Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Joining the Sandwich Generation

Yes, I have officially joined the "Sandwich Generation".  You do not receive a membership card, but you have the joy of caring for your young children and aging parents, while trying to have a career.  Who knew I would be making orthodontist appointments and seeking advice from attorneys that specialize in elder care at the same time?  I was not expecting it.  If you have been following my blog, you are aware that my 68 year old Mother has some medical issues.  I am able to report that after over four years of pleading with physicians for answers we are finally being pushed toward a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, because everything else has been ruled out.  Sadly my family has witnessed Mom's personality fading over the past 4 years.  Behavioral changes and personality changes caused us to seek answers. Mom has evolved from an extremely independent, outgoing individual who was involved socially in groups and activities to a withdrawn individual who is apathetic and lacks initiative to complete daily living tasks and lacks judgement to make decisions. There is no cure for frontotemporal dementia and progression can not be slowed. Frontotemporal dementia differs from Alzheimer's disease, as there is no true memory loss in the early stages of the disease, but instead changes in the personality, social skills, ability to concentrate and reasoning. These changes in personality are what make this disease so challenging and difficult.  Although my Mom has not been physically lost, emotionally and socially we will never enjoy the same connection and I mourn this loss.  I miss the hour long conversations about nothing, which Mom and I had almost daily, but I am enjoying my developing relationship with my Dad during this latest chapter in our lives.

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