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Source: (consider it) Thread: Aging Parents
Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
I've always heard "sundowning" to refer to the opposite-- the fact that many of the elderly are able to rally fairly well when they are well rested, but as the day wears on they become increasingly fatigued, so that by "sundown"* you see a marked decline, mentally even more than physically. So that any assessment needs to take place at various times throughout the day.

Yes, having googled this I think I've misused the term. The after-dark wanderings and night-time activity can be a thing though; and confusion can set in once the sun's gone down.

You can tell a doctor your concerns, but they can only assess on what they see at the time. And many dementia patients, in the early stages, know that something is wrong with them and will go to some lengths to behave as normally as possible in front of medical staff or social services. They can make you look like a malicious fantasist.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
The after-dark wanderings and night-time activity can be a thing though; and confusion can set in once the sun's gone down.

Yes, definitely a thing. My late MIL used to call at 3 am to come rescue her from dark seedy inner-city corner after her wanderings.


quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:

You can tell a doctor your concerns, but they can only assess on what they see at the time. And many dementia patients, in the early stages, know that something is wrong with them and will go to some lengths to behave as normally as possible in front of medical staff or social services. They can make you look like a malicious fantasist.

Yes, very true and problematic. The more experienced physicians will be aware of this, so resist the urge to feel like a fool-- they probably know better. But it definitely does not help in the very important task of obtaining a good diagnosis.

[ 29. August 2016, 15:25: Message edited by: cliffdweller ]

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:

You can tell a doctor your concerns, but they can only assess on what they see at the time. And many dementia patients, in the early stages, know that something is wrong with them and will go to some lengths to behave as normally as possible in front of medical staff or social services. They can make you look like a malicious fantasist.

...to behave as normally as possible in front of anyone who isn't me, in fact!

I'm sure my son and my brother both think I'm exaggerating, because Mum puts her best foot forward in front of them - at least in part because they are male, and she likes men better! That isn't a criticism, btw, just an observation.

Mum has now reached the stage where she can only handle one thing a day - the cleaner or the hairdresser, say - but not both. After a busy day a week ago, when Mr. S and I left at 4 in the afternoon, she was saying in all seriousness 'I shan't be long out of bed!'

Mrs. S, busy sympathising with all posting here

[Votive]

[ 30. August 2016, 04:29: Message edited by: Welease Woderwick ]

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Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:

Watch out for "sundowning". They sometimes get active around twilight, as night sets in, and maybe want to go for a wander once it's dark.

I've always heard "sundowning" to refer to the opposite. . . .
My mother exhibited sundown syndrome -- her mood became melancholy as darkness fell. It was of course much worse in the winter.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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So, this morning at 7 am I picked up my mobile phone to send Miss S a text - it's her first day back at work after maternity leave. I've already missed a call from Mum (the phone doesn't ring between 10.30 and 7)

Voicemail to say 'I fell over last night and hit my head last night. Now I don't feel very well and I don't know what to do'.

Me, in reply: 'Yes you do. Call 999. Or press the red button'.

Mum: But I'm standing here in a little short nightie...

Me: Then put your dressing gown on. Or get dressed. But stop making excuses and press that button. DO IT!'

Mum put the phone down, but she did press the button, which fetched an ambulance and her kind neighbours. The paramedic was very helpful, and convinced Mum that a care visit daily ('But I don't need them!') might save my sanity [Overused]

When I rang her later, she had grudgingly accepted this, but asked 'And how long is this going to go on for?' Me: FOR EVER!

Anyway, I've managed to get a doctor's appointment for next Monday when I'm next down there, and explained the context. Let's hope that helps!

Mrs. S, who has gone back to biting her fingernails

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Glad your mum called somebody Mrs S. I hope you get a carer sorted and the doctor's appointment is helpful. I was pelased my MiL used her button when she had a fall.
I'm off to see my mum tomorrow. The holiday seems to have made her depressed, she managed to bruise her coccyx, catch a virus and not like her cabin ('It was all brown'). I just think it is too stressful for her to go on holiday indpendently anymore. She's talking about moving nearer my brother, but think I need to talk through all the various options with her beofe she does anything rash. I think getting some help in where she lives would be a start.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
...to behave as normally as possible in front of anyone who isn't me, in fact!

We had an interesting variation of this. My partner finally convinced her parents (aged at that point 93 and 90) to be assessed by a geriatrician. The geriatrician assessed them, we believe, completely accurately, as needing to be in full time care. However, she was unable to tell us this, as father-in-law refused to let her, and he was still legally competent.

They went on living in their home for another 18 months, with my partner having to weather increasing numbers of falls, turns, and accidents without having basic information on their incapacity. We did wonder if it was somewhat negligent on the hospital's part, but all inquiries went into a black hole.

We discovered later that their GP had assessed them as needing full time care even earlier, but they'd sacked him in favour of someone who wouldn't say anything uncomfortable.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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At least he allowed the Geriatrician to make the assessment. [brick wall] [brick wall] [brick wall]

All right he likes to do one thing at once but he is cancelling the appointments that enable access to assistance.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Ariel
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# 58

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It's not assistance, it's the start of a clearly defined path that involves strangers coming into your house daily, your things starting to disappear along with your rights, and escalating to your being taken away against your will (because they'll deem you to have lost capacity) and put in a horrible care home with lots of mad people for company and where you lose any privacy and the staff mistreat you.

They can hide their illness for a while but sooner or later it becomes increasingly obvious to everybody.

I don't know how anyone copes with this in a spouse and for years, especially when both parties are elderly and one has to look after another who may have become violent and incontinent.

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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My Dad is the carer!

He is of sound mind and no one would think of him as mentally incapacitated..


Jengie

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Piglet
Islander
# 11803

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Having expected the worst, my sister and I came away feeling that we'd really had a very good (albeit very brief) visit with Dad.

The first afternoon, which was a beautiful, warm (for Orkney!) sunny one, there were people doing a doggy-agility thing in the garden of the old-people's home, and we all thoroughly enjoyed it (even Dad, who doesn't particularly like dogs).

Afterwards, we were able to take him out in the car, and he seemed to enjoy himself - he was even laughing at amusing reminiscences we were having about Mum.

In particular, my sister was very relieved, as the previous time she'd been up to see him, he hadn't seemed at all well, and she was quite worried about him. He's certainly looking older; his face seems to have sort of shrunk in on itself, making his eyes and nose seem bigger (does that make any sense?) but he seemed pleased to see us, and I think he enjoyed our company.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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That's such good news, Piglet [Yipee] I'm really pleased for you.

I have to call the Dowager this morning, first to see whether the carer turned up yesterday - following the latest fall I have insisted she gets a daily visit. Second, I need to ask why, when the son of her oldest friend called last night offering to take her out to lunch, she referred him to me???? [Confused]

My suspicion is that she doesn't want to go, but doesn't want to hurt his feelings by saying so. She complains of loneliness, but then doesn't want to see people; or maybe she just doesn't want to see them for very long [Confused]

Anyway, I'm taking her to the doctor on Monday so we'll see where - if anywhere - that gets us.

Mrs. S, wishing phoning her mother wasn't always a chore [Frown]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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# 12271

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Good luck with the doctor's visit Mrs S.
I went to see my mum on Wednesday, and her holiday seems to have totally knocked her out, to such an extent that she is in a pretty similar way to when she had that virus at Easter.
We went out for lunch (not that she wanted any), where I intended to re-open 'the you can't carry on like this' conversation. However we bumped into one of her friends and invited her to join us, so that conversation was off. It turned into a very pleasant lunch, though it did make me feel about twelve again!
There are various things that are ringing alarm bells with me, but as Mrs S says, I'm not sure that they would with anyone else yet. When I reported my visit and concerns to my brother his reaction was 'stay cool'. Nothing more guaranteed to make me feel less cool I'm afraid!

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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OK, I wonder if anyone can get me any advice. My mum seems too be suffering from permanent deja-vu - everything she watches on TV she has "seen before", and we went to an exhibition that she has seen "last time".

The TV thing I can accept that so much is similar, so it might just be a faulty memory. The exhibition slightly different, and as I have experienced deja-vu I recognise the presentation as something like that.

Has anyone got any thoughts on what it might be? It has been going on for a while, so is not just a periodic wobble. I strongly suspect she has a neurological problem, something broken in her brain. I should point out that she won't go to the doctors whatever, and I am quite reconciled to the fact that she is deteriorating and dying (she is 86). I just find this particular symptom puzzling.

The thing is, she isn't showing any other signs of mental disorder - yes her memory is sometimes hazy, almost as much as mine. But she is still in control of her senses, broadly. So I think this would rule out degenerative problems like dementia (I think).

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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
take out this broken heart and renew my mind.

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:
OK, I wonder if anyone can get me any advice. My mum seems too be suffering from permanent deja-vu - everything she watches on TV she has "seen before", and we went to an exhibition that she has seen "last time".

This is what my mother had and I described this to doctors and nurses and they just looked blank. I eventually read on some dementia site that it is one of the things that can happen but is not a common symptom.

It seemed to spread. She had to stop listening to the radio and watching television, then she couldn't read books because they repeated and could only cope with magazine articles. Conversations also "repeated" themselves. "You just told me that."

This started when she was still sort of holding it together, but there were elements of wild fantasy starting to show. I don't know if it's solely linked with dementia. My own theory was that there had been some kind of mini-stroke somewhere, but I was never able to prove it. As her illness progressed she stopped talking about it but it was quite a problem for a while as she insisted that things didn't need to be done and bills didn't need to be paid etc because she'd already done that.

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Schroedinger's cat

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# 64

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Ariel - thank you. The odd thing is that in conversations, it doesn't seem to happen so much (it is more a memory issue, that she can't remember if she has already said something, but it may be her approach to the same thing).

A problem with the memory storage processing would make a lot of sense (stoke or similar). She does get confused, but I have not seen any signs of the fantasy that I would expect with anything dementia related.

I am concerned because we live a long way from her, but I do have power of attorney, so I have a degree of responsibility for her. My brothers live closer, so if there was something specific I could do, I could make suggestions to them, but when it is just "She thinks she has seen things on TV before", that is not really a defined concern.

I will continue on the assumption that she might have had a minor stroke and that the early indications of dementia might be setting in.

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Blog
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Lord may all my hard times be healing times
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Piglet
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IANAD, etc.

It seems to me that memory dysfunction can take many different forms. I've seen a couple of people in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease who would repeat the same observation (or question) at fairly regular intervals (maybe about 10-15 minutes), in more-or-less exactly the same wording, without realising they'd said/asked it before.

Other forms may involve remembering things that happened many years ago as though they'd happened last week, or (as happened with my mother, who didn't have Alzheimer's, but was in the early stages of dementia) remembering things or people from long ago perfectly clearly, but not being able to tell you what she'd had for lunch ten minutes previously.

If you have power of attorney, could you ask the advice of your mum's GP, even if she won't go and see him/her herself?

[ 04. September 2016, 23:52: Message edited by: Piglet ]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

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Ariel
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# 58

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Yes, repetitive questioning is a common feature in dementia and remembering things from years ago and forgetting what they had for lunch is also common (and many people without dementia do that too, anyway!). However there are different kinds of dementia depending on which area(s) of the brain are affected and it can manifest itself quite differently in different people. Not everybody does repetitive questioning, not everybody has wild fantasies. You can still consult your parent’s GP if you’re worried, whether you have power of attorney or not – and if you’re worried it really is better to raise concerns earlier rather than later.

There is also such a thing as old age, where people get a bit slow and forgetful, and sometimes a bit muddled, but are otherwise perfectly all right [Biased]

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Schroedingers Cat

According to my sister (my sister is not a doctor) fantasy is actually pretty rare in dementia. They are normally trying to make sense of the world given what memories they have.

Alzheimers (there are numerous forms of dementia) has plaques on the brain; what a person remembers goes according to where the plaques develop. So symptoms vary widely (so widely I think there is evidence that Parkinsons and Dementia maybe one and the same illness).

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Huia
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# 3473

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This is about my brother, but as the circumstances are similar I thought I'd post it here.

My oldest brother has Parkinsons including some dementia. This week there will be a competency hearing so our Sister-in -law can be officially recognised as having his Enduring Powers of Attorney.

When I went to see him last week I took a copy of a road test of a make of car he has always been interested in. He read it and we discussed it, but he couldn't remember what he had for lunch an hour earlier.

I'm finding this particularly hard, which is why our sis-in-law is a better person to have his EPA. Where I think I can help is in sharing his early memories (which he alludes to more often than he used to) and talking to him about them. Our other brothers are 8 and 10 years younger, so they don't have this knowledge.

I was more prepared for my mother to lose touch with reality, but my brother is only 2 years older than me.

[Waterworks] Huia

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jacobsen

seeker
# 14998

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Huia, that must be so hard to live with. But what a mercy that you and your brother have these shared memories - you will never be short of things to talk about, even if they are the same topics at each visit. From what you posted, this is a gift which only you can give.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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# 17002

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I took the Dowager to see her GP today - he is LOOOVELY, they should clone him! He gave her a memory test on which she scored 22/30, normal is ~ 27/28. (She gave the year as 1985, the season as 'high summer' the day as Sunday and the date as the 12th) but he felt what she had was not dementia - in which case she wouldn't be worried about it - but 'pseudo-dementia' which can be caused by anxiety, depression, etc.

What really emerged from the session - and he gave us the last appointment before lunch, which probably means he had no lunch, poor guy - is that Mum really wants me to be able to go on holiday without worrying about her, but she has no concept of what she can do to enable that. She has no feeling for how she can enable that, other than by asserting that she 'will be okay' and then exhibiting all sorts of behaviour that demonstrate the exact opposite.

Oh God ...

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Lamb Chopped
Ship's kebab
# 5528

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SC, this is something I read about in one of Oliver Sacks's books if I recall correctly. Apparently there is a part of the brain responsible for the feeling of "this is familiar, I've seen that before" and a malfunction there can lead either to deja vu or jamais vu (never saw it before) problems. Do discuss it with a neurologist.

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Er, this is what I've been up to (book).
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Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
I took the Dowager to see her GP today - he is LOOOVELY, they should clone him! He gave her a memory test on which she scored 22/30, normal is ~ 27/28. (She gave the year as 1985, the season as 'high summer' the day as Sunday and the date as the 12th) but he felt what she had was not dementia - in which case she wouldn't be worried about it - but 'pseudo-dementia' which can be caused by anxiety, depression, etc.

Good to know it may be reversible. Did he suggest anything?

If nothing else, he has now been alerted so she should be on his radar and there is now a benchmark if another test needs to be done.

Fingers crossed for you both.

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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I think I will talk to my brother (who also has EPA), and see what he thinks.

The problem is, I know she won't go to the doctors, and probably won't take any treatment. I suppose it would be helpful for me (and other family) to know what it is.

--------------------
Blog
Music for your enjoyment
Lord may all my hard times be healing times
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Lothlorien
Ship's Grandma
# 4927

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This thread is veering off into quite a bit of discussion about dementia. Much of this has been interesting and useful to me and hosts have decided that a thread on dementia would be a good thing.

Aging parents can then return to issues specific to them. Of course one of those issues is dementia but there are other issues as well which were getting somewhat swamped.

So there is now a thread for those dealing with dementia in friends and relations. Please use that thread for such topics and keep this one for parent issues.

Of course, there is the usual warning about no medical advice please.

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Tubbs

Miss Congeniality
# 440

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Schroedingers Cat

According to my sister (my sister is not a doctor) fantasy is actually pretty rare in dementia. They are normally trying to make sense of the world given what memories they have.

Alzheimers (there are numerous forms of dementia) has plaques on the brain; what a person remembers goes according to where the plaques develop. So symptoms vary widely (so widely I think there is evidence that Parkinsons and Dementia maybe one and the same illness).

Jengie

There are some forms of dementia that are directly connected with Parkinson's but they're not one and the same illness.

Not everyone who develops Parkinson's goes onto to develop dementia. My Gran didn't. But someone made the same comment about it being one and the same as dementia to her and it terrified her. Fortunately her GP was able to reassure her.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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More complex than that the plaques that form in the brain in both Parkinsons and Alzheimers seem to be the same, they are just forming in different parts of the brain.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Intrepid Mrs S
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quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by The Intrepid Mrs S:
I took the Dowager to see her GP today ...and he felt what she had was not dementia - in which case she wouldn't be worried about it - but 'pseudo-dementia' which can be caused by anxiety, depression, etc.

Good to know it may be reversible. Did he suggest anything?

Ariel, he suggested a memory clinic, but she wouldn't say yes or no to that. Today she called me about a 'totally unexpected' delivery of food (yesterday's Sainsbury's order that she sat and watched me do) but complaining that there were no frozen meals with it. 'OK, Mum, those are from a different supplier, they come on Wednesdays'.

What really worried me was that she had had no lunch (this was after 3 pm) because she was waiting for the frozen meals - even though there were at least two in the freezer! And low blood sugar is a cinch to lead to a fall...

I suggested that she really should agree to go to memory clinic, as her poor memory might be reversible - 'oh, I have so many things to do, I'm not sure I can fit it in'.

'Mum, this could be more important than anything else in the world!'

However, if she is clinically depressed, that explains her general reluctance to take any action on her own behalf - like going to the clinic!

Mrs. S, amateur neurologist/psychologist
[Eek!]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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Mrs S have you found a solution to your going on holiday in a way that won't worry your mother? My husband is spending the weekend after next with his. My brother in law, who lives in her village and visits twice a day, is off on holiday and various family and friends are taking it in turns to make sure she isn't on her own for too long. She's a puzzle, when we're there we think she is getting very confused, yet on the phone she seems a lot more together than my mum, who often seems fine when you see her in person. In my MiL's case I think a lot to it is to do with her very poor hearing. it's not as bad as mine would be without hearing aids, and sometime she seems to hear things that I can't even with mine, but unlike me she finds following a conversation in a quiet room with more than one person fairly impossible.
I'm still worried about my mum, she kept on phoning at the weekend and appeared to forget what I'd just said. I think she is depressed over her eyesight and also is beginning to realise that she does need extra help, which doesn't really want to admit to.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Sarasa - thanks for your concern, and I hope so!

After her last fall I put my foot down and said, one care visit per day to check that she is up, dressed, etc; also so she knows someone will appear, who can be asked to help if need be. I've started to organise online shopping for fresh food she can't get in the village; and she gets frozen meals separately. She has a cleaner who comes in once a week, the hairdresser comes once a fortnight, she has a lovely neighbour who will take her to get money etc, and various good friends in and around the road she's lived in for 50 years.

She told the GP her concern was to see I went off on my holiday, but she doesn't seem to appreciate how she might facilitate that! i.e. by agreeing to my suggestions rather than simply asserting that she'll be okay (while ringing me as detailed above).

I'll be blunt - the wife of the above neighbour died of a sudden and devastating stroke, following a period of sustained importunity by my mother, and I can't rid myself of the thought that she could have been a contributing factor in this death. She was capable of being very demanding, unreasonably so, and though this seems to have abated a bit with the anti-depressants, I am scared that my absence may trigger further issues.

Anyway, I've done all I can, I think - heaven help us, this is for 8 days, not a gap year!

Mrs. S, hoping everyone else's AP is behaving his/her self [Killing me]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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Mrs S - I'm sure your neighbour's wife's stroke wasn't caused by your mother's behaviour. How is the new system going - are you able to finally get away on holiday?
Mum still sounds very depressed and I think that I'll need to start visitng once a week rather than once a fortnight, not that I do a lot when I'm there apart from read her post as she doesn't appear to trust anyone else to do it for her.
I've told her several times that she need to think about what sort of extra help she needs and wants, before a crisis happens and she has no choice in the matter. Maybe she'll pay attention if I mention it again when I visit this week.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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It's my birthday today (have I mentioned that?) and I had a card from Mum! I've bought, written and posted every other one this year, but this is one she has chosen, written and posted (albeit without a stamp - it got here next day without penalty, which I think is amazing [Yipee] )

'To my wonderful, beautiful daughter with all best wishes for a day without care for anything, especially me. Lots of love, Sue'

Sadly Sue is my name, not hers. But how sweet is that? [Overused]

Sarasa, I think for eight days she'll be okay, but when we get back I'm going to start looking at care homes for respite care. Having turned it down flat months ago, she has now suggested it as if it were her own idea, but we haven't time now to make sure she goes somewhere that won't put her off the whole idea in the future *tears hair*

Good luck with the post; I do that too, among other things. And good luck getting your Mum to accept help; if you can persuade her to accept it before everything goes pear-shaped, rather than as a response to a crisis, it will be a Good Thing (and may of course avert said crisis).

Mrs. S, empathetic

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Ariel
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# 58

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Happy Birthday!

Yes - that is so sweet. I hope you'll keep the card (I know I would). It's lovely.

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Sarasa
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Happy Birthday Mrs S, and so glad your mum managed to send you a card. The last one my mum sent me didn't have either my name or hers on it, but I geuss that is a partly due to not being being able to see. She gave my son a card for his birthday that was obviously meant for a female recipient for instance.

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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Ethne Alba
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My Aging Parent (AP) is happily ensconced in the Retirement Home. In truth, it is a common or garden Care Home, but one that continues to delight and enliven all of the offspring whenever we visit. The location and immediate buildings make for a certain amount of jollity every time we visit.

It's the 'turns' that keep happening though. Were AP to be trundled off for medical intervention each and every time one of these occurred, AP would have given up on life by now.

AP, GP, home manager and all offspring are united in a desire for AP NOT to have to spend anymore time in hospital than is strictly necessary. Transport is a horror for AP so even outpatients appointments are a total nightmare and leave AP a quivering wreck for days afterwards.

These turns are increasing in number and after-effect though.
It's hard but far harder on my sibling who lives the closest.

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Landlubber
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# 11055

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My ageing parent has very recently died. I could post this on half a dozen threads between here and hell - she was also my difficult relative. However, I have pretty much had to leave supporting her to other family members because I am my partner's full-time carer. I find I resent having had to make this decision (there were specific reasons why finding respite care for him was not an option). Has anyone else had to handle conflicting priorities? Have you tips for managing it gracefully? I don't want it to colour the time I have left with my partner - or to make him feel guilty - but I do need to acknowledge what I have missed and what I feel I have failed to do (I suspect in that order). Family members encouraged me, but I don't want to push this with them right now.

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They that go down to the sea in ships … reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man

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Sarasa
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Hoping everyone and their aging Ps and other relatives are doing as well as possible. [Votive] for all facing difficult decisions.
Yesteday I went to the macular clinic with my mum. I don't usually go, but the consultant was concerned after her last visit a fortnight ago and wanted to double check her 'good' eye. Fortunatly whatever it was has resolved itself and that eye isn't 'going wet'. It was interesting seeing how mum interacted with the consultant. To all intents and purposes she understood what was said, and the consultant took at face value her statement that she has decent vision in her good eye (she doesn't). Talking to her afterwards, though she understood it was good news, she didn't really seem to understand why.
My main concern though was her insistance that she wants to go on holiday by herself again next year in the vain hope she meets the rep (sixty years younger and married) that she fell in love with four years ago. Seeing as how I was having to guide her everywhere and she didn't notice when we crossed a main road, I said she needs someone to go with. She thinks it would prevent her getting together with said rep. This fantasy has been growing ever since she went on that holiday. At first he was just a nice kind bloke, now he's the love of her life, I can understand her wanting to have someone special in her life, and she's always had a mile-wide romantic streak (unlike Ms Practical me) but I'm finding this all a bit worrying and don't know how to react.

[ 30. September 2016, 14:25: Message edited by: Sarasa ]

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Oh Sarasa, I do feel for you; that must be such a worry. Luckily the Dowager has no such romantic fantasies (that I know of!) but she has a strong preference for men over women, young over old, etc. so I really do sympathise.

The Dowager survived my 8 days away* without disaster, but was puzzled why the surgery kept ringing to check she was okay - it hadn't dawned on her that they were doing this *because* I was away! Not only that, but the receptionist rang me to let me know she'd been referred to memory clinic, and in the course of the conversation said how lovely Mum was and how much he liked her [Ultra confused] Apparently she's always very polite to him (which was a great relief, considering some of the things she says about that surgery [Eek!] )

She has a doctor's appointment on the 13th and I do wonder how much she'll remember of it, if I don't go with her. Sadly many AP's seem to be in the same boat [Frown]

* as an exercise in getting away from Mum, however, it was only of limited success as many of our fellow-travellers seemed to be equally aged/incompetent/self-centred [Help]

Mrs. S, now needing another holiday

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

Posts: 1464 | From: Neither here nor there | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged
Jengie jon

Semper Reformanda
# 273

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Sarasa

My grandfather (died in about 1990) had a similar attitude to lack of vision. On one occasion I went down to hold the ladder while he was on the roof (reason being that if I did not, he would be on the roof anyway). Anyway during that time I pulled him back onto the pavement when he tried to step out in front of cars. However, he insisted on escorting me to the railway station (5 miles or so away on foot). I was hugely relieved when I got there to see the bus back waiting for the train at the station.

Climbing on stools on top of tables and jumping into his loft was another of his tricks at the time. He was in his eighties.

Jengie

[ 01. October 2016, 18:11: Message edited by: Jengie jon ]

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Posts: 20894 | From: city of steel, butterflies and rainbows | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Piglet
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# 11803

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The last time D. and I visited Dad when he was still living at home (he'd have been pushing towards 90, I suppose) something went wrong with the extractor fan in the kitchen, and before we knew it, Dad was standing up on the countertop beneath it trying to put it right, while we were having (almost) silent conniptions below ...

[Eek!]

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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I didn't know that my father was still driving while legally blind. My mother knew, and when she was alive apparently called out lights and other things to him. Which is crazy. After she died, it became clear that he couldn't see. But on moving him back to Canada, he got a corneal transplant in the one remaining sighted eye. He isn't driving any more.

But what he is doing is walking with poles. It gives good stability to have 4 points on the ground. In the last month he made friends with a 93 yr old woman who is also walking. It looks like he is spending more and more time with her. Possibly he has a girlfriend thing developing.

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Out of this nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety.
\_(ツ)_/

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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I've had another little insight that may (or may not, of course) be helpful. Various people have said on this thread that their AP is better (more alert, more comprehensible, less cantankerous) with other people than with them, and I observed this with others on our holiday.

I think it's analogous to speaking another language. Imagine you speak French, say, quite well, and you visit French friends. You can maintain quite a good face for a visit - dinner, perhaps - but it wears you out. And when you get home to your family, you stop worrying about the correct words or grammar, and let your family work out what you are trying to say.

The really sad part is that now this happens with your own language [Frown] Trying to guess whether it's the cleaner, the hairdresser or the care worker she's talking about can make life quite difficult [Help]

Mrs. S, looking for the *tears hair* emoji

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Sarasa
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I'm deaf and I have that feeling you describe quite often Mrs S. I have to concentrate so hard to hear that i find it exhausting. However I'm much more comfortable with people I know well as I understand their speech patterns and they understand what i can and can't hear.
I had a puzzling conversation with my mother on Sunday. I do her on-line order as she can't see to use her computer. I'm pretty sure she said 'What time is the proseco?' rather than 'How much is the proseco', but I'm hoping that was my hearing playing up.
My husband and son are coming over with me to see her on Saturday. It will be interesting to see what they think about her general togetherness and the stae of her flat as they havn't seen her for a few months

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'I guess things didn't go so well tonight, but I'm trying. Lord, I'm trying.' Charlie (Harvey Keitel) in Mean Streets.

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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Yes, it must be just like that, Sarasa.

The Former Miss S took the Intrepid (Great) Grandson to visit his Great-grandmama yesterday. I phoned the Dowager this morning in some trepidation - thinking she might be overtired - but she was more 'together' than she had been for weeks. Very cheerful, and grounded in time, if you know what I mean. It sounds as if they all had fun [Overused]

Mrs. S, rejoicing

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Piglet
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# 11803

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That's good news, Mrs. S. - I think seeing great-grandchildren must be good for our APs - having seen my dad with M. (his great-grand-daughter), and in pictures with A. (her wee brother), they do seem to have a positive effect on him, and make him smile.

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I may not be on an island any more, but I'm still an islander.
alto n a soprano who can read music

Posts: 20272 | From: Fredericton, NB, on a rather larger piece of rock | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged
The Intrepid Mrs S
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More (I think) good news of the Dowager.

I took her to see the doctor again, not for anything very important, and that same afternoon the nurse from the memory clinic came out to assess her. The nurse was lovely, and because Mum was tired she didn't really engage, so that the nurse could see how she was when she wasn't at full strength, which I think was probably very valuable.

Anyway, she and I had a long chat and we seem to have agreed that what Mum has is not dementia, or pseudo-dementia, but simple straightforward brain damage when she fell and hit her head back in June.

(Mum: ' oh no, it wasn't in June, much longer ago than that')

She is still very confused with her nouns, and especially with times and dates, but in general much more like her old self [Big Grin]

Anyway, while there is nothing that can be done, at least if she doesn't fall and hit her head again she won't get any worse and may even improve slightly [Yipee] And the improvement in her general mood and demeanour - which has continued, thanks be - is likely due to the antidepressants kicking in properly, triggered by the Intrepid Great-grandson's visit [Yipee]

So, good news I think, compared with what we have had this year [Smile]

Mrs. S, wishing good news on all posting here

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

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Huia
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# 3473

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That is good news. I know it sounds awful, but it can be quite useful when the person being assessed is not at their brightest. I know my mother could seem better than she was for short periods of time.

Huia

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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Landlubber, I had a conflict between caring for my mother and my partner's caring for her parents. Her parents lived in the same city as us and were 13 and 16 years older than my mum. We had planned to move to her city once they died.

The last 10 years involved endless stresses, and we agree, in retrospect, that her parents timed their crises exactly to coincide with crucial moments in my mum's sudden decline, meaning that I had to choose between supporting Mum and supporting my partner repeatedly during the last year of Mum's life. I was never able to move up and be with Mum, and my anger at my parents-in-law and their utter self-centredness is still lurking in my psyche a year after her death. My partner feels the same way - we both adored my mother and miss her like anything.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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The Intrepid Mrs S
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APW, I think many old people - consciously or not - time their own crises to cause maximum disruption. A dear friend of mine stopped telling her MiL when they were going on holiday, as said MiL would get out of bed and sit all night getting chilled, leading to panic stations, hospitalisation, 'she may not be here when you get back', just before they went away.

None of which makes it easier to bear when it's within your own family [Mad]

Families - who'd have 'em?

Mrs. S, who knows why book heroes are always orphaned [Killing me]

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Don't get your knickers in a twist over your advancing age. It achieves nothing and makes you walk funny.
Prayer should be our first recourse, not our last resort
'Lord, please give us patience. NOW!'

Posts: 1464 | From: Neither here nor there | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged



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