Alzheimer's- A wish for my wife
Do you know anyone suffering with Alzheimer's disease? Do you know someone who has a family member with Alzheimer's disease? Are you now, or have you ever, been a caregiver for someone ravaged, by Alzheimer's disease? It is such a painful disease to watch people and families go through. This is our story, It may appear to be long-winded, but I can assure you, it all must be told.
Hello dear friends, I can honestly say, from the bottom of my heart, that I never in a million years, would have ever thought my life, and that of my wife's, would be what we have experienced over the last seven years, and where our unexpected, dire, journey, has taken us.
Years ago, if someone had said to me that in a short span of time, our lives were going to be so drastically, horribly, changed, I would have told them they were crazy and out of their minds. Life, however, had a much different plan for us than I could have ever imagined and I began to wonder if maybe I was being punished for something bad I did in a previous life.
Our nightmare began in 2011 after it was discovered that I had fractured my neck in three places and that my spine was degenerating, and collapsing, at a rapid pace. After sixteen hours of surgery to repair my neck, it was quickly realized that I was going to be completely disabled, and would need many more surgeries to try and save my spine.
In twenty-four hours, I went from being in great physical shape, to lying in a hospital bed, hooked up to many, machines, with tubes, metal rods and wires, all connected to some part of me. I had no feeling from my waist down, could barely lift my arms, and was in excruciating pain like I had never experienced before. It took 42 screws, metal plates, a metal cage and rod, just to put my neck back together. This was only the beginning of my journey, and it wasn't going to get easier . . . or better.
Over the next five years, I endured ten more surgeries, never-ending physical and occupational, therapy, a staph infection, and two blood-clots. Life was not easy. I was physically and financially ruined! We did, however, have a blessing in our lives, like no other. Our beautiful granddaughter had been born two months before my ordeal, and if it wasn't for her, I know I would have given up and just quit life, I'm sure of it.
She was definitely a gift from heaven from my mother, (who had passed in October), who sent this little angel to help her Papa and her Nana, cope, heal, and survive. And just as she does today, she brought us such joy and happiness, and she made me want to push through all the horrific pain and anguish, and become the best version of myself I could be. My wife and I have a very special, bond with her filled with love, friendship, laughter, and trust. And now , more than you could know, she is a beacon of light in my wife's gray world.
It was about a year and a half, after my first surgery, that we all noticed something was wrong with my wife. She seemed to be forgetting a great deal of things, and couldn't find the right words to use, when she was speaking. Jokingly, we laughed about these episodes and called them "senior moments." But, as we would soon find out, they were anything, but senior moments. She was only 51 years old, what could be happening?
Finally, we convinced her to go see a specialist, a Neurologist, to find out what was going on with her. Well, after several trips back and forth, and more test's, the verdict was in . . . My wife was diagnosed with "Early-Onset Alzheimer's disease." Dear God, she was only 52, this couldn't be right. The ride home that day was filled with tears, anguish, fear, anger, and more tears.
It's been four years now, since that day, and sadly, her condition has deteriorated greatly. She can't drive, cook, write, and even struggles with basic reading. She also had to retire from a job she loved, and went from making a decent living to making squat! Her disability check is peanuts, as in, not sure how any human could survive on that amount of money a month. Together, we lost everything! We recently lost our house, our car, our pride . . . our dignity!
After her last appointment, we were told that she is now in the beginning stages of "End-Stage, Alzheimer's disease." And again, life has been made more difficult for us. On that day, through lots of tears, she sincerely confided in me that one of the thing that really, super, bothered her, was the fact, that she'll probably NEVER get to take our granddaughter to Disney World and Universal Studios. That was one of the "dreams," or "wishes," we both had. after we became grandparents.
And now . . . well, we'd be lucky to be able to afford half of a one-way plane ticket, for one person, to get there, let alone, be able to afford a hotel and tickets to the theme parks. All she keeps saying is "I wish we could find a way to get there somehow, before I forget everything. I don't want to forget her name or who she is. I want to see her smile, laugh, and have fun with Nana and Papa. Please don't let me forget who she is?"
Of course, this got me thinking, and so I started a "Go Fund Me" campaign to help me give my wife, (along with me of course), and two grandchildren a trip to Disney and Universal, that she'll NEVER forget. It's really her "last wish," before she slips away from us into an abyss that no one will ever be able to free her from. I cry every time I think about it.
The generosity from everyone, no matter what is contributed, will be greatly appreciated, beyond belief, and will help me to make my wife's big "wish" come true. It will also help us with upfront move in expenses, once we find a place that is for disabled people like myself, as well as, safe for my wife.
Please understand, we can't thank you all, enough for your generosity and kindness. I truly and sincerely hope, you never have to go through and experience what we have had to endure over the last few years. Many blessings and thanks again.
If you feel so obliged to, I would also be humbled if you navigated over to my website for people who are experiencing "change" and want to learn about meditation and more.