Interview

January 18, 2011
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My grandmother is 65 years old and for the past ten or so years, she has been taking extraordinary care of my grandfather.
Several years ago, my grandfather had a stroke. I wouldn’t call it a minor or a major one, but it was somewhere in the middle and it was definitely big enough to trigger other medical conditions.
“He was starting to forget where he was and he would hide his wallet and forget where he put it.”
Those conditions were starting to show signs of a disease called Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is a brain disease that causes problems with memory, thinking and behavior. Symptoms usually develop slowly and get worse over time, becoming severe enough to interfere with daily tasks.
After the first big stroke, my grandfather was starting to develop seizures and anxiety had started to set in.
“He couldn’t relax . . . He would pace and pace around the house and sometimes leave the house without no one knowing.” She says.
“All the doors were then double locked.”

He continued to have mild strokes here and there and it soon impaired his left side movement. His armed had curled in and his left leg got very weak to the point where he used a wheel chair. Even then, using a wheel chair, he had to be pushed by someone else because he didn’t know how to push himself.

My grandfather then gradually started losing his speech and he then lost it completely. He also stopped swallowing his food resulting in a feeding tube having to be placed.

“Today all his medicines are crushed and fed through his feeding tube a long with liquid food and water.” She says.

Even with many medicines, his seizures still continued. They first started out monthly and now they are weekly. The result of that, the doctor increased his seizure medicine.

“As years have passed, we have all learned to read his signs and adjust the care he is given daily.”

My grandmother ha experienced personnel help take care of him daily and she takes care of him all through the night. As a family we have also adjusted seeing his health decline and we’ve learned a lot from him.

“It makes us stronger, more tolerant, more caring and brings the family closer together.” She adds.

My grandmother and myself and family are very grateful that he is still with us at home and we can’t help thinking of the times spent with him.

“He has taught us a lot, everyday!” she exclaims.

Being around my grandfather and seeing him go through what he is, makes you compassionate about other people who are suffering disease like my grandfathers.





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