A NEW DIRECTION FOR THE OLD RAM

Ridgetop

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So sorry to hear about Jenny. It is a terrible disease. My mother in law had it and she would become very upset if Daddy ever was out of sight. She would get up in the middle of the night, turn on all the lights, and start dressing herself. They had moved to an assisted living facility by then because of her condition but one day she managed to get out of the premises and got lost. Terrifying for all of us. Another time DS1 stayed with her while Daddy, DH, and I did some business. It was just for 20 minutes, but DS1 was very upset when Mom kept asking why we had left her with that strange man. DS1 was the first grandson, and always her favorite. She didn't know who he was anymore. When we would visit she would say I used to have a son with that name but would not believe that it was DH. I've only seen him cry a couple times in 50 years together, but those times were some.

This disease is hardest on the family because the person who has it soon forgets everything. We are left to watch the terrible deterioration of someone we love very much and try to cope. I truly grieve for you as you continue to love and lose your darling Jenny. :hugs
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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G;day folks,I am looking for feedback from those of you who have had experience with Jenny's condition.It seems to me that no matter how educated your children are they cannot understand the pressures placed on the partner of the sufferer. Recently I had a "real " down day and when i expressed my feelings on line the response was "you should not put that sort of thing on-line ,so I deleted it...Recently we became acquainted with a couple who purchased 4 ewe lambs and a ram and then paid us to look after them until they purchased their farm.This couple is "greener than grass" when it comes to livestock,yet my daughter treats our relationship as thought we have "befriended axe murders". A conversation's with them leaves me on a "high" as I can remember when Jenny and I were just starting out and we were just like them....T.O.R.
 

Bruce

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Wish I could help TOR :(
I suppose she could be in denial, just doesn't want to believe it is happening. She should spend a couple of weeks with you 24x7. It would be painful for her I'm sure.

:hugs
 

Ridgetop

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Dear T.O.R.
When it comes to posting about your experiences with Jenny, please feel free to post. Why wouldn’t you share those things on line with your friends? I am truly shocked that someone had the gall to tell you not to post your feelings about Jenny.

Don’t be afraid that we won’t want to hear about your problems. All of us have someone that has gone through this experience and we grieve for you as you follow this hard path with your lifelong companion. No one judges here when you post about her deterioration. Sharing your worries and depressing experiences with us and knowing that we are here at your back sending you our love and prayers can sometimes help you to have the courage to go on.

Are there any support groups in your area? Some hospitals have support groups for caregivers. Also, if you can find someone to come and stay with Jenny for a couple of hours while you get some much needed rest, that would be a God send for you. There are groups that have people that volunteer to stay with Alzheimer and cancer patients to give the caregivers a break. Instead of criticizing you, maybe your daughter could take her mother out for a few hours, just for ice cream and a drive. My uncle had a partner that eventually had to be put in a rest home. When Uncle George was out of the country (he lived in Mexico several months of the year) we would go with our small children every Sunday after church and pick up Uncle Burton from the rest home. We would all get ice cream then go for a drive either by the beach or in the mountains. 3-4 hours was all it took and while poor Uncle Burton wasn’t always sure who we were, he enjoyed his ice cream and his sightseeing drive.

My mother-in law had Alzheimers and it was truly heartbreaking to watch that good and loving woman who had adored her children and grandchildren deteriorate to where she no longer recognized us. She was such a wonderful woman, not a “traditional” mother-in-law who found fault with her daughter-in-law at all. She loved me dearly and I loved her. We lost her twice, once when she no longer recognized us, and again the day we buried her. This disease is heartlessly cruel on both the person who has it and on the family. Only you, the daily caregiver, know how terrible it is. Only you, the daily caregiver, know how exhausting and depressing it is. Your daughter only sees her mother occasionally and has no idea how hard it is for you day in and day out.

We visited Marv’s cousin in Atchison, KS, and learned that her husband has Alzheimers. He did not know us anymore, and often did not know his children. None of their 5 children or many grandchidren lived in town and were all in complete denial as to how bad their father was. Judy couldn’t sell the house and move closer to her sister in Topeka because of financial reasons. She couldn’t rent out the house and move into an apartment because she was afraid he would wander away from unfamiliar surroundings. The children hated coming to see them because they had to face their dad’s condition. When they did come he smiled and greeted them happily which they took to mean he recognized them! The town no longer had a support system for caregivers that would give Judy any respite. Without her children she was completely on her own to care for him. His behavior was becoming erratic and she was unable to get her children to understand what was happening.

As far as your new sheep friends - Just ignore your daughter!!! They are not axe murderers, just nice people with whom you have something in common. We have lost all our old livestock friends. No one left here who keeps livestock. It can feel lonely. That is why I treasure my BYH friends.

Children don’t think their parents have any life at all that doesn’t revolve around them. Take it from me, the mother of 5 children! They are always surprised that we have some activity to attend, something to do that we enjoy or that we even have friends with which to communicate! I love them and know they love us, but they really can get under your skin trying to tell you what to do. Sometimes I think they sort of believe we live in a vacuum where we do nothing until they want to visit. Sort of like throwing their toys in the toy box until they want to play. LOL And if they want to do something with us and we are busy, you would think the end of the world had come! Who with, where, why, what? Good grief! According to our children we only have lives when they are around to allow it! DH and I have a pact - we are never living with any of our children. We just tell them we are to torture them.

You go ahead and enjoy these new friends. Not only are you having fun with them, they need your expertise as they start out on their sheep adventure. Have fun with them. Ignore your children’s surprise that you are actually still living and useful. Now that our children are no longer in 4-H they don’t understand that we enjoy raising these sheep and plan to keep doing it.

Our children believe us to be in our dotage! They want us to sell our sheep, our house, our travel trailer, and move into an apartment or condo. They believe that we are too old to enjoy ourselves in any way! I suppose they just think we sit alone in our home waiting for them to favor us with a visit. We are only there to babysit at their convenience!!!

Belonging to BYH has given me an entirely new lease on life. I have lots of experiences that my children don’t want to hear about, knowledge that they don’t want to learn, and lots of life and fun left to DH and myself. Posting information that I have learned in my 70 years about livestock, gardening, etc. helps others and I am happy that it can do that. The worst thing about knowledge is that if you don’t share it, it des with you. To me that is a sin. Sharing knowledge that can help others and that they can pass on in their turn is a wonderful gift. As my Jewish friend says, it’s a “mitzvah” – a good deed.

Writing up and sharing my stories about our animal adventures had been a lot of fun. I am glad that they brighten their reader’s day. 2 months ago, I gave the story about Ham Hocks to my daughter and asked her to read it. She still hasn’t “had time”. She was actually shocked to learn that I have friends on BYH and that they enjoy reading my stories. I don’t think she believed it. But then, according to her we have not friends. LOL

Go ahead and post about Jenny. And have fun with your new sheep friends. And keep posting. We are here for you. :hugs
 

The Old Ram-Australia

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Thank you one and all for your thoughts and prayers.

Unfortunately at the present state of her condition trying to get some time away is something she cannot handle, it seems and the very suggestion of someone even our daughter coming to stay results in a "major" meltdown..She is paranoid about being separated and placed in care,and so tries to "hide" from the world her condition.Our daughter does understand about Jenny ,but she is prone to micro-manage situations and us if she is given the chance..Jenny refers to her as "the bossy bitch",Her heart is in the right place and I love her to "bits".but I wish she would just give me a little credit sometimes...As an aside the new sheep people were quite surprised that I have without any help setup 2 F.B sites and a LinkedIn one as well..T.O.R.
 
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