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Look in their eyes- seems to be vacant. A discussion of Alzheimer disease amongst Freepers.

Posted on 12/02/2007 7:31:53 PM PST by mojo114

A Party brought together the family. I have not seen my sister in two year's and I was shocked. My sister is 67 yrs old but was very busy and vibrant, travels the world with her husband.


TOPICS: Health/Medicine
KEYWORDS: aging; alzheimer; alzheimers; dementia; health; oldage; senile; senility
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Terribly upsetting to see a perfectly healthy, beautiful woman to fall under the disease of not really being there.
1 posted on 12/02/2007 7:31:57 PM PST by mojo114
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To: mojo114

It’s in my family. I don’t know if it’s an inherited thing or not but it scares me. I have witnessed two aunts die with this terrible disease, they were my mothers sister and my fathers sister. However, my mother is 87 years old and while forgetful on occasion, it’s not that bad.


2 posted on 12/02/2007 7:37:02 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: mojo114

Huh? I have alzheimer’s in my family so I can relate. But I must say you may wish to write out your vanity in complete and clear sentences so people can understand what you’re trying to say.


3 posted on 12/02/2007 7:37:47 PM PST by plain talk
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To: mojo114

Yes, it is very sad mojo, I took care of my dad who had it for years.


4 posted on 12/02/2007 7:37:55 PM PST by SweetCaroline (***Your own healing is the Greatest Message of Hope to others!***)
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To: mojo114

Is it your sister with Alzheimer’s disease?


5 posted on 12/02/2007 7:40:34 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: mojo114

My wonderful father, the kind of person who puts the “human” in humanitarian, is in assisted care because of Alzheimer’s. I talk to him daily and take him home with me often.

I know this probably sounds facile, but I think you have to be philosophical about it. He’s had a great life. He’s like George Bailey - no one could ask for more. So now he’s slowly fading away, but he has amazing hallucinations that he enjoys telling us about, and days when his memory is clear as a bell. When that happens, my siblings and I jump in to remind him of all the happiness he’s given us. We even try to see the humorous side of the incontinence issue, and laugh with him about it. It helps.

I sincerely hope your sister finds comfort in God and her family around her. I’m wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas.


6 posted on 12/02/2007 7:41:20 PM PST by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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To: CaliGirlGodHelpMe

My aunt on my mother’s side was the most recent family member who had it. I watched her as she went through a very agressive and sometimes violent phase. The doctor changed her meds and it made a world of difference.


7 posted on 12/02/2007 7:44:20 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: plain talk

My sister, who is 67, was at a party with family and friends. I met her after not seeing her for two year’s. She looked at me and her eyes looked vacant. There was not expression in her eyes or face. She was communicating slowly but seemed to be aware of her surroundings. She stood when her husband told her to and appeared to act fine throughout the evening however, her eyes were vacant.


8 posted on 12/02/2007 7:51:29 PM PST by mojo114
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To: mojo114

I believe Alzheimer’s is among the ugliest of diseases as it robs people...especially the elderly...of their most prized possessions...that being of of fond memories and their dignity.

I recall taking my Mother to get her hair “fixed” while she was in a nursing home. She had been a beautician for over 30 years and was picky about how her hair looked. I sat across the room from her and watched her sitting underneath the hair dryer...mostly nodding and barely able to keep her head up...and then she slightly looked up at me and smiled. I saw a slight spark in her eyes I hadn’t seen for over a year...and would never see again. She died from this terrible disease 3 years later. And my siblings and I had to make a gut-wrenching decision about whether we should put her on life support.

Alzheimer’s will be an epidemic in the years to come. And many families will be exposed to this terrible disease. I pray that there will be medical break-thoughs in diagnosis and treatment.


9 posted on 12/02/2007 7:53:03 PM PST by El Whino
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To: Graybeard58

Yes, my FRiend. It is my sister who seemed OK three year’s ago. The look in her eyes I just can’t get over- I am using the word vacant- perhaps I am not using the correct word.


10 posted on 12/02/2007 7:53:53 PM PST by mojo114
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To: mojo114

Do you actaully know that a neurologist has given an evaluation and labeled that the diagnosis?


11 posted on 12/02/2007 7:57:30 PM PST by KC Burke (Men of intemperate minds can never be free...their passions forge their fetters.)
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To: mojo114

Very important to take daily vitamin supplements of B6, B12 and folic acid.


12 posted on 12/02/2007 7:57:52 PM PST by Zuben Elgenubi
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To: mojo114; All

Yes.

It is dreary, distressing . . .

especially given that the disease tends to take their best traits and leave their worst.

But, it can also give us lessons in loving strong and strong willed people who were fiercely independent almost to a fault, as well.

Sometimes changing diapers is not just a cuddly baby goo goo geechi gah gah loving sweetness. But, it can still be a full of sacrificial servant hearted love time.

If we aren’t here to learn to love REGARDLESS, then I think I may have missunderstood the script.


13 posted on 12/02/2007 7:59:00 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Zuben Elgenubi

And vitimin D

and exercise and exercise one’s brain.


14 posted on 12/02/2007 8:01:41 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

I will never forget Ronald Reagan’s fond and friendly letter to America when he announced he had Alzheimer disease.

Nor will I ever be able to express my admiration to Nancy for her courage and sacrifice in making the twilight of his life as comfortable and dignified as possible.


15 posted on 12/02/2007 8:02:20 PM PST by Ronin (Bushed out!!! Another tragic victim of BDS.)
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To: mojo114
mojo, my father was one of the most intelligent men I have known, with a near photographic memory.

While he could fight off diabetes and a resulting heart condition, he could not fight Alzheimer’s Disease. I remember those last several months with great sadness. He wasn’t the man that inspired our family for so long.

As a result I started a FReeper team for Folding@home, a group project dedicated to finding a cure for many diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s. We use our computers when idle to search for a cure.

Most old timers have seen the threads that we start for Folding@home, but if anyone has a computer or a PS3 that can donate time on the system we would love to have you join our merry band of brothers.

The latest two threads are here, with instructions on the second thread. As always, FReepmail me with any questions.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1929553/posts

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1906532/posts

Thanks for the time. Remember, the research that you contribute could lead to a healing for someone you love.

16 posted on 12/02/2007 8:02:45 PM PST by texas booster (Join FreeRepublic's Folding@Home team (Team # 36120) Cure Alzheimer's!)
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To: Ronin

Right. Good points.


17 posted on 12/02/2007 8:04:23 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Quix

Quix,

I agree...though I admit I was fortunate enough not to have to change my Mother’s diapers. Others (family, nursing home staff, or hospice staff) were always there to spare me that gut check.

Mother never complained about changing my dirty stuff...and I’m a bit ashamed that I’m glad I didn’t have to do hers.


18 posted on 12/02/2007 8:05:41 PM PST by El Whino
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To: El Whino

My FIL had this disease. A life-long picky eater, he forgot about the things he disliked. IN his last years, he ate things he never had before. It’s one of the happy memories we keep from those painful years of gradual loss.

When he finally passed away, we had long before said goodbye to the man we knew and loved.

Our kids called it Old Timer’s Disease.


19 posted on 12/02/2007 8:11:23 PM PST by trimom
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To: mojo114
My sister, who is 67, was at a party with family and friends. I met her after not seeing her for two year’s. She looked at me and her eyes looked vacant. There was not expression in her eyes or face. She was communicating slowly but seemed to be aware of her surroundings. She stood when her husband told her to and appeared to act fine throughout the evening however, her eyes were vacant.

I think you're saying your sister has Alzheimer's but that was not made clear. Assumg that's the case - how long has she had it and is she taking medication?

20 posted on 12/02/2007 8:13:02 PM PST by plain talk
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To: El Whino

Did you see the vacant look in her eyes?


21 posted on 12/02/2007 8:13:19 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Quix

Your statement was beautiful.


22 posted on 12/02/2007 8:16:15 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Quix
and exercise and exercise one’s brain.

My wifes father has it...it came on him like a freight train....he seemed fine then had small bouts of forgetfulness....within a month he needed to be placed in a home and has no idea who he is or anyone else for that matter...
He was always busy and was an intelligent man...read alot and had plenty of hobbies...
Now he is in a home wearing diapers

Life can be cruel

23 posted on 12/02/2007 8:20:01 PM PST by Gone_Postal (We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat)
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To: mojo114

My mother has Alzheimer’s and Dementia. My sister and I have agreed to keep her out of a nursing home for as long as possible. I’m the one who is taking care of her.
I get her out of bed, bathe her, feed her. My sister comes over and help’s to put her to bed.
She’s 85.
Not sure how much longer I can do this, been doing it for three years. But, she’s my mom. She gave me life, now it’s pay back time.
Gotta go.


24 posted on 12/02/2007 8:20:37 PM PST by Sauce
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To: mojo114
Prayers for your sister, you & your family. Been through it with my late mother & now am dealing with my dad who is 86 yrs old. He is wheelchair bound & has to be in the nursing home. He is fine some days & others well not so good. When mom started to get forgetful I noticed asap & tried to tell my dad & siblings that something was wrong. By the time I finally got through to them it was too late for the meds . But if its caught early I think there are meds out now that help. Maybe you could talk to her husband or a family member & get her evaluated? Expect denial like I had though. I found nobody wanted to admit there was anything wrong with my mom & as the baby of the family nobody never pays attention to my advice very often. ~P~
25 posted on 12/02/2007 8:23:32 PM PST by pandoraou812 ( Its NOT for the good of the children! Its BS along with bending over for Muslim's demands)
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To: KC Burke; All

I do not know if she has been to a doctor for evaluation. My sister, Nancy, is married to a West Point graduate who graduated with General Schwarzkopf. They are very very busy people as a couple. Her husband arranges trips all around the word for them and they always go to the PA Army/Navy Game.


26 posted on 12/02/2007 8:24:23 PM PST by mojo114
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To: texas booster

I thank you for your words and your links. It is indeed a disease that suddenly takes away all of good parts of the person within. Fortunately, right now, my sister seems to be quiet. (Not like herself).


27 posted on 12/02/2007 8:31:20 PM PST by mojo114
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To: El Whino

It was quite an exercise in humility on all sides.

And humility is a good thing.


28 posted on 12/02/2007 8:32:05 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: mojo114

Thanks for your kind words.

God’s best to you and yours this C


29 posted on 12/02/2007 8:34:01 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Sauce

My love is going to you. I wasn’t living at home when my Dad went nuts. All as we had were reports from Mom. We didn’t take it seriously until Dad wandered off and no one could find him. He did come back, but he was angry.The behavior pattern seems to change.


30 posted on 12/02/2007 8:42:10 PM PST by mojo114
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To: mojo114

This may be a small thing, but the Hallmark Hall of Fame special TV movie that was on tonight had Sissy Spacek playing a darling woman who was in the first stages of Alzheimer’s.

It’s called “Pictures of Hollis Woods” and is mostly about a little 12-yo girl who is a foster child - but Josie, the Spacek character, is someone who comes into her life and is featured throughout the show in a very thoughtful and caring way.

The video is supposed to be available through Hallmark.


31 posted on 12/02/2007 8:43:50 PM PST by Rte66
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To: Gone_Postal

Yes.

SOME go like that. Which, all things considered, would have preferred for my mother.

But, we play the hand we are dealt.

Mother was a stubborn, proud, often irrational woman who could be extremely demanding and abrasive while thinking she was perfectly fine to behave such ways. And that was in her “saner” moments.

With Alzheimer’s she could not do. It was buckets of grief full of sad over and over relentlessly.

But there was a poetic something to it.

She FINALLY had to just sit and receive. Her ordering and demanding were mostly stilled and didn’t matter when voiced as it was all nonsense and Dad finally had to deal with it as nonsense.

And she had to—as much as was viable at whatever levels—she finally had to accept things as they were without throwing a lot of dust in the air and making everyone around her twice as miserable as she was.

I have personal belief that our spirits are quite aware regardless of our mental faculties. And I believe that her spirit was undergoing some training and educating that she had long resisted until Alzheimer’s blunted her stubbornness and willfulness. Thankfully, I think a lot of that took. She finally had a calmness that I’d rarely seen, if ever. Yeah, the vacantness was often there. But thankfully not always and not only.

The last bit of God’s humor . . . she went to pot on the pot. She had a heart attack on the toilet.

I can imagine her laughing about that for eons to come.


32 posted on 12/02/2007 8:48:00 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: mojo114

Six years ago, I began driving a taxi in SF. One of my first fares was a neuropsychologist. I asked her what the most interesting thing happening in her field was. She said that within six to eight years – ten tops – there would be a cure for Alzheimer’s.

A couple of months later a venture capitalist who specializes in biotech got in my cab. I told him what she said. He scoffed that the neuropsychologist was delusional, that it would take the Food & Drug Administration at least ten years to approve any drug. In other words, he had no intention of investing in an Alzheimer’s cure.

A couple weeks after that I had a lawyer in my taxi who specialized in legal issues dealing with AIDS cures. I spoke to her about the disagreement between the neuropsychologist and the VC. She pointed out that Alzheimer’s has two potential cures. One will be for folks who are identified at a young age - possibly in their teens. That one could take a couple lifetimes to test.

However, cures are also being developed for people who are suffering right now. For them, she said that the FDA would fast-track a treatment, like they now do for AIDS, and it would take only a year.

A few months later, an Alzheimer’s researcher told me that his company had cured the disease in mice, but that when it went to human trials it caused encephalitis, which could be lethal. They had to quit.

Months later I drove an MD to the airport. I told him the story. He claimed to have been up for Surgeon General in the Clinton Administration and that the researcher was really not offering any hope. His reasoning was that scientists have no idea what Alzheimer’s even is. When they claim to cure it in rodents, they are guessing that they have even produced it in the mice to begin with.

Then another VC – after several more months – got into my taxi. He agreed with the MD. His comment was that half of all cancer researchers can cure it in mice, but fail with humans.

A few more months went by. I happened to get the researcher back in the taxi and told him what the MD and VC said. His answer was that one of the test subjects had died – not from their experiment. When they did an autopsy, her Alzheimer’s had been cured.

A few months after that, I drove a lawyer who works with bio-tech and venture capitalists. I told her what I had found out. She said that it was true that a successful drug had been developed but that the encephalitis problem caused cash for further enquiry to dry up.

Well, last Christmas, two women got in my cab. As I drove them to the airport, I asked them what they do for a living. They said that they were both brain researchers. I began telling them the above story. They interrupted me and said that they both worked for Elan, the company that had cured Alzheimer’s in mice. According to them, more than one autopsy had been done on humans to confirm that the drug works. Better yet, Elan believes that it has solved the encephalitis problem and that they were - as we spoke - in human trials.

I do not yet know if the trials have been completed. To be honest those women were strangers in a cab, but they seemed like the real deal.

You might check out this web site, especially the pics of mice brains before and after their drug: http://www.elan.com/research_development/Alzheimers/Default.asp

Further, my advice is to spend as much time as you need to (possibly a couple hundred hours) to get as deeply into the who, what, when, where and why of what researchers are thinking and working on.

The National Institute of Health (NIH) would be a good place to begin.

Good luck.


33 posted on 12/02/2007 8:52:06 PM PST by Psychic Dice (ArtOfPsychicDice.com)
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To: Sauce
Sauce, you are wonderful, just wonderful.

Good luck to you, from one who has been thru it, trust me, you will benefit in the end, as will she. To give her dignity, even if she can never know it, is a great gift to your mother.

God Bless.

34 posted on 12/02/2007 8:53:32 PM PST by roses of sharon
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To: mojo114

There is a lot of confusion about diagnosis of Alzheimers and other dementias. Make sure she gets a good evaluation, if you can.... and if you don’t think the Dr has thoroughly examined her get her to another.

FIL G had what they called Alzheimer’s, but we never thought it was. He never got worse, never got combative, never wandered, never forgot us or who he was. It was just an easy out for the Dr. and couldn’t be proved or disproved until after his death. We believe he suffered from permanent short term memory loss as a result of anemia caused by a B vitamin shortage.

You could set a plate of cookies in front of him and he would say “ I believe I’ll have a cookie!” Five minutes later he would sat the same thing, and on and on until they were gone, if you didn’t remove them. He forgot he had eaten one or more! But he could tell you the formula for aluminum, and what he did as a boy, and knew where he was.

Because of a legal battle with the wicked step sibs we had to fight to get him out of an Alzheimer’s ward. He would ask us why he was locked up in a crazy ward. (Thank God we finally got him out) It is heartbreaking to watch, but there can be improvements, both with proper diagnosis and also examining what medicines they are taking. FIL G improved a lot when we removed 5 un-necessary drugs from his regimin.


35 posted on 12/02/2007 8:57:05 PM PST by Grammy
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To: pandoraou812

Thank you for prayers. I am so upset after seeing my sister. She is a a fit woman, a woman who always took care of herself. I understand your problem because my Dad got really bad they put him in a home and you know what?! He fell in love with a woman in the home. It was the strangest thing. The family all gathered around him for his birthday, including my Mom and he didn’t recognize anyone much but he acted OK..
I appreciate you telling me about getting through to the husband to talk. I think I can do that., I will try.


36 posted on 12/02/2007 9:04:56 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Psychic Dice

Hey Cab, I love you.


37 posted on 12/02/2007 9:11:46 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Psychic Dice

Love your narrative. Have no reason to doubt any of it.

However, the NWO GLOBALIST

puppet masters Shrillery et al are so slaish to

have NO intention of curing lots of “useless eaters” in their terms.

They are much more interested in decreasing the global population to 200 million.

GRRR


38 posted on 12/02/2007 9:15:00 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Grammy

Thank you for your insight.


39 posted on 12/02/2007 9:23:28 PM PST by mojo114
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To: mojo114

My Grandmother had Alzheimer’s. It was terrible and I think it must be one of the worst things that could happen to you, to lose your mind. She did seem to do better with things in the distant past. She could talk with you at length about her childhood, for example.


40 posted on 12/02/2007 9:27:38 PM PST by Jaysun (It's outlandishly inappropriate to suggest that I'm wrong.)
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To: Rte66

Thank You.


41 posted on 12/02/2007 9:30:31 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Graybeard58

“The doctor changed her meds and it made a world of difference.”

I would be very grateful if you would tell me more about this (the specific medicines, etc.) You can mail me if you want. Thanks.


42 posted on 12/02/2007 9:39:05 PM PST by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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To: Quix

God Bless you. Your statement sounds like my parents. Both were super independent. Playing golf, afternoon drinks. eating well.


43 posted on 12/02/2007 9:43:30 PM PST by mojo114
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To: Quix

LOL! You sound like a wonderful person. I’m glad you’re here.


44 posted on 12/02/2007 9:47:15 PM PST by CaliGirlGodHelpMe
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To: mojo114

It is almost 1:00AM on the East Coast so I need to go to bed. I will appreciate responses and respond in the morning.


45 posted on 12/02/2007 9:49:38 PM PST by mojo114
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To: El Whino
I change diapers about 3 times a day--my help gets the others. My mom has been bedridden over two years but she learned to use them in the hospital when she broke her hip almost 7 years ago.

My mom exhibited A's characteristics several years ago but it hasn't progressed like A's. I think she has plain old dementia because she is aware of some things-- she wipes her mouth when she dribbles. When she likes something she says, "That's good!"

Mine is 91 and takes her vit C and CELL FOOD plus Km, a mineral supplement, daily. She takes no Rx drugs except an occasional antibiotic.

She has no pressure sores.

My mother is still enjoyable even if she doesn't know what she's saying. Everybody who comes here to check on her just loves her. She does something to make me laugh every day.

46 posted on 12/02/2007 9:50:46 PM PST by lonestar
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To: CaliGirlGodHelpMe

I am sorry but I don’t know. That was about 5 years ago and I remember, the results were dramatic. Not a cure but it sure calmed her down.


47 posted on 12/02/2007 9:50:54 PM PST by Graybeard58 ( Remember and pray for SSgt. Matt Maupin - MIA/POW- Iraq since 04/09/04)
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To: mojo114

God’s best to you and all you love this Christmas.

Hold each other close and cherish the moments shared.

Life has enough struggles.

Time spent loving is never wasted.

Thanks for your kind words.


48 posted on 12/02/2007 9:53:41 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: CaliGirlGodHelpMe

Your kind words touch me deeply.

Believe me, there are plenty hereon who wish I were not only NOT here on FR but probably not even on the planet! LOL.

Thankfully, God and I love them anyway.

But this is one of those seasons in my life where such affirmations are particularly kind and blessed.

Ditto the following to you and your loved ones:

God’s best to you and all you love this Christmas.

Hold each other close and cherish the moments shared.

Life has enough struggles.

Time spent loving is never wasted.

Thanks for your kind words.


49 posted on 12/02/2007 9:55:23 PM PST by Quix (GOD ALONE IS GOD; WORTHY; PAID THE PRICE; IS COMING AGAIN; KNOWS ALL; IS LOVING; IS ALTOGETHER GOOD)
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To: Jaysun

Yes Jaysun. It is all so very sad. Hugs and love to you.You are correct that older people seem to want to talk about old times but maybe that is where their best memories are. I think all of us remember fond times when we are little..


50 posted on 12/02/2007 9:56:58 PM PST by mojo114
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