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Newly diagnosed father - daughter grieving
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:40 PM
Joined: 6/21/2017
Posts: 43

My father was recently diagnosed with dementia and I am having one heck of a time dealing with the changes I see with him. I am grieving and depressed and this nightmare has just begun for us. Fortunately my siblings are local and helping with "things", but emotionally, I am really struggling. How will I get through all that is to come?
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 3:56 PM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 3212


The only way you will get through this is by thinking "one day at a time."  When you get up each morning, decide to find happiness no matter what.  There will still be many, many opportunities for hugs, smiles, laughter, and love as you interact with your father.  Just don't allow yourself to ruin "this day" with worries about what might happen tomorrow.  Look for the small blessings and pleasures along the way.  I said a prayer for you, your father, and your family.  Peace always Veronica

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 4:14 PM
Joined: 6/21/2017
Posts: 43

Thank you for the kind words, thoughts and prayers. Things are just moving so quickly that my head is spinning and my heart is crying. Not a good combination in making good, sound decisions.
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 4:29 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 3623

You will get through this the same as everyone else, one step at a time, one day at a time.  I think it is important to realize that this is an unwanted change and most people struggle with changes and they hate unwanted change and that is a big part of it, but you have NO CHOICE in this matter but to accept that this change is going to happen, no matter what.   It just is what it is.  

If it is helpful, speak to a psychologist or counselor or your clergy.  There are also support groups for family of Alz patients everywhere, you might join one. 


My journey with Barb
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 5:02 PM
Joined: 6/25/2015
Posts: 21

Dtr Amy, It is a difficult diagnosis to cope with.  There are lots of emotions you will feel.  Know they are all normal.  I say live a day at a time.  I have never had luck in doing this, but with my mom's illness I have learned to do it.  I know where this will end, I just try not to dwell on that.  I rely on my faith, and on those days that the little things happen, she may have a clear mind, she may tell me she loves me, she may grab my hand, I treasure all these things.  My mom lives with me and when I look at her in bed at night I thank God for the day.  Take care of your self and surround your self with good supports.  I have found lots of good things on here, I look at the message board a couple times a day, and I have gone on to the chat rooms a couple of times.  Everyone here is experiencing this disease and all it does to our loved ones.
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 5:14 PM
Joined: 7/8/2017
Posts: 9


I am also feeling all the emotions of having my mother recently diagnosed w/ alz. I am in a sad mood as well. I knew the diagnosis would mean changes for both of us....but think there is a grieving process that happens & is normal. I am looking into support groups..( I am siblings.) Feeling isolated from "normal" life. I am glad this is here for us to speak & have a safe place to be honest. I am also future tripping which I know isn't healthy...but human nature. I called the 24/7 hotline last night & talked to an amazing counselor.So grateful for all this site has to offer...what a blessing. Take care & know we are all feeling the same things. We will survive. God bless.

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 5:15 PM
Joined: 6/21/2017
Posts: 43

Yes, it certainly is a difficult diagnosis to deal with. I work in the "field" and handle this well "professionally", but I have really been thrown for a loop on a personal level. Good grief! Used to live one day at a time really well. Time to re-apply that again (why did I ever let it go? I guess life happened).
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:04 PM
Joined: 7/13/2017
Posts: 1


I would like to encourage you by letting you know that one day you will look up and realize this is your new normal and you are "getting through it".  You will not only be getting through it, you will be making your father's days better by being in them.  Instead of saying "how will I get through this", you will be saying, "I am actually getting through this".  It is so overwhelming, sad, and scary, but because you love your dad so much you will be able to muster up strength to return to him time after time with a smile on your face and love in your heart.  Believe me, it's a ridiculously tough journey, and totally not one we signed up for.  But it has fallen on our heads so we must go.  For love of the ones who loved us first we choose to fight their fight.  We are their advocates as they were once ours.  YOU CAN DO THIS.  I can do this.  We will not give up, we will not stop.  Just as they wouldn't stop if the situation were turned.  I can tell you love him very much.  He is blessed to have you.  I see many who have no one.  No help, no advocate, no one loving on them day after day.  You can and something tells me you will.  My prayers and hope are with you and your family as you muddle through the next days, months, and hopefully years of loving on your father who is the same guy as he has always been.  He just needs you now more than you need him. 

-Pj Oleham, Still Caring for Momma  

Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 6:41 PM
Joined: 6/21/2017
Posts: 43

Thank you so much for your gentle encouragement. He truly was always there for me (and there were some trying times!). I am just surprised at my emotions and reactions to him and have to learn how to mitigate those as he deserves respect, dignity, love, care and even humor!
Posted: Thursday, July 13, 2017 11:17 PM
Joined: 7/9/2017
Posts: 11

{hugs}  My mom also was recently diagnosed w vascular dementia but I have known for some time that there was a problem.  I believe I am grieving the loss of a person I love but she is still here so it is weird.  My plan is to have at least one MOMENT OF JOY with my mom
Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017 11:26 AM
Joined: 6/21/2017
Posts: 43

That's a great approach. Had a fairly good day with him yesterday. Observing the changes though is so painful to watch. May GOD bless him with a sense of peace.
Posted: Monday, July 17, 2017 11:47 AM
Joined: 5/30/2016
Posts: 458

Hi Amy,

It is always different when the diagnosis affects someone you love. There is no right way or wrong way to handle this.  You must be strong though, because this disease has many twists and turns. Read all you can about this disease. Watch Teepa Snow on you-tube, so you can learn how to communicate with him.  He is not lost to you yet and be there for him, as much as you can.  This isn't easy for him either.  One day at a time is the best way.  Seek out a support group that deals with this disease.  You will get through this. 

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