User

    Nov 2, 2003
    785
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Norman,
    Yes, the thought and worry of 'what if I wasn't here to do the day-to-day caring' is always there at the back of my mind, just as it used to be when the children were little.
    I have thought it through often, made arrangements, left notes, (we are not at the residential home stage - yet, although if I wasn't here, that would be the only solution), and I trust that our two daughters and the rest of the family would pull together and make appropriate arrangements.
    It would be a difficult situation for all, but some points in our lives just require us to 'get on with it as best we can', and all we can do is hope it won't come to that.
    I like to be prepared, but I don't think there is much point in dwelling on what might be one day. That's why it is so good to read the regular mad, crazy, silly, daft contributions on TP!
    All the best,
    Carmen

    PS Sadly, we don't have any pets, but my mother recently sent Tony a beautifully crafted gnome called Hugo "for company". I am sure she does not believe me when I tell her that Tony really does talk to Hugo, and insists that he is listening to the music, smiling, etc. He must be the only gnome who is allowed to sit on the windowledge - inside the house .... Some people have fairies at the bottom of the garden, brown frogs, cows, a cat called Ollie - we have Hugo the (indoor) gnome!
     
  12. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Carmen,

    A very wise move to keep Hugo indoors.

    Years ago I lived in a southern Sydney suburb and our neighbours had the front wall of their house painted with this AWFUL painting of a tree, pond, field and sky. Below it was a rockery with at least 250 gnomes - fishing, reclining, playing guitar, ad nauseum. It remains as probably the worst front garden I have ever seen in my entire life.

    Anyway, a couple of friends of ours were off on a round the world trip, so they 'borrowed' one of the gnomes and took it with them. The neighbours were really upset and I had to pretend total ignorance about the theft. Anyway, our mates sent regular post cards from the gnome to the neighbours from all sorts of exotic places and when they returned after 18 months, they brought the gnome back and placed back in it's position in the garden - with an extra one that they had bought in England .....

    It was very funny talking to the neighbours about their post cards and they were thrilled to bits when he finally came home with a friend..!! I never did let on.

    Jude
     
  13. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    #13 Brucie, Oct 16, 2004
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2004
    Hello Jude

    your story about the gnome going on his travels reminds me of one of the best films of the past few years - "Amelie". It is all in French, but the whole thing is a delight, and Amelie gives a beloved gnome from her Dad's garden to someone working for an airline, and they sent lots of pictures of the gnome.. at Grand Canyon, and elsewhere.

    If you get a chance to see the film, grab it!
     
  14. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    There was a story in the Birmingham Mail some time ago.This was a gnome that vanished and his owners received postcards from around the world.
    The gnome re appeared in the garden and I don't think anyone ever knew the answer
    Norman
     
  15. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    If anyone ever gets to Alaska, perhaps their gnome might send a postcard from Nome. [to home]

    clearly time for bed.
     
  16. Norman

    Norman Registered User

    Oct 9, 2003
    4,348
    Birmingham Hades
    I thought they sent oversexed pixies to a Gn ome for oversexed pixies and elves
    My brain hurts good night
    Norman
     
  17. Chesca

    Chesca Guest

    Dear Norman
    I'm not sure I'm happy about the company you are keeping. Brazen pixies, saucy brown frogs! You've probably got a bad head from the fairy bashing you over the head to get it into shape for the pixie hat. If it fits, wear it!

    Chesca
     
  18. Jude

    Jude Registered User

    Dear Brucie,

    Thanks for the film info. I've sent details on to my friends in Sydney as I'm sure they will be delighted.

    Jude
     

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