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Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Recap: December 22, 2021

  

I had to back out of this year's World Science Fiction Convention, WorldCon, at quite literally the last minute. 

That caused a number of people who were depending on my presence some problems. I apologize for that. 

I was really been looking forward to WorldCon this year.

I'm not a fan of crowds, even if there wasn't a pandemic going around, but I'm part of several new books, and I was excited about those stories (still am). The latest one, I think that might be good enough to win an award or two. I mean, I usually write about politics, so getting to talk about the stuff I actually enjoy writing? Well, like I said, I was looking forward to it. 

And I was really looking forward to reconnecting and spending time with old friends. Some of which I only see at scifi conventions and comic cons. 

If there was any way I could have made the Convention, I would have. 

And as you've probably noticed, I haven't posted much here this last week. 

As such, I suppose I owe you an explanation. 


My Mother-In-Law passed away. 


I was literally -- literally -- in the car, pulling out of the driveway on my way to Washington, when my son (my son and his wife are living with us at the moment, while they look for their own place) ran out of the house and stopped me. 

Mom's on the phone with the nursing home and it doesn't sound good, he said. You'd better wait a minute. 

He was right, it wasn't good. 

My wife and I left our home in Alaska five years ago and moved here to the fetid swamps of the Florida Panhandle to care for her mom, who had then been recently diagnosed with Alzheimers. 

My wife gave up her career and became a full time caregiver -- which, if you're not familiar with Alzheimers, is a damn tough job that gets tougher and tougher with every day that passes. 

Alzheimers only goes in one direction. 

And that direction is down. 

It's pretty horrifying watching someone you love slowly disintegrate, losing their memories and their self piece by piece as the days go by. 

There are a number of ideologies when it comes to Alzheimers treatment. People can get pretty ... passionate about it. But, whichever course you choose, keeping an Alzheimers patient's mind active can sometimes help to slow the progression of the disease. 

So, my wife was there every minute of every day, working to keep her mom stimulated and engaged. The oldest memories are the ones that linger the longest. So, we daily took her to thrift stores and antique shops and wandered with her among the old things from her childhood -- hoping to reinforce those happy memories. My wife took her mom to visit friends and family. They went fishing, something both women loved to do (I clean the catch and cook it, but fishing bores me to tears). It worked, for a while. 

At home, we kept the big TV in the living room tuned the Grit Channel and the Western shows from her childhood, Gunsmoke, Death Valley Days, and Laramie. She increasingly had trouble following the plot, but those shows were all pretty much the same story every episode and if you lost the thread of it, well, the next one picked up in the same place. She had trouble remembering new people, but she knew the faces of actors who've been dead for decades, even if she couldn't remember their names, and again those shows helped keep her memories intact. For a while. 

I cooked healthy meals. We took her for long walks. Because proper nutrition and exercise can also help slow the disease. 

But the operative word here is "slow."

Alzheimers only goes one way. 

Eventually she developed something called Lewy body dementia -- which means she started seeing things. Bad things. For some reason those with this affliction never see happy illusions, only terrible ones. Medication can, sometimes, lessen the severity of the delusions, but they never really go away. People with Alzheimers often become paranoid, convinced that those around them must be playing tricks on them. It's very hard, often impossible, for them to believe it's their own mind that's betraying them. They begin to lose track of time. They become combative. Agitated. The disease causes other health problems as the parts of their brain that regulate their bodies fail. They forget how to eat. They forget how to use the bathroom. They stop sleeping. They refuse to take their medication -- and eventually the medication stops working anyway. 

Being a caregiver for Alzheimers is more than a full time job. 

At first, in the early stages, you can maybe get a break every few days. They can be left alone in their rooms or in front of the TV for a short while. A friend, a family member, can take the watch for a few hours. But sooner or later, it becomes every minute of every day of every week of every month of every year. You have to be vigilant every moment. You look away, even for second, and an Alzheimer's patient can hurt themselves, can wander away into the woods or the road, can do something that endangers others and themselves. You don't get any sleep, because you have to be there, all the time. You can't even go use the bathroom, because somebody has to be there. You never get any time to yourself. None. 

There's a financial aspect too. It can cost you, a lot. 

Caring for an Alzheimer's patient can destroy marriages and families, and very often does. It can consume you, and it does. 

It takes a pretty solid relationship to keep going because it never gets better, it only gets worse. 

Then came the pandemic. And things got much harder. 

The places we'd take her, closed up. We couldn't visit friends or family. I don't know if the disease advanced more rapidly then, or if it was just coincidence, but you reach point where the disintegration begins to accelerate and you can't do it anymore. 

That's when you need professional help. 

For us that was about a year ago. 

We moved my mother-in-law into managed treatment, a facility that specializes in round the clock care for this sort of thing. They're professionals. There's a team. They're there, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in three shifts. We know she was happy there. There were people to talk to and things to do and my wife visited often (only one of us could go, due to COVID). She was well cared for, far beyond our capability at that point -- and I'm sharing this with you, because if you find yourself in this situation, caring for a loved one with this terrible disease, there comes a point where you have to make this decision and you should do it without guilt. Because it's the right thing for you both. 

But Alzheimers only goes one way. 

And there's only one end. 

And for us, for her, that was last week. 

It wasn't unexpected, but that doesn't make it any easier. 

She went without pain, without suffering, with her family around her. 

My wife and I have been together for 30 years and there's no way I'd let her face this alone -- though I'm not sure how much help I really was. We did what families do in times like this, we transported family to and from the airport, we fed people, and comforted each other, and made the arrangements, and did the things you do in times like this. 

And so that's where I was. 

That's why I couldn't make it. 

I'm sure you understand. 

Hopefully, I'll see you all in Chicago for the next Worldcon. 


307 comments:

  1. My condolences to you and your family on the loss of your mother-in-law. You have done the hardest caregiving job in the world. Take time for yourselves now.

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  2. I was afraid that's what was happening. You'd made enough comments over the last few months about this situation. I'm truly sorry.

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  3. Sorry to hear that, my sympathies to your family.

    I had to witness my grandfather go through advanced Alzheimers. I understand just how tough a road it is.

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  4. Your MIL was so lucky to have had that level of care from her family. My heart goes out to you, your wife, and your family.

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  5. My deepest sympathies.

    May there be strong good memories to help through the loss for your wife, you, and the family, as Christmas arrives.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss, Jim. Knowing that this day is coming doesn't make it any easier, I know. But from the glimpses of your family that you've shown us, I know your bonds are strong and you will get each other through this. My sincere condolences to your wife and yourself, and all your mother-in-law's family and friends. May her memory be eternal.

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  7. Your mother-in-law was blessed with kind children. And a kind son-in-law. I'll offer no prayers but your words move my thoughts. So you have my thoughts. I hope that if such a terrible affliction strikes one of my loved ones, I can be as kind, loving and supportive as you have been.

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  8. Good to share your experience with others. Caring for others with love and compassion reminds us to appreciate those things we take for granted - emotional stability, peace of mind, and how much we truly are interdependent on others for our well-being.
    Hang tough, Chief, and know that you are in good company.

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  9. My sympathies. I've been there. My mother followed the same progression. Stages 1 through 5 of Alzheimer's, right down the line.

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  10. Wow Mr. Wright... my mum passed from dementia. The last "half" of the disease was fast. She was bedridden, but still managed to get "into trouble". I really really hope folks take your advice to heart. Wasting diseases of the mind are terrible fates, for all people involved. I hope you all can find some small measure of comfort that you can rest a little easier now.

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  11. One of my cousins dealt with this with her mother, my aunt. Combative doesn't even begin to describe it. As for the hallucinations, well, yeah, that stuff probably bears a close resemblance to a Hieronymus Bosch painting. My condolences to you both.

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  12. Sincerest condolences to the family. That was hard and kudos to your family for doing all that you did.

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  13. My grandfather was deep in the throes of Alzheimer's when I saw him before he died. He couldn't speak – all he could manage was an unintelligible slur. He didn't recognize me – he actually thought that I was my dad, because apparently I look like he did when he was younger. He didn't remember that I couldn't read Greek – he tried to get me to read a passage from his Greek Orthodox bible, which I tried my best at, since I could at least recognize some of the letters.

    He used to teach himself a new language every year by studying the textbooks and dictionaries, and then reading the Old Testament in that language, since that was a book that he knew backwards and forwards from his days as a Christian missionary to Japan. I know that at the very least, he spoke English, Hebrew, Latin, Greek, and Japanese, and who knows how many other ones.

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  14. So sorry for your family's loss. Hoping it's (WorldCon) all the sweeter next year.

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  15. My sister and her husband were able to move in with my mom when she was diagnosed. I know your journey, and I know there are no words that suffice. Wishing you and your wife peace.

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  16. My condolences. Caretaking is a rough job, no matter how you look at it. Losing family members little bit by little bit is hard to deal with. Peace be with you and your family.

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  17. My sincere condolences to your wife and family. Alzheimers and dementia is a scourge we will see much more as we Boomers age. Our docs are keeping our bodies healthier, but there is little that can be done for the mental decline.

    Wishing you and family a peaceful holiday, knowing your duty is done for now.

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  18. I have lost both parents to this awful disease. My dad quietly and with little suffering back in 2013 and mom, well, just about exactly a year ago now in a skilled nursing facility in Lake Wales FL, she contacted COVID. That, on top of her COPD, was unsurprisingly the (awful) end. It was a terrible thing with COVID lock downs to be not allowed to visit during that last 6 months of her life. And it's very troubling to think about how the end came. Literally, within an hour of my being contacted because she was having breathing difficulties and they needed to commence some additional treatments.... her body literally smothered her. No doubt with great fear filling her last moments.

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  19. FWIW, you have my deepest sympathies, Chief - for your family's loss, for the stresses that you all went through, for the writing of what must have been a particularly painful open letter to a bunch of strangers on the web, for feeling that you have some obligation to detail your family's pain to a bunch of strangers on the web.

    Wishing your family peace, love, and healing.

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  20. Oh, I am so very sorry. We went through that with my father. One of his nieces chewed out my mother for putting him in a nursing home (a good one a mile away, and she and my sibs visited him daily - I live in another state), even though she never had visited with him in many years. I had to think of the confusion as being time travelling in his head -- he thought I was his older sister, since I as obviously too old to be his daughter. His death was expected and a relief, but still a shock when it happened.

    Take the time you and your family need, with all good wishes.

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  21. I guessed. I think most of your followers must have done. If they didn't then they can't have been paying attention.

    Beyond any doubt it was the right thing to do.

    My sincere condolences to you and your wife and the rest of your family.

    May she rest in peace

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  22. I grieve with you and your family. As a former caretaker for my own mother, you were a bigger help to your wife than you realize.

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  23. I guessed. I think most of your followers must have done. If they didn't then they can't have been paying attention.

    Beyond any doubt it was the right thing to do.

    My sincere condolences to you and your wife and the rest of your family.

    May she rest in peace

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  24. My sincere condolences on your loss. You didn’t really owe anyone an explanation, but I appreciate your candor anyway. Wishing you comfort and peace over the holidays, and hoping you are able to find light and joy in the New Year.

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  25. That's a horrible disease, and it's devastation extends to the entire family. It was wonderful that you and your wife could provide the kind of support and care that you did. You may say that your wife did it all, but no one can do it all without someone backing them up, as I'm sure you did. I'm sorry that anyone goes through this, but it sounds like your mother-in-law was luckier than many, probably most, to have had the kind of care that you and your wife were able to give.

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  26. Thinking of you my fellow Mid-Michigander (thinking of your family place near where I live). I have lost both parents to this awful disease. My dad quietly and with little suffering back in 2013 and mom, well, just about exactly a year ago now in a skilled nursing facility in Lake Wales FL, she contacted COVID. That, on top of her COPD, was unsurprisingly the (awful) end. It was a terrible thing with COVID lock downs to be not allowed to visit during that last 6 months of her life. And it's very troubling to think about how the end came. Literally, within an hour of my being contacted because she was having breathing difficulties and they needed to commence some additional treatments.... her body literally smothered her. No doubt with great fear filling her last moments.

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  27. Both of my parents had dementia journeys. Small consolation was I knew as bad as it was, it could be worse. Other families loved ones were in hell compared to my parents. As you said, it only goes one way and it only has one ending. You and your wife did the hard thing, and that is as good as life gets. Merry Christmas as there still is Joy in our world.

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  28. My condolences to you all. Having been a caregiver for someone with alzheimer's, it is a brutal road.

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  29. I'm sorry. Thank you for sharing. This helped me (my Dad died of Alzheimers), and I'm sure it helps more people than you'll ever know.

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  30. Thank you for sharing. Dementia runs in my family. My mother and her cousin are both currently afflicted at age 79. It hasn't gotten too bad for my Mother yet. Her cousin was just put into a nursing home for 4,000 a month. I watch from a distance as my brother and his husband care for my Mother and worry that will be my fate as well. I am sorry for your loss and the sacrifices you all had to make. May you never have to deal with that again.

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  31. Going thru this with my Mom for the past 5 years....yes ONLY gets worse & that's the absolute truth we all must face. Family suffers more from this disease than the person with it. Sorry for your loss, we all must face it at some point.

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  32. Thank you for your advice. We just put my parents into an assisted living facility and given my mom's inability adjust, we did it too late. My dad had a stroke and she is his caregiver. He's fine. The transition barely registered for him because he had her. She's reeling. At 91 it's a lot for her to work through. We figured it would be easier now. But she needs to learn lots of new things and set new routines. It has surprised us. Like you said, it will only get worse. My condolences. You're a good son-in-law and husband.

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  33. My condolences to you and yours. Much love.

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  34. You and your family have my deepest sympathy. My mother died 10 years ago in exactly the same way.

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  35. I lost my Mom to COVID technically in May of 2020, but she had dementia and was in a nursing home too. It was hard to put her there. The situation was not helped by unhelpful family members saying we gave up on her too soon, she should have dies in her own home. It's been almost 2 years but I will miss her forever. I wish your family peace.

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  36. Thanks for this. I've been in your position, and it's not easy as the son-in-law either. In the end a peaceful passing is all you can hope for, and I'm happy for your family that that is what happened.

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  37. I am on this journey with my mother and much of what you and your wife have lived is parallel to mine, what I call the long, slow goodbye. My family and I are and will forever be grateful for the memory care residence and its highly capable staff, where Mom is well cared for and happy. Condolences to you all and be relieved that her suffering is over.

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  38. Thank you for sharing your situation. I am glad your MIL had such a caring family. I wish you and your family peace.

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  39. Jim, I resonate.

    I'm so sorry for y'all's loss.

    Both of my parents died from Alzheimer's. My Dad lasted 2 years and my Mom lasted 7. And my finances have destroyed forever. I hope yours haven't.

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  40. Thank you for sharing your situation. I am glad your MIL had such a caring family. I wish you and your family peace.

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  41. I’m sorry for your loss and your pain. I experienced this, with my maternal grandmother, my father-in-law (early onset, taken at age 64), and his own mother. It is awful. That disease appears on both sides of our family, and not a day goes by when my husband and I don’t silently think, as we forget why we entered a room, or forgot the point of a conversation, is this early onset Alzheimers in us?

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  42. Deepest sympathies to you and your entire family on your loss. As you remember the good times you had with your mother-in-law, and the love you have for her daughter, I'm sure peace will come into your heart and into the hearts of your wife and children. Alzheimers is a nasty affliction. It's harder on the family and the survivors, I'm sure. Many hearts are with you.

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  43. Alzheimers is a wretched burden on everyone. The afflicted as well as the family, friends and care givers. I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

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  44. Deepest condolences to you and your family. My mother had dementia; it's a vicious, vile disease.

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  45. I'm so sorry. You were a big help, just by being their and caring.

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  46. I figured this was what happened when you posted that you couldn't go to Worldcon. My sympathies and condolences.
    My husband died 8 days ago. He didn't have Alzheimer's, but he had Wernecke's syndrome from lifelong alcoholism. I have been waiting for this "other shoe" to drop for over 5 years, ever since he decided we should divorce (which we never did) and I moved to S. Dakota.
    Like your MIL, alcoholism has only one direction as well, especially when they refuse any treatment.
    You don't owe us any explanation, but thank you for sharing with us. My mother lived the last 5 years of her life in a nursing home due to a severe stroke. I've been where you are. Blessings to your wife and your entire family. We do understand.
    Emily J.

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  47. As someone who've also seen what you've seen, and experienced the same via other family members, I sympathize. If anyone gives you any guff for choosing family over a conference, f' em. Unless you've lived it, you have no idea.

    Remember all the good times had, and know that she's there. Perhaps not participating, but cheering you all on. No one is truly gone, as long they are remembered.

    Condolences to all of you.

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  48. My deepest condolences to your family and her friends and all who are suffering from this loss. You're in my thoughts.

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  49. I’m so sorry for your loss and for your wife and family. Thank you for sharing this because there DOES come a point where one person, one family, one extended family can no longer give the person the care they need and deserve. The best we can do is support the financing and development of humane care homes. I’m so sorry for your loss, give yourselves the gift of time and space to recover from this heroic endeavor.

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  50. Deep Peace to you, to your wife, and your family.

    My one grandma, dad's mom, went this way, years before they were calling it Alzheimers. She went pretty much as you describe. It was when the Lewy body dementia started (the hippies were in the rose bushes and the Nazi's were in the trees and they were going to get her) that my parents put her in a facility. The place was literally a block away from our house, so we were able to visit her daily, and that helped, as you say, to a point. I helped my dad clear out her small house and we found duplicates and triplicates of almost everything. She'd buy something and forget that she bought it and buy it again. She lived another 8 months after she was in the care home. As an 11 year old, it was at both times horrifying and fascinating to watch the progression of the disease. Dad never talked about it, so I have no idea how it affected him, I just know that it did.

    Again, I wish Deep Peace to you all.

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  51. Go rest high on that mountain Ma'am. Stroll through the sweetgrass and gather with the ancestors and rejoice in your homecoming. I am so sorry for your loss Jim. Please convey my condolences to your wonderful wife. We went through this in 2019. I know your wife put forth a herculean effort. It is not an easy task. Take more time away and be with your wife. I wish you the best Christmas possible and a healthy and happy new year. Godspeed Ma'am, well done

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  52. My sympathies to your family. I lost my Dad to complications of dementia in March. It’s so difficult to watch a person you love become someone else.

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  53. I lost my mother three weeks ago, not to Alzheimer's, fortunately, but to living for 95 years. The "arrangements" take a lot of time, energy and focus, and they're frequently interrupted by grief.

    My best wishes to you and your family.

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  54. Hugs and much love to you in this time of loss, and my poems, which have helped some friends . . . <3 https://storytellermary.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/mom-poems/

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  55. Been there - except that my mom's was vascular dementia after a stroke rather than Alzheimer's. We were lucky that she could afford a live-in caregiver, (and that she had her Power of Attorney paperwork in order before the stroke) because I would have been a gibbering wreck after a week. And yes, it only goes one way, although she hit a few plateaus on the way.

    It's okay to feel relieved as well as sad.

    There were a few hilarious moments along the way - like the time she told the nurses at the ER that if she were back home (WV) they'd have just given her a shot of Jack Daniels and sent her on her way.

    Or when she had her psychiatric evaluation in 2006, and she got every one of the routine questions wrong (the month and the season didn't even go together) until the last - the doctor asked, "Do you know who the President is?" Mom sat up straight and said "A jackass!" At that point, her caregiver and I damn near hyperventilated, and the doctor was looking like he really wanted to say, "Well, she got one right, anyway!" (She did, in fact, know that it was Bush.)

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  56. Kudos to you and your wife for doing everything you did. It's a terrible disease, and as you so rightly point out, it can consume and destroy caregivers and everything around them. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Wishing you strength and peace, from one who is walking the same path.

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  57. My heartfelt condolences. You don't need to hear it from me, but you absolutely made the right decision. I've seen Alzheimer's on both sides of my family, so I've got some idea of what your family went through.

    Take care of your wife for a while, now, we can manage without you for a while.

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  58. My heart goes out to you and your wife. What you did to care for your mother in law was the purest form of love there is. And thank you for sharing this, it may well help someone else facing this debilitating disease.

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  59. Sending you, your wife and your family love and light. There is not right answer because as you said, "Alzheimers only goes one way," and Lewy body dementia totally sucks.

    Another traveler on the road no one wants to be on and that I wouldn't wish on any other soul.

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  60. Jim and family, my heartfelt condolences to you. Losing people is hard, losing them inch by inch, moment by moment, is excruciating. May y'all find comfort in the days ahead knowing that you did everything humanly possible (and then some) to easy her painful journey.

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  61. Chief, both of you are good people. If I didn't know that already, I'd know it by what you wrote. I know how hard this is, having done something similar with my FIL. I'm sorry for your loss, especially your wife. All the best.

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  62. I'm so sorry. My mom had Parkinson's, not as awful as Alzheimer's, but no walk in the park. My sisters carried most of the work, mostly because they lived closer. I don't know how people cope. Virtual hugs to you and your wife.

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  63. Sincere condolences. It sounds like you and your family did everything in your power to make her last years as good as possible.

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  64. You and your family have my sympathies. I too have been a full time caregiver. I nursed my first wife when she had terminal pancreatic cancer. I agree that even though you know the end, it is never easy. You and your family take care of yourselves now.

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  65. Went through it with my Mom. I care.

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  66. So very sorry for your wife, family and you. May your MIL's memory be a blessing always.

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  67. I am a volunteer ombudsman in Wisconsin. Basically, I visit residents in long care nursing homes and advocate for them in regard to their rights. They do not lose them just because they live there. The facility I go to, is primarily dementia and old mentally ill. I usually have 1 or 2 dementia residents fixate on me and following me as I go on my visits. We haven't been allowed in since the pandemic began, because we go from resident to resident. Potential super spreader. But I have been virtually participating in their resident council meetings and monthly zoom meetings with my cohorts. In my background is caring for 3 relatives with either Alzheimer's or vascular dementia
    Last week, in our monthly zoom meeting, former Wisconsin Governor Martin Schreiber was a guest. His wife was diagnosed 18 yrs ago. He wrote a book "My Two Elaine's". Included are excerpts from her journals earlier on. He also tells "groaner jokes. I recommend anyone with a loved on with Alzheimer ready it. It's and easy read. It talks a lot about care giving care. That by accepting and entering their new world, things go better. An example, every one asked me about where their mother or some other close loved one was or was doing. Those loved ones were long dead. After first telling Grandma her oldest son had died and watching her grief, I lied the next time and said he was fine. She was fine.
    It's a good book about resources for the care giver and the patient.
    Jim, my deepest sympathies to your wife and yourself. The air currents around you are different, but they are still moving. She has all the answers now.

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  68. My condolences to you and your family, Jim. My mom was diagnosed with PPA just before the pandemic hit and I know we will have a similar experience ahead of us. May your mother in laws memory be a blessing to all who knew her.

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  69. Wishing you both peace and strength as you navigate the next steps in the process. Alzheimer’s does indeed suck, I’m sorry. We’ve recently lost both our fathers, one in 2019 and one in 2021. It’s a tough gig.

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  70. You and your wife did your best until the very end and your MIL was so lucky she had you both by her side. This is what love is.

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  71. My deepest sympathy to you, your wife, and all of your family. Watching someone you love loose their memory is hard on all involved. You done all you could for your mother-in-law and will continue to do everything your family needs in time of need.

    Staying with family is far more important than seeing friends and fans at a Worldcon. While I missed being able to meet you, I do hope that we can meet in Chicago at Chicon 8.

    My mother died during the night while I was at the 2001 Worldcon helping with a bid party. We had to rush back home to be with family. I found out once I got home, that my brother had called our house 15 minutes after we had gotten on the road to Philly.

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  72. Caregiving is THE hardest unpaid job in the world. My mother was exactly the same, including the paranoia and hallucinations. All my love and compassion to your wife, you and your family, Chief.

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  73. Thank you for sharing this. It's painful on one side, but you're glad she is no longer suffering on the other. Very conflicting emotions. You have my sympathies and best wishes for (eventual) improved days.

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  74. Hugs... I did that for my mother too. Same loving hell. Being there for your wife, just standing behind her made a huge difference for her. Trust me on that. You were the net, she was the acrobat. Keep it up because she still needs it.

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  75. My condolences to you and yours. Alzheimer's is a bitch. Hug and love to you all.

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  76. I’m sorry. Thank you for sharing your journey, especially on behalf of all those who may find help on their own future paths. “May her memory be for a blessing” is a saying that has had a lot of power for me. I hope your memories (and the knowledge that you served your family well) will bring you some peace this dark season.

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  77. Thank you for helping me understand what too many of my friends have gone through, and your beautiful way of facing it.

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  78. I have lost my Grandmother, my Uncle and am now losing my Mom to this awful disease. My sister gave up 5 years of her career to live with Mom and now I have her here in Assisted Living. The tears are now flowing down my cheeks as I feel such a compassion for you and all of the rest of us fighting for our loved ones.
    The irony...my Mother has a masters in Geriatric Rehab and was working with an Alzheimer's program when she was struck down.

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  79. May her memory be a blessing. You and your family have my sincerest sympathy. I was my mother's primary caregiver during her dementia, and I wouldn't wish it (either the disease or caring for someone with the disease) on my worst enemy. May you find peace and healing as you keep going.

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  80. I have lost my Grandmother, my Uncle and am now losing my Mom to this awful disease. My sister gave up 5 years of her career to live with Mom and now I have her here in Assisted Living. The tears are now flowing down my cheeks as I feel such a compassion for you and all of the rest of us fighting for our loved ones.
    The irony...my Mother has a masters in Geriatric Rehab and was working with an Alzheimer's program when she was struck down.

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  81. Thanks. My Mom passed last March after dealing with Alzheimer's. Thankfully, she had long-term home health insurance so she had caregivers at home 24/7. Sister lived there and was a great manager.

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  82. My deepest condolences to you and your family. I grieve with thee.

    Robin Williams was diagnosed with Lewey Body Syndrome. It was why he committed suicide.

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  83. I'm sorry for your loss. I am in the same boat of dealing with both inlaws. It is one of the toughest, sadest things to deal with. I wish you and the family peace.

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  84. My sympathies, both for the end and the journey that led there. I wondered if that was what happened.

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  85. Sending my condolences to you and your family .. I know exactly what you have been coping with .. Every morning I wonder if my mom will be the same person I put to bed the night before. Difficult, stressful, sad, exhausting.. but worth doing for a loved one, no question. Thanks for your comprehensive, thoughtful insights. Sharing is therapy, right? The new year brings hope for us all.

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  86. My condolences to you and your amazing wife.

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  87. I'm sorry for the loss you and your family have had. I was a caregiver for my mother and it's not easy. Lean on each other and draw strength from each other. May your memories bring you some comfort

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  88. You didn't owe us anything, but thank you for sharing. I had a feeling it was this. Quite a few people I know have lost loved ones this month, not to Covid, but simply old age. My last remaining aunt died last weekend. I'd like to offer my sympathy to you and your wife, I know that even when you expect it, it is still hard and a shock.

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  89. Deepest condolences to you and your family at this time. My grandfather also had Alzheimer’s and yes, after awhile you do have to make the choice of professional care. I am happy you got good memories with your mother-in-law even towards the end.

    Ironically I was in the DC area unexpectedly last week, but not for WorldCon. But I was happy to see one of my friends win a Hugo.

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  90. My grandma went that way, and you're right it only goes one way. It's so hard may her memory be a blessing.

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  91. Lost my mom to the same disease, so when you said you couldn't go to Worldcon I wondered. So very sorry. Condolences to you and your lady. You did all the right things. You're so right that Alzheimers is a one-way street, and all-consuming for the caretakers. Give yourselves some time, now, to rebuild your lives and to grieve and to heal. It was a year after my mom died before I started thinking straight again. Sending you all the peace, healing thoughts, and self-care the ether can handle.

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  92. So sorry, Jim. Alzheimers is a horrible disease that mostly affects the family more than the patient (after a certain point), although with Lewys that's a rough road for patients. You and your wife did well. I know all the voices that come back at you with that (dealing with my own Mom's dementia). It sounds like your mother-in-law was taken care of with as much dignity, grace, and love as is possible.

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  93. I'm so sorry.

    I'm currently at the beginning of this journey with one of our parents. And I know this will only get harder and harder.

    Of course you stayed home.

    I hope that your family can regain some of its old rhythms soon.

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  94. So sorry for the loss your family experienced. May you find some comfort knowing you always had her best in mind.

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  95. Please accept my sympathy and share it with your family.

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  96. Please accept my sympathy and share it with your family.

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  97. Sorry to hear this, my condolences to your family.

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  98. I have not experienced this personally. Is it horrible to say my parents passed from other reasons and I was spared? But, I have a dear friend who lost both of his parents to this end; his mother most recently. He is still struggling with closure. For all of it. My only offering is the hope that one day your wife finds peace. That you find peace. For shepparding someone through these final days. It is not for the faint hearted.

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  99. I'm so deeply sorry for your loss and for the hard road that led you to this point. My mother had dementia so I have some understanding of your struggle. I hope your wife is comforted by many happy memories of her mother pre-Altzheimers. I hope you both allow yourselves time to recover and, whatever you both do, don't feel guilty that you feel relief that it's over. Much love to you and the family.

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  100. Chief, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. My heart goes out to you all.

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  101. Chief, I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. My heart goes out to you all.

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  102. Thanks for sharing, Jim. My sincere condolences out to you shipmate. I too have dealt with the heartbreak of Alzheimer's in my family, on both my Mom and Dad's side, so I know genetically the deck is likely stacked against me. Do the best you can, while you can, but don't be afraid to ask for and get help. Your words as usual eloquently describe something that is very hard for others to understand. BZ

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  103. My sympathies and condolences to you and your wife and all who were touched by your wife's mom that will miss her. May all the happy memories of her be a comfort to those she's left behind. Big hugs to you and yours.

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  104. You and your wife, as well as the rest of your family, have my sincere sympathy. My favorite aunt was afflicted with early onset Alzheimer's, probably about 50 years ago. She was a brilliant woman, a registered nurse, very active in the civil rights movement, just a wonderful, caring person. It was heartbreaking to watch her deteriorate.

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  105. Jim,
    My mother-in-law also had Lewy body dementia, and your description is spot on. She passed in January of 2020 after close to 7 years. May you and your wife now find time to breathe and perhaps play, after this unrelenting, painful journey. Thank you for your words.

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  106. My elderly parents live us. My father is disabled from a stroke 18 years ago and my mother has Parkinson’s. We live this every day. Caring for your aging elderly parents is a blessing and a curse. You are a good man.

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  107. Oh Jim, I am so sorry. You've really caught the unrelenting sorrow of having a family member with dementia. There were times I just had to leave the room because seeing my dad, the rocket scientist who loved to show people how to use a slide ruler to do calculus, reduced to playing imaginary hearts with my niece (his hospital gown had groups of dots all over it, she'd figured out that he was seeing what looked like spades) just killed me.

    My best to you, your wife, and your family. The pain lessens. And the joyous memories do return.

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  108. I'm sorry to hear this. If we live long enough we are unlucky to go through watching someone we love die, usually in a slow agonizing way. You did the right thing, the loving thing, stood by and helped as was as much as possible. Take care, and take a break with your wife. My condolences.

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  109. Damn , Jim . I'm sorry . My condolences to all y'all .My Mom died of Alzheimer's , & it was bad .I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy , and certainly not on someone I liked or admired .Peace to you all .

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  110. Oh, Jim. My heart goes out to your wife, you, and everyone else who loves your mother-in-law. I quit my career to caretake my mother, who had dementia, for years. She passed three years ago. I understand every word you said and cried as I read them. You and your wife are to be commended for doing the hardest job in the world. No breaks, little sleep, and there is never a happy ending. Be gentle with yourselves as you navigate the early stages of mourning. Thank you for sharing what happened.

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  111. I am so sorry for your loss! We lost my father to that terrible disease a few years ago. My mother cared for him mostly on her own for far too long until she couldn't anymore. As sad as it was to lose him it was also a relief that he was out of pain.

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  112. I am so sorry for your loss. Both of my grandmothers were lost to Alzheimers and now its my mother-in-law's turn. I know what's coming and I dread it, but it's not like we have a choice other than to draw on each other's strength and get through it.

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  113. May you, your wife and all involved in such a painful, noble effort find peace at this time.

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  114. So sorry to hear Jim. The whole move from Alaska to Florida, gave us all an understanding of what you had to do, we knew it was family. But still, this final explanation still hurts inside of us, for you. Thanks for sharing something so painful and personal.

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  115. I'm sorry for your loss. And that you had to go through this. My mother-in-law's Alzheimer's went from early stage to pretty advanced during the pandemic. Now she needs someone to watch her at all times because she keeps hurting herself. It's rough.

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  116. My sympathies. And mad respect for the time and effort your family expended to make her progression less horrific.

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  117. My condolences to you and especially to your wife. My dad had Alzheimer's, and we experienced many of the things you wrote about, including the weird memory loss where recent memory is gone but long-term memory is still pretty much intact. Towards the end, my dad couldn't recognize his grandchildren but could still tell vivid tales of his time as a soldier in WWII. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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  118. I offer you and your family my condolences and wish you all peace.

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  119. I'm very sorry for your loss. It's not easy. My step-mother died from Alzheimer's last December and it really sucked because we hadn't been able to see her for months. You're right. There's only 1 way it goes and when you need additional help, it's best for everyone. My thoughts are with your wife and family.

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  120. My condolences to her family. We lost our grandmother to this horrible disease.

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  121. My condolences Mr. Wright. Even tougher with Alzheimer's because you don't just say goodbye once but have to face loss over & over again.

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  122. Lost my brother-in-law to Lewy body dementia. It took Robin Williams too. It's a brutal progression. You are a good man, married to a good woman. My hat's off to you. My sympathy.

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  123. So sorry for your loss...You and your wife and Family are truly fine people. Your Mother-in-Law is in a better place and had the best possible care in such heart wrenching circumstances before she passed.

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  124. So sorry - my mother-in-law is on the same downward trajectory and I understand how heartbreaking it can be to watch the essence of the person you love disappear before your eyes. It's an awful disease and so hard for everyone involved.

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  125. Sorry for your family's loss, Jim.

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  126. I'm so sorry for your loss and heartbroken for all you and your wife had to deal with. I hope you find a way to renew yourselves after all the stress and sadness.

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  127. I am so very sorry for you and your wife's loss. You are absolutely correct, Alzheimer's only goes one way. We lost my beautiful vibrant Mom to this horrible disease during this pandemic. So much previous time lost. I believe it takes a toll on those who are suffering as they are missing loved ones. I'm glad you are there for your wife. She will need you.

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  128. My condolences to your wife and your family. May the happy memories give you all comfort that you did the best under the most difficult of circumstances.

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  129. Thank you for sharing this. You are so eloquent about something so taxing and uncomfortable. My heart is with you and your family.

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  130. Jim, I'm so damned sorry your mother-in-law, and you, and your wife, and all the people who love any/all of you, had to go through the awful horrorshow of Alzheimer's and Lewy Body. My husband and I went on that same dark journey with my mom, though her diagnosis came out of an early and sudden psychotic break with all the Lewy Body frills and furbelows - paranoia, hallucinations, and so on. It was terrifying.

    We were "lucky": We bought her almost five years with meds, an excellent care facility, and lots of attention showered on her, including revisiting all the old memory stuff like photo albums and music she'd loved when young. But no matter how many good days the patient is graced with, as you said, there's only one direction this disease goes. Stumbling along behind it with nothing much you can do is agonizing.

    You and your wife get some rest, PLEASE. Do some things only for yourselves. You both need surcease from this long-term stress. Wishing you much-needed peace and joy.

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  131. My dad suffered from cognitive decline before he died. Fortunately he went before Alzheimers advanced. Being out of town I mostly came in relief. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

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  132. Thank you for sharing. I hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

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  133. This could almost have been written about my father. We buried him in August. He lived with my sister for two years, and then with my husband and me for 2 years. He went to a lovely nursing home in his hometown in March and passed away in August. I understand the pain as well as the sense of relief. We did everything we could until we could not. For him, the last few years were just existing, not living. My condolences to you and your wife.

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  134. Sending you and your family my love. I have a friend whose husband went through the same thing and it is horrifying. I supported Alzheimer’s research in Henry’s honor and would do the same for you if you desire.

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  135. My grandmother,my father ,my aunt and now a cousin. The rest of this generation wonders who is next. Sorry for your families loss. It truly is a terrible fate.

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  136. I’m sorry for you & your family. Lost mom to Alzheimer’s 4 years ago, my uncle to Lewy Bodies/Cancer 6 years ago. It’s a horrible disease and watching someone lose themself is heartbreaking. Given what you’ve written about your wife I’d surmise her mother was a strong independent woman. Losing her bit by not until she didn’t know her is a painful journey. Blessed be to your entire family.

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  137. The paranoia is when it begins to get harder. For my mother that began more than a year ago. And now this year she’s in managed care. Sending positive energy/prayers for your mother-in-law and your family. It is so hard. Went through this with my grandmother at the end of my grandmother’s life she got the points forgot how to eat I was down to 80 pounds. I’m hoping things don’t get that bad for my mom. I think she’s happier now the managed care place.

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  138. I'm very sorry for this great loss. I hope that memories of happier times are a comfort to your family now.

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  139. I am so very sorry for your loss. My Father In Law passed from Alzheimer's on November 14th. I know what your family is going though and I wish you all peace and the comfort of memories and time to decompress... it takes so much out of families.

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  140. I'm so sorry. My dad cared for my mom through her dementia/Alzheimer's (I could never get him to admit what it was). As it was progressing, she fell and broke her hip, then passed due to the pneumonia that often develops when they're bedridden. It was hard on Dad, who was with her for 66 years and adored her. It was hard on me, because I adored her, too. She was always there for me - until she wasn't. It was hard on my brother because he lived close to them and checked on them daily, and continued to do so after she passed, because of the Parkinson's Dad ignored while looking after Mom. I would travel home at least once a month to give brother a break for a week or so. I promise, you helped your wife a lot. My husband was so supportive as we went through everything, just by doing little things that took some pressure off. He did some big things, too, but the important thing was that he was there when I needed him. He also put up with a lot of tears and anger that had nothing to do with him. (I need to go tell him what a good guy he is when I finish this.) He was just as supportive when Dad passed. He's one of the good guys, as are you.

    I completely agree with what you said about letting the professionals take over. It took quite a bit of persuasion to convince Dad to move to assisted living, and we dealt with a fair amount of attempted guilt from others. I found a great place for him - it was beautiful and the staff was outstanding. Unfortunately, he was only there a few days when he had the massive heart attack (we knew it was coming) that killed him. I honestly wish we had talked him into it sooner, because he would have been much more comfortable in his last year. We all did our best, but the professionals would have been better for him.

    I admire what you and your wife did for her mother. You made her life better when she really needed it. We should all be so loved.

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  141. Wishing your family peace in your hearts. My mom told us kids many many yrs ago, if it ever comes to needing to place her or dad in a home. Even if kicking and screaming, please do it. She cared for her own mom and it's a huge commitment especially when you have a family of four kids too. Its exhausting. Your wife is a beautiful daughter.

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  142. Oh, Jim, I'm so sorry. The surprising thing is that no matter how expected a death is, the sense of loss is overwhelming. My heat goes out to your wife, and to you, and to your family. You uprooted and rearranged your lives because this is what loving families do.

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  143. Jim, my heart hurts for you and your wife. The sacrifices you both made for your MIL, including moving clear across the country, are awe-inspiring. Sadly, I know what you went through. My Dad passed from Alzheimer's in the 1980s. We had an autopsy done and were told it was an advanced case of the "familial type." Since then, two of his brothers, one of my mother's sisters. My brother in CA is suffering through it, and I am now caregiver for my younger sister in Michigan who is in independent living and showing signs of memory loss. Such a devastating legacy to have! Reading these comments shows how many of us are touched by that awful disease. I wish all of us some peace during this holiday season.

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  144. My deepest sympathies and complete understanding. My Mother fortunately evaded this, suffering simple senility in the end, but my Aunt, her sister, followed in the path of my maternal Grandfather — who my Mother had moved to Australia to help look after — and declined until her death. My cousin was the one who bore the weight of being there.

    Now a friend is undergoing the same with her mother. She’s away in California for weeks at a time, her life here on hold. It’s a train wreck for her family, with endless stress as one sister battles with another over how to handle matters, and it’s doing their health no favours. I came to know and like their mother, a sharp, funny woman, and it’s a tragedy to me that this has occurred.

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  145. Condolences and sympathy. It's a tough path.

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  146. Peace & Love from New York, Jim.

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  147. Oh. Damn. Just, damn. So sorry to hear this. I feel your pain.

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  148. Sorry to hear this. We went through almost exactly the same thing with my mother a few weeks back. She had dementia associated with Parkinsons, but the progression was exactly the same as you described. It's incredibly tough. You have our sympathies, for whatever they're worth.

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  149. My sincere condolences to you and your family.

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  150. Jim, I could have written this a few years ago, for my dad. It breaks your heart every day, and you fight like hell until you can't fight any longer. My mother (and all us kids) battled the guilt when the burden became too great and we placed him in managed care for the last year of his life.

    You and your wife have done one of the most difficult things a person can do, and you deserve respect and grace for making her life better in the time she had.

    May you both find peace.

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  151. My condolences to you and your family, along with my respect for all you and your wife did to support her mom. Wishing you a peaceful holiday.

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  152. My mother has been taking care of my father with dementia for quite a few years now, and we've hit the final stage. He's in hospice, right now. I understand what you've been dealing with pretty well, you could almost just change the names in the piece you wrote and describe us pretty accurately, except for the getting him into professional care part. Where we are that's proven very difficult, as he was physically capable of most daily living activities, so long as you spent your energy reminding him of what he was supposed to be doing.

    My sympathies and great respect.

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  153. There is only one way it can go, and all you can do is try to make it as smooth as you can. Find time for yourselves, savor the memories of the good times, Laugh a little if you can.

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  154. We've just started this journey with our mother. This gave me a clear vision of what to expect in the future on this horrible journey.
    We're scared but we can do this for Mom.
    This recap honestly feels like a warm hug to us.
    So sorry for your loss. Hugs to you and your wife.

    Thank you Jim.

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  155. My deepest sympathy to you and your wife, and to your family. You did all you could; and I hope that is a comfort to you both. May her memory be a blessing, as we say.

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  156. So very sorry for your loss. When someone has Alzheimer's or any of the other dementias you really grieve twice. You grieve when you realize that the person you knew and loved has been taken by the disease and the when their body is finally taken. Sometimes that death is a relief. You and your wife did everything you could to make your mother in law's final years as good as possible. I wish you all peace, may her memory be a blessing.

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  157. Thank you for sharing this powerful, love story. Her death was "a shock and no surprise"....maybe the most helpful thing anyone has ever said to me and I now give it to you. Your dear mother in law has turned her face towards greater things as she is welcomed into the land of light and joy by angels and archangels. You are a good son. Blessings to you and your dear wife.

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  158. My condolences to you and your wife and your families. We just went through this with my 96-year-old mother-in-law, who just passed away in October, and I can verify everything you said. She passed in a great care facility that made her last couple years as good as could be expected, and passed peacefully in no pain. My heartfelt sympathies to you and your wife.

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  159. Jim, my condolences to you and your family. Thank you, your wife and family for taking care of your mother-in-law. I completely understand the round the clock care that is required as I recently was in-home care for a gentleman with this disease.

    I hope your family can mourn and heal as appropriate.
    Regards,

    Dan

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  160. So sorry for your and your wife's loss, Jim. I was a nurse in a dementia unit and I know what your MIL and your family were going through. Bless your wife for all that she did. Not all families are so knowledgeable or caring.

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  161. My condolences to your family. Alzheimer's is one of the most horrible diseases. It was a blessing you were all able to give her the best life she could have.

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  162. Sitting here all teared up coz my dad died just over 3 years ago with Parkinsons and Lewy Body Dementia. I wouldn't wish the experience of caring for him and watching him decline so much from the man he used to be to the man he became on anyone. Big love to you and your family.

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  163. As others have noted here already, Jim, there were many, perhaps most of us, who realized that your move from Alaska to Florida was a move that you and your wife needed to make for her mother. You have earned our respect over these years not only for the fine writer, active thinker, and reliable shit-disturber you are, but for the man many of us understand you to be - as best we can, through years of digital correspondence. That's what you do - the right thing. My heart goes out to your wife, to you, your family, and to all who were there to care for your mother-in-law. May peace and some measure of solace be with you.

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  164. I can pretty much guarantee that covid accelerated your mother in law's disease. We saw the same thing with my wife's mother who has dementia.

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  165. Very sorry for your loss. My father passed from Alzheimer's, and you are so correct that at a certain point, the majority of care needs to be given over to professionals. It simply isn't possible for one or two caretakers to manage, and the pandemic didn't help because any type of change exacerbates the condition. Heartbreaking for those who are left with just the body, not the mind, of the loved one. Condolences.

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  166. So sorry for your loss, Jim. My condolences to you, your wife, and your family.

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  167. My sincerest sympathies Jim. My dad, all his living siblings, my brother all developed Alzheimer's. You traced the awful journey exactly.
    We kept Dad at home all 16 years. He was 6"4', violent and mean. Mom was the only one who could handle him. He died in my home in 2001. My brother died in 2019. I live in fear of the same diagnosis.
    You have my utmost respect for the support you've given your wife and MIL.

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  168. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. Alzheimer's is truly a horrid disease. I have relatives past and present who have or are dealing with it. Caregivers really need all the love and help and support they can get.

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  169. You're a good person. You're a good spouse. Becky chose well.

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  170. My own mother went that way. It is amazingly hard. My only addition to the Feel No Guilt theme you have going on there, is that it's okay to be relieved. It really is.

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  171. Totally understand. Both my parents are gone now from dementia, Dad with Alzhemer's and Mom from Parkinsons.

    A convention is one thing. Parents are another.

    Now hopefully your wife and you can take the time to both grieve and get some rest and self care. Because that's important, too.

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  172. I'm so very sorry for you and your family's loss. Thank you for sharing.

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  173. No words for this - only tears and the knowledge that you all did the best you could have done. We all just keep marching.

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  174. There are no good or adequate words. I am holding your family in light.

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  175. Wishing peace to your family, along with the space to remember, laugh and grieve, and the future you can build for yourselves.

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  176. As someone whose father went to Alzheimer's, I found this a powerful and moving description of the awful process of inevitable decline. Thank you.

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  177. As others have noted here already, Jim, there were many, perhaps most of us, who realized that your move from Alaska to Florida was a move that you and your wife needed to make for her mother.

    And so the inevitable has come to pass. I am sorry for your loss.

    My heart goes out to your wife, to you, to your family and all who loved and cared for your mother-in-law.

    May you find peace and some measure of solace.

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  178. I'm very sorry for your family's loss, sir. I moved my dad across the country for his last few months, and while it wasn't easy, it was the best thing I ever did. I hope you feel the same for your mother in law, and your wife is an absolute gem for going through that with her.

    You do what you gotta do, we're here for you when you're here and when you're caring for others.

    Paul T.

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  179. I am sorry for your family’s loss. The pandemic also sped up my mom’s deterioration and death. I grieve mixed with relief that she has no more cancer pain. I’m sure your wife feels the same. Your wife is an angel for taking on that painful task. She did every thing to take care of her mother and deserves a long rest. You absolutely need to be with her through all this and owe none of us any excuse. Take care.

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  180. My condolences to your whole family, and my greatest sympathies to your wife. That had to have been amazingly stressful.

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  181. Jim, I'm so sorry that this cruel disease hit your Mother-in-Law, and your family. That her final days were during the pandemic, somehow makes it worse. I know how hard being an AD caregiver is, even under the best conditions. This definitely was worse. I really hope you and your wife remember her the way she was before she wasn't able to remember herself, or maybe even you.

    She's now free of the fear, the terrible disease, and all the suffering. You don't owe apologies or explanations to any of us. Thanks for letting us know. Take care of yourself.

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  182. I am very sorry for your loss. But I so appreciate that you are the kind of man who puts his family first. And I thank you for your story. Our country is aging, and more cases of Alzheimer's are waiting around the corner for all of us who have older family members. And for those of us who will soon be the ones needing the caregiving.

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  183. My condolences to your family. I lost my mother on the 10th, and while she didn't have Alzheimer's, she was having a series of small strokes and we could see her slowly deteriorating. The one decent thing was that she went peacefully in her sleep.

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  184. I'm sorry for your loss. I'm currently trying to deal with a step father (age 93) with Lewy Body Dementia. His hallucinations are not upsetting to him, he sees the cat walking upside down along the ceiling, and people hovering in the air, nothing that frightens or worries him. However, his violent outbursts are distressing and frightening for everyone around him. Most people are aware of Alzheimer's, but we really need more awareness of Lewy Body :-(

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  185. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to you both. Caregiving is a hard job in the best of circumstances. I cannot imagine how hard it must be under those circumstances.

    Bridgitt

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  186. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to you both. Caregiving is a hard job in the best of circumstances. I cannot imagine how hard it must be under those circumstances.

    Bridgitt

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  187. My deepest and most heartfelt condolences to you both. Caregiving is a hard job in the best of circumstances. I cannot imagine how hard it must be under those circumstances.

    Bridgitt

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  188. Your description of the devastating effects of Alzheimer's is so accurate. My husband and I took care of his mom for 10 years and had many trials and tribulations along the way. She got away from us twice and, thankfully, the police were aware of her condition, found her and brought her safely back home. It was a hell of a learning curve as she deteriorated. The child gate into the kitchen so she wasn't drinking the worcestershire sauce, baby-proofing the rest of the house, installing keyed locks so she couldn't leave the house on her own, putting her mattress on the floor so she didn't keep falling out of bed, buying clothing that she couldn't take off herself, treating bedsores, and so much more. My husband had gone to bed and I was watching TV when I felt the urge to go check on her. She had died peacefully. Because of the attention she required, we missed some other signs. Three weeks after she died, my husband fell for no apparent reason. He was diagnosed with an inoperable brain stem tumor and died three and a half months after his mom. I took care of him at home too. Worst fucking year of my life.

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  189. Condolences to you all, peace, and all our love.

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  190. I am so very sorry for your loss.

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  191. So very sorry for your family's loss. And also for the suffering of your wife's mother as well as that of her devoted caregivers. I understand some of what that entails as my husband had and died 19 years ago from ALS after 5 years of home care. ALS too always goes one way. You all did your very best for her and there must be so many good memories to hold onto. I wish you peace and perhaps escape from the fetid swamp?

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  192. My condolences Jim, Dementia is hard to deal with. My 101 year old mother in law suffers from it, angry and paranoid all the time. My wife and her youngest sister are visiting as I type. They think it may be their last visit.

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  193. My deepest condolences to you and yours, Chief.
    Having had worked as an STNA night shift (fewest staff mandated, often highest resident activity) in a skilled nursing unit (dementia/hospice) within our extensive elder care facility, I learned much; as I and the other staff
    often became the only family many of these residents relied upon in their final days. Often, a resident under my care would wait for my arrival before passing away in my presence; usually in my arms. Your dedication to family is more times than not the exception, and not the rule.

    Many blessings to you and yours during this difficult time.

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  194. Lost my maternal grandmother to Alzheiemrs. Mom and Dad cared for her in their home, for probably 10 years before it just became too much. Then Dad was diagnosed. Probably the grandest gift he could give mom, he did. Early on, soon after the diagnosis he told her, 'the day is gonna come. When it does, you do NOT feel guilty. Just do what needs to be done". Now mom is n assisted living, with Alzheimers. I am so gddmn sic of this disease. My condolences to you and yours. My best to all of yoou.

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  195. I am so sorry for your wife and you. I understand fully what you have been going through. I moved to coastal Washington 8 years ago to take care of my parents. Mom has Alzheimer's and is getting to the stage where I can't leave her alone for even a few minutes before she sets something on fire. It is a thankless, dirty job that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. I am getting a well deserved break starting tomorrow and going to my daughters for 6 days! I know you were really looking forward to your trip but family comes first. There will be other gatherings in the future. My condolences to your family.

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