Wednesday, September 26, 2007

It's been a heck of a week and a half.

For those of you who don't know, my husband and I spent last week taking care of my mother while my sister and brother-in law took a short vacation. Mother is 89 and suffering from vascular dementia and various physical disabilities. Vascular dementia looks a lot like Alzheimer's, but is caused by arterioscorosis in the arteries and veins in the brain. Mom's been living with my sister since 2002 and unfortunately in the past two years has mentally regressed to the mental level of a three year old. My sister and I have opinions as to how and why that's happened, but that's a topic for another blog entry.

Frankly, I don't know how my sister deals with our mother's mental and physical condition on a daily basis unless it's through a mountain's worth of grace from the Lord. After a mere week, I was exhausted from the lack of sleep and trying to keep track of everything. Without my husband's help and copious amounts of vitamin B-12, I could not have done anywhere as well as I did.

Unfortunately when we got home on Monday after being on the road over 8 hours, we received word that my husband's 94 year old father had suffered a heart attack and a stroke and was in the hospital. He has since regained some strength and is able to get around with a walker, but it's slow going. His speech is still slurred, he has weakness on his left side, and it's uncertain how long he'll remain in the hospital. At least Dad's' stable enough to have been moved from intensive care to a regular room and we are grateful for that much improvement.

Where am I going with this, you might ask? I really don't know. I just know the mental and emotional roller coaster has been something else. I also know I need to evaluate my health and try to take some steps to improve my odds of not closely following in my parents' footprints of physical decline. Sometimes I think I got the worse of both genetic profiles. (My dad died 20 years ago from stroke/heart disease.) I hope prayer and medical knowledge will make the difference. If not, I pray for the grace to withstand what I do not understand.

3 comments:

WAM said...

Ah crownring,

Thankfully, your family is there, and able to help. Also, your Father is in the right place getting the help he needs right now. Its amazing what can be done today in these situation. Thats the wonder of living in the 21st century I guess.

You are wise to take control of your health. Prevention is the best remedy that I know of. In Austria, as well as Deutschland, Prevention is practiced.

I also know about the genetic pool. You get some of the best,and some of the worst. It goes hand in hand.

Sadly, I am beginning to resemble my paternal side of the family. They were not exactly fashion models in their middle years. You can look that up yourself on the Web and see actual Tin Types of one of them. And what is worse, if the paintings are at all acurate, well, I am well on my way to truly resembling my namesake in his later years. The portly bloat-comes from the Diabetes, and bad Kidneys-among other things, my hair, is steadly turning white. I tie my hair back- and Viola! There it is! Ugh. Shaving in the morning can be fun when I have to look at that mug. :) So- I muss be stricter with my diet, or my life WILL BE SHORTENED! That truly doesn't interest me yet. I am not ready to join the rest of the clan...

I take so many Meds, its sickening. Without them, however,I would be sick. As it is, with the exception that I am tired all the time, I feel pretty good. Actually better than usual.

Oh well... back to diet and walking. This is what I get encouraged to do all the time..you know,over 200 years ago, that same statement was made to another Wolfgang--only, he didn't take it seriously. If he had lived, he probably would have had a stroke or worse before he was forty five. I am forty five, and still that looms over my head, but at least, I know something about my family health, and can do something about it.

I just hate rabbit food......
the Austrian in me, wants strudel, torte,coffee, pork,Schnitzel....cabbage..
sigh....


Wolfgang

Wert.the.Wolf said...

Wolfgang, I did not know your real name was actually Wolfgang. I wish that was my name...

I'm so sorry you're going through this...She probably deals with it through repetition. She didn't have it thrust upon her all at once, it slowly went down, and she's probably used to having to do all that work. Not used to it emotionally, but it's just that she doesn't have to think about it anymore. I'm so sorry about your father in law. :( If you ever need someone to talk to that is coming in with a blank slate, you can definately talk to me. :) I'd be glad to return the favor, you've helped me a lot. It's good that he's in a regular room now...that's a really good sign. :) Trust me, with the hundreds of times I've spend in a hospital, I know how doctors think, and how to read their movements. It means that they're not that concerned, and he's probably doing much better, then.

I know what it's like with genetic fooprints. -_- I've got meh own issues with that, lets see...

diabetes from my mom, and both my dads parents, high cholesterol and blood pressure from...everyone except my mom and her dad. My mom smoked when she was pregnant. My dad and grandma are both...wide. I don't want to be. :P

BUT I am trying to prevent that...I'm about 80% vegetarian right now, and almost completely all natural foods. No saturated fats. I'm trying to get exercise, and that's just...not working. :P

PLus, there's my stinkin' knees!! They're so stupid, I think they're just...mad at me. :P I used to sit indian style a lot, and it's worn them out to where it'll hurt later if I even put my foot in my lap. :P And they both lock a lot...a lot. :P It's so painful... :P I've dis-owned them...well, off to check something and to bed! Hope that...well, that was supposed to turn to cheering you up, but somehow I turned it into something weird...ah, well, I have the weird-midas touch...

WAM said...

Wert- I did post on your blog- but just in case- I wanted you to know that I appreciate your sentiments.

My name is very long- Crownring, I belive knows it. Maybe not. Sometimes, it can really be a pain. That is life I guess. Its a good name. I am sure Wert, that your actual name is great.

:)

Tell me- did you get your chickens?

**

Crownring- you have my prayers concerning your father-in-law. Cerebral Accidents combined with heartattacks (was it an infarct?) are hard to contend with anyway- eventually, with therepy some people- if they have the will, can pull through. That is the key- having the will to live. It doesn't matter how old your are- or who you are- if you have the will to live- you have half the battle. Most of the people in my famillie- at least on the paternal side- from 1791 to this day- were not able to continue with a will to live. Most of their Deaths were unavoidable, either due to poisoning, or Bipolar Disorder complicated with Alcoholism. Some died from Smallpox. There were some that died of old age- but those are few and far between. As it is- the will to live makes all the difference.

Prevention is important. In Deutschland, as well as OEsterreich, Homeopathy and Prevention are practiced intensely. Diet is one of the first things that is used- and exercise is the second. Relief of stress is the third. People who work for a living, often times will get paid leave to go to a Spa for their health. Such places, like Baden-Baden, or the one I went to, outside of Wien- the Kur, not far from Landestrasse near Sankt Marxer- was wonderful. There are generally Fruit stands, with fresh fruits out once a week- a place to get Kaffee - a Konditori, a Hotel- usually a very nice one, a small town, a place to walk - a sort of park, and also Spa waters-generally heated from the ground naturlich. Many take the Waters daily and then enjoy the peace of the day, walking or exercising. Its a real kick to go to one of those places. A Spa, here in Amerika, is different. The attitude about a spa is also different- its more of a resort instead of a true spa.
Prevention. You ask your average allopathic doktor about a diet and they look at you like your bats. They just say adopt one-but won't advise you on one. Diet is the most important aspect of any prevention programme. Guess I say this because I have been lazy about my own situation- which- as I said earlier- I need to get off my rusty dusty and do.

Exercise is the next- even walking is a good start. Its the cheapist, and also very relaxing. Just make sure you get good walking shoes when you do it.

:)

Oh well.

Cheers!
Wolfgang