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The Greatest Love, a Philippine melodrama tv series about a person suffering from Alzheimer was just a tv series I watched but now a reality for us. That’s why  be careful of what you watched and surround yourself with as this might become a reality :).  Kidding aside, this is what life offers us and there is no way to deal things but to accept, be strong and hold on to that faith that GOD is in CONTROL.

My 69 mother-in-law just had a stroke causing her to experience DEMENTIA. According to my research,  Dementia is an overall term used to describe symptoms that impact memory, the performance of daily activities, and communication abilities.”

Prior to this diagnosis, we observed these things:

Day 1: She was listless and very silent which is not her personality.

Day 2: She forgot some things, like her birthday, her age and there was a delay when speaking. She can’t identify some things, she thought of the spoon as a toothbrush. Took a medicine but swallow it directly without opening the foil but glad I was able to notice and grab it immediately from her.She can’t grab the spoon and even asked what she will do with the spoon. She cries a lot.

With these symptoms, the diagnosis was Stroke causing her to experience Dementia. CT Scan Result shows Chronic Infarct, right basal ganglia with focal encephalomalacia.

We have a long battle to go through with this condition and finding what it is all about will definitely help us along the way.  There are 3 things that we should look at : (1) Understanding The Condition  (2) The Stages of Dementia (3) Managing  Stress

So, here is some research about this condition:

Understanding the Condition

Chronic Infarct – “A cerebral infarction is an area of necrotic tissue in the brain resulting from a blockage or narrowing of the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the brain.” More Details HERE

Basal Ganglia – “A region of the base of the brain that consists of three clusters of neurons (caudate nucleus, putamen, and globus pallidus) that are responsible for involuntary movements”.  More details HERE

Encephalomalacia  – “Abnormal softness of the cerebral parenchyma often due to ischemia or infarction.”  More details HERE

As I’ve mentioned, because of this stroke, it leads to DEMENTIA.

“Dementia refers to a category of diseases that cause loss of memory and deterioration in other mental functions. Dementia occurs due to physical changes in the brain and is a progressive disease, meaning it gets worse over time.” “It is an umbrella term that covers many types of diseases that all result in a decrease in memory, the ability to think and reason and the ability for a person to care for herself.”

According to Healthline, there are 7 types of dementia:

  • Alzheimer
  • Dementia with Lewy Bodies
  • Vascular Dementia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Frontotemporal Dementia
  • Mixed Dementia

Among the type, she falls into Vascular Dementia. Vascular dementia is also known as post-stroke or multi-infarct dementia.

The Three Stages of Dementia

According to , there are 3 stages of Dementia

Dementia Stage 1:
“The person becomes aware that she is not thinking and remembering as she did in the past. At this stage, she is pretty good at covering up gaps and lapses in memory.”

Dementia Stage 2:
“At this stage memory lapses and confusion become more obvious and the person can no longer hide her memory gaps from family and friends. Her short term memory is very impaired and she may ask a lot of repetitive questions and be anxious about when events are happening.”

Dementia Stage 3:
“At this stage, your family member is highly impaired by her dementia. It is obvious to anyone speaking to her for more than a few minutes that something is wrong with her ability to think. Her dementia may also limit her ability to communicate”

Managing Stress 

I can’t hide the fact that as early as now, we are going through some issues. It created a significant challenge for us as a couple.  The financial, physical and emotional demands of caring for someone with dementia can be high. These needs will increase as time goes by and that it is important to look after ourselves or it may wear us down.

As always, LIFE is a choice.  It’s either we COMPLAIN or ACCEPT. And we choose to ACCEPT and BE STRONG for this new SEASON of our lives. We may face more struggles and troubles but I am holding and claiming God’s promises:

God will never leave us nor forsake us and God is in control.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

Keep on moving, Jane!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11