Martha and I fell in love when we were fourteen. People laughed and called it puppy love, parents told us we were too young. However, we were married while I was in the military during the Korean war. Later, we created our family of five sons then our daughter. We had our home and all the fun and enjoyment of parenthood;we also had the fears and tears of parenting,as well. Eventually they all grew up,attended colleges and they too got married and started their families. Throw in a couple of divorces and re-marriages for spice and you have the flavor of our lives together. Nothing outstanding, will never be a Hollywood script nor be on the best seller list, just two people in love who ignored what people say. We went on,in love, building our family of six children and fourteen grandchildren.
Several years ago, perhaps as many as ten, the family was watching Martha change. She went from being the central figure in any family activity to being withdrawn and engrossed in her computer,playing games. She politely excused herself from grandchildren's activities that would have been a high light of her life. She no longer wanted to join me in going on business trips. After years of this condition worsening, she agreed to see 'someone' . At this time she was diagnosed as being " Depressed" and treated accordingly.
In 2009, our family doctor told me that he could not hold a conversation with her and wanted me to accompany her during exam sessions, which caused her to become agitated. The forgetfulness that had been accepted by the family as 'age' was getting worse. She finally consented,as a favor, to seeing a neurologist in Feb. 2010. That visit resulted in a long series of tests, CT scans,MRI's and neuro-physch tests which concluded in a diagnosis of Frontal Tempral Degeneration.
The lives of the entire family changed during the next year. But, the lives of 'the two people in love' have been shaken,turned upside down, inside out and exposed to the scariest,heart wrenching events of our lives and still spiriling down into the unknown . We still love each other as much, maybe more, but it gets interrupted by hallucinations and delusions. She is aware of all that she is losing and in quiet moments tells me. I have to watch her slipping away and know that it will continue to worsen and NOTHING CAN BE DONE.
We are now trying to learn how to manage things. Things like Television shows that she thinks are reality, small infections that can turn her into rage, drugs that will keep her calm but not comotose, drugs that will make her sleep a normal night's sleep without turning her into an addict. We also try to manage family activities as though she is aware of what's going on.