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.