We all face challenges. The real issue is how we deal with them. A common challenge for married women is assuming the role of caregiver, either for an ailing spouse or an ailing parent.
Any disease that destroys mental, physical, and emotional wellbeing will create despair for everyone involved: family, friends, relatives and co-workers. How does a family move from happiness, memorable vacations, and retirement dreams to life with a monster disease that eats away at a loved family member one day at a time? Pessimism is easy, optimism takes work. We chose to have an Adventure Attitude as my husband moved through the maze of this disease. He remained upbeat with a great sense of humor. His effort to play the hand he was dealt with an enthusiastic, optimistic outlook is inspiring. We made the most of each day. I came up with creative strategies that kept him moving at his best. Some of our adventures were zany, some foolish, some God inspired. All our efforts deserved ice cream for a celebration of a job well done.
I expected God to show up every day and thankfully, He did. We were blessed with many mini and mighty miracles that punctuated this adventure. I believed that we needed to work as if everything depended on our effort, but have faith that everything depended on God. He did not disappoint. My most effective technique during this emotional roller coaster was journaling letters with God. I have explained this powerful technique that can be of value for anyone.
Certainly it is filled with pages of meat and potato suggestions that can help caregivers provide quality of life for an ailing spouse, especially with a degenerating neurological disease. It is much more than that. It expands the awareness of the reader to understand a day in the life of a caregiver. Friends and family members had no idea how their acts of compassion and gifts of time sustained us. If people can become more informed about potential acts of kindness for those in the maze of an incurable illness, society might become a bit kinder.
I have tried to capture the humor. I have shared the tenderness. Dean and I made memories with our choice to have an adventure. I wish all wives across the country would read and understand that at some time in the future, it is likely they will only have their memories. Good ones are sustaining.
The title is Living with Lewy Body Dementia, One Caregiver’s Personal, In-Depth Experience.
Wow, Judy, this is beautiful!... -- Bob Houston - Editor