Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Dementia or "Welcome to being a Grown Up!"
A couple of weeks ago I stopped by my mother's house. My brother was home from work (and in bed). I asked why he was home - was he sick, etc. My mother handed me a stack of paperwork from the doctors office.
It seems Clynt hadn't been performing his job well, and the smarmy assistant manager was going to fire him. He's worked there almost ten years. The manager stepped in and said, "wait...I know this guy well, and something's wrong." It seemed he wasn't remembering to do things he was told, making poor decisions and generally just forgetting stuff.
The manager sat Clynt down and asked if maybe he was sick and should he see the doctor? Clynt responded that he had diabetes and wasn't taking any meds for that. Of course, when I heard that I was flabbergasted - Clynt does not have diabetes, nor has he ever had diabetes. The manager made an appointment for him, and he went to the doctor.
At 59 years-old, my brother was diagnosed with dementia, early onset.
We knew Clynt couldn't remember much - you'd tell him something and 15 minutes later, you'd tell him again, but we were so used to it that we didn't see how far it had progressed. We made the decision to get all our ducks in a row and retire him from work. I've done nothing but deal with lawyers, doctors and the government since this started. I'm exhausted.
I knew that when my mother dies, I would be responsible for Clynt. I just didn't realize it would be so soon. I'm not ready. He's not ready.
Life is what happens to you while you're making other plans.
*that's me (the smallest) with my brothers Jeff (left) and Clynt (right)