wings and things

A bit like the weather

on May 12, 2014

At the nursing home, Anthony was up and about this afternoon at about the same time he was in bed yesterday. He was lucid, mobile, vocal and quite jaunty.

To me, Dementia resembles the unpredictability of the weather, about which you can do nothing. The other day, a tree was uprooted and fell down during a storm; the next day it poured with rain; the next day it was bright sunshine; and today it is a bit of both.

There is nothing anyone can do about weather fluctuations – nothing. Forecasts can be wrong and often the weather will change drastically from what was expected to something totally different. A storm may shove a sunny day aside and vice versa. And there is nothing you can do about it. Nothing.

Dementia is like this in so many ways. One day, at exactly 10am, Anthony might be able to answer the phone and have a coherent conversation with me; the next day he might be unable to do either. Despite the careful timing of his PDD medications (just like I used to do at home), sometimes he has a huge appetite and other times he has forgotten how to eat. Sometimes he can almost run, using his walker and other times he can’t even take a single step and we have to get the wheelchair.

With over ten years of nursing experience up my sleeve, and a PhD about Alzheimer’s Disease, you would think that I’d have more understanding of the kind of nuances that occur when Dementia has climbed onto the back of another disease like Anthony’s Parkinson’s. And yet, every day is a surprise for me – sometime wonderful, sometimes awful, and sometimes in-between … a bit like the weather.

So what do you do when the weather isn’t what you expected?
You accept it of course, because you have no choice.

[Note to blogger friends: I am still not receiving email notifications of your posts so have been using the WP Reader. This is a much better way for me for the time being but I am not keeping up with you all and I apologize].

20 responses to “A bit like the weather

  1. It truly is as unpredictable as the weather.

  2. Wishing you particularly nice weather today, Julie! xoxo

  3. Vicki says:

    Acceptance is the key to Living your life (the very best you can) in any difficult situation, be it your own problems or those of loved ones.

    As I said to my 88 yr old Father this afternoon “Stop worrying about the things you can’t change and accept the reality of the current situation. Worrying will do no one any good and only make turmoil and pain for both yourself AND the person with the problem. What will be, will be.”

    Life is never predictable. The only thing of which we can be certain is that we are born, we live ….and we die. Death is inevitable.

    I’d like to be remembered for the way I lived my life, than the way I died.

  4. I think that even experts in medical fields get blown away when their loved ones get afflicted with the malady that they are trained in; it is one thing to research and study a disease, it is something else entirely to live with it. Your strength inspires me Jules

  5. FlaHam says:

    Julie, You do what you have to do, and you do it when it works, and you try when it doesn’t. The analogy of the disease and the weather is outstanding. And your rationalization was astute. But my dear, none of it makes it easier for you or Ming. My admiration of you and Ming will not waiver, you clearly have earned every bit of it. I appreciate so much of what you post, and I do feed from your strength. Please take care, Bill

  6. Julie…. couple more things to check . I was so sure it would be that they were turned off… or the other place I suggested you look….anyway another mystery… Did you recheck Settings… Discussion… to make sure it is checked off to receive email notifications? and what about your spam… to make sure they’re not going there .. If none of those four places show the reason I would put a query in to WordPress support anyway ….Diane

  7. Sometimes that back and forth thing is harder than if it were just always bad…. because unpredictability can be so stressful.

    I like your analogy about the weather. I’ve been coping that way for years, telling myself, “Oh, well, it’s a ‘pain’ day,” (in the same manner I would say, “It’s a rain day”). Then I adjust my plans.

    It’s difficult, though, not ever being able to count on one’s plans…

  8. susanpoozan says:

    You’re a great philosopher.

  9. susielindau says:

    They are researching it here in the States and still don’t know why some suffer with it while other brains remain fully functional. Maybe someday we can just pop a pill!

  10. Jules and Ming and Ants: you’re in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂
    Diana xo

  11. Judy says:

    I guess this is about how we prepare for the weather. I don’t think this is so much about acceptance as a person’s feeling of ways they can control outcomes; I really understand that feeling. Do you carry that umbrella with you in case – knowing it’s heavy to carry? Do you wear a jacket for the same reason? And when too hot, all that preparation was for naught (a little rhyme there). I think you it’s best to stay as comfortable as possible and try not to anticipate the worst scenerios because they might not even happen like you’d expect. That’s what I ended up doing with my mother. I see you as being perfectly aware of weather changes – and sad that you have that awareness but Anthony doesn’t. He is buffetted by his disease without any benefit of understanding. You are simply amazing, though you don’t realize it.

  12. It’s the same with my mom. I never know what I will find when I go to visit. On Sunday she wasn’t too bad at all, mentally, and wanted to go for a walk in the garden, but even with help, couldn’t stand. She had to be lifted into the wheelchair. Other times, she manages with her walker. I feel so sad for her.

  13. And if the weather is cold you can put on a coat.

  14. ksbeth says:

    i think the comparison one is clever and perfect )

  15. Yes you are so right it is like the weather you have no idea from day to day what you get

  16. Really good metaphor for what you’re going through, what so many are going through. And, ultimately seeing that accepting it, what may come, is the thing to do holds a lot of wisdom. ❤

  17. I think the unpredictability is so hard because when things are good, there is hope that it will always be good; but when it’s bad, there is the fear that this is what it will always be like. Roller coaster. Lord, help.

  18. i love this metaphor and plan to steal it:) this is exactly what our life is like. some days i am up and looking forward to events coming in the future. the problem is that when the day arrives i may be in sleep mode. on those days i simply cannot get up. it is disappointing but we have learned to go with the flow and be flexible. thank you for sharing your journey, i so appreciate the opportunity to understand from the other side of this path. love and hugs to you my friend!

  19. We must learn to accept what we cannot change or control.

  20. tersiaburger says:

    I too have had notification problems. How are YOU dear friend? I have not blogged much as Stepping Stone keeps me busy. It is healing working hard. I think of you ofyen with affection. Hugs and much love

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