Monday, June 22, 2015


In October 2014, I participated in the "write31days" challenge; we chose a topic and wrote the entire month, one post per day.  My topic was the journey my husband and I are on with his dementia; I called it "31 Days of Dementia's Demands".

My husband was diagnosed with Multifarct Dementia (or Vascular Dementia) years ago.  We have travelled many roads with detours and road blocks and intersections along the journey that we never thought we would have to travel.

As our journey continues, and fearing his condition worsening, there are additional concerns and information that need to be addressed.  I can't seem to bring myself to start the research that I need to help us along the continuing journey; but as I do gather the facts, I'll also to continue blogging the journey.

So my thoughts at this point are:  Is he really that tired?  Or, is he depressed?

Taking naps in the middle of the day.  Awake early, like 5:00 or 6:00 am; then going back to bed around 10:00 am (after taking a couple of walks "to the foot of the road").

Laying down once I leave for my day's activities.

Even laying down more than once during the day...

Is he exhibiting symptoms of Depression?

Or is he really that tired?

He looks tired - he is (only) 76 years old; and that is really not that old!  But he looks old.

He walks a lot during the day - I'd say at least 10 times from our apartment to the edge of the main road.  He checks the mail; takes out the trash; walks and walks and walks - and talks to everyone he can while walking.

I know, the walking in itself is not a bad thing; the talking with those he meets on his walks is also not a bad thing.  But, that many times?  It seem excessive to me!

And, he seems to be eating all the time; not a three-meals per day sort of eating...more like a six "meals" and a snack at night!

But, what concerns me is the lack of purpose; the lack of a hobby - no real "purpose" or "use" for his life.

Besides the walking and the few household chores, the only other thing he does is attend church.  He is able to drive himself (to his church; then to our daughter's church), but doesn't really get involved with any of the activities.  And I am not really sure how much he really "gets" about the Christian life - but he loves to meet and greet as he hands out the bulletin each Sunday - actually leaving once everyone has been seated!

And, he is always counting the cards he has in an index file of his high school classmates.  He always talks about "finding the Dupont seniors"... Every time he comes back from walking, he takes the files and starts counting - some how he is connecting his walking with these cards, and "finding" his classmates.  Don't ask me!  I don't see the connection!!

This may not seem very excessive or weird or concerning to anyone not living in the midst of it.  But, for me, I am here day in and day out, and it is concerning!

So, this is the reason I feel there may be a bit of depression.  Next step for me now:  research depression and symptoms that may be exhibited; and talk with his doctor...

Maybe I am just "seeing" things that are not there; I know sometimes it is hard to explain exactly what I am trying to say...

Perhaps it is nothing to worry about...

But, if it is, then I want to know so we can deal with it!


  1. As I'm reading your post, I'm praying with you.
    I'm praying for His wisdom, guidance, and peace.

    1. Thank you so much! There have been a few changes since I wrote the 31 Days series last October; and the illness seems to be getting worse. I am trying to journal these changes so I can monitor it and learn more about the progression...

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Romi! Appreciate your loyal reading of my posts!!

  2. Oh, Barbara, I cannot imagine how hard that must be for you.My prayers are with you, and your husband.

    For what it's worth, I find that activities that bring a sense of purpose are absolutely essential to my mental health. There are those around me who take something of a condescending view of the end-stage of my life..."SURE you should do it, it'll keep your mind occupied..."

    Or, worse..." have PTSD nightmares because your mind is bored." My response to that was, as you might imagine, unprintable.

    In "The Gulag Archipelago", Alexander Solzhenitsyn described two cellmates; one, an army officer, kept a regular schedule of exercise and study, and was a constant source of encouragement to his companions.

    He was also the only one of the three with a confirmed sentence of death.

    1. Thank you for reading this and posting your comment, Andrew. I often times find words hard to express in some circumstances - a death, a person's diagnosis of cancer or some other disease...even in responding to your posts, I am unsure if what I say is "right" or "wrong"!! You certainly have the strength (mental, spiritual) that I admire and strive for!

      And, how on earth could someone think that PTSD nightmares are because your mind is bored?!!! Have they been through what you have????

      I continue to try to find things to keep hubby occupied; like on Sat. morning when I had things to do...we ended up taking a drive after I met a friend to pick up something I was purchasing from her...I actually ended up loving the pleasant drive; no arguing, just looking at beautiful homes and the big oak trees that surrounded the area...happy to be having my youngest granddaughter's 1st birthday at a park along that road!!

      Thanks again, Andrew...praying with and for you and Barbara!!

  3. Barbara I am sorry to hear this. My mother had dementia and she would do the oddest things. She always tried to pick up things that weren't on the table. She saw things that weren't there and was afraid to walk over the area because she said it would hurt her feet. My dad helped her walk and we walked on the area, but couldn't convince her there was nothing there. She saw conspiracies in everything. She forgot things. She also had Parkinson's Disease. She didn't walk anywhere, but she lived a lot in the past. She died when she was 79. She just gave up. I don't know a lot about the dementia you mentioned, but it seems as if he can still go out and find his way home which is good. Good luck with your research and taking care of your husband.

    1. Tessa - the vascular dementia is caused by several small strokes that affected the memory areas of the brain. But this doesn't necessarily get any worse unless there are more strokes. I do not think he has had more strokes; but the others were "silent" and we were not aware he was having them...once we knew he had, I was able to think back to a particular incident; but did not know when it was happening. But, vascular dementia CAN move into Alzheimer's disease which does get worse - and I am seeing signs of it getting worse; just nothing confirmed.

      If you ARE interested in reading more, I did a series back in October 2014 for "write31days" where we were challenged to write on a subject for 31 days of October. Mine was "31 Days of Dementia's Demands". I did a lot of research type posts; some poetry and journaling that I did some years ago...that would be found under the label "31 Days". I am trying to decide if I'll do it again this year; maybe continue the journey.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ponderings! My mom has started on the dementia journey and my dad is at his wit's end trying to take care of her. She is still early stages, just noticeable outside the family now. I will be praying with you -that you have wisdom to know how to handle each situation and that you can discern what is depression and when your husband is tired. It does help a lot when we know what is what!

    thanks for sharing.

  5. Thank you Jeanie for reading and for your comment. Praying with you as well for your mother and father; it does bring one to their wit's end!

    Back in October 2014, I wrote for a "Write31Days" challenge where we chose a topic and wrote the 31 days of October. My topic/title was "31 Days of Dementia's Demands". I had written some of these posts in my journals; and also written a few poems - some not specifically for the dementia situation, but they fit. I also had read the book "The 36-Hour Day" and was going back over notes, and bought an updated version of the book for research. If you mother is in early stages, you may find some info in those may already have what is needed; but I want to be sure to at least let you know of these posts - but I am NOT a professional or by no means an expert!!

    Again, I appreciate your reading!!


Thank you for stopping by to read my post today! I appreciate your reading and commenting - your comments are a welcome encouragement for me to continue one of my favorite things - writing!

You are special to me; and your words help in more ways than I can number...Thank you just isn't enough!