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I Hate Alzheimer’s | Alzheimer’s in the First Person | Melissa Vaughan
Editor’s note: [Posts by Melissa and Barbara are not always published in real time. Many of their posts offer timeless wisdom. But sometimes, they are time critical---you want to know they are o.k.! You can get the latest by visiting Barbara's Facebook page]
Thursday, July 5, 2012
I am Barbie’s daughter, Melissa. She wanted me to write to all of her Facebook buddies and tell them that she is in the hospital. She is OK, but the doctors are running some tests. She had another passing out episode early this morning. I just now came home from the hospital—we went in at 5am. She already has taken over the hospital and made many new friends. She told me to come home tonight and get some sleep that she wants to see if she can be by herself one night.
You don’t know how hard it was for me to leave her there tonight. The nurses told me if she gets scared or confused they will call me and I can be there in 10 minutes. She was trying to be so brave. When I was leaving she hugged me and said, “I never ever want to let go of you when I hug you.” She told me to go home and get some sleep. I don’t think that is possible. I know she is in great hands, but they are not my hands…
I am sure she will post tomorrow. She told me to bring her laptop to the hospital. Please say prayers. I know she will be OK, but, I just don’t know what I would do without her. When I came home tonight Mike told me it was so lonely when he came home and she wasn’t here to greet him.
Saturday, July 7, 2012
I hate Alzheimer’s. One day mom is talking, laughing and herself, but today—with all the confusion of coming home from the hospital (where she was admitted to explore reasons for her recent fainting) and the 108 heat here—she is safely home, but doesn’t know it tonight. She was fine for a couple of hours, then when we tried to get her up she has forgotten how to walk, and keeps asking when Missy will be home. She just asked me as I put her to bed, “Did Missy leave me because I can’t walk anymore and because she doesn’t love me anymore?” She said, “I think she has finally had enough of taking care of me, I see it in her eyes…I don’t think she loves me anymore.” A wonderful friend sent her a stuffed animal that she received today, she hugged the little dog and said, “You love me don’t you, even if my Missy doesn’t.”
I hate Alzheimer’s. Nothing I can say to her tonight will calm her. I am getting ready to go in and get in bed with her, rub her back, hold her hand, maybe we can sing or talk…maybe she will remember me…and remember how to walk again.
I hate Alzheimer’s.
___________________________________About the Author: Melissa Vaughan is caring for her mother, Barbara Taylor Vaughan, contributor of the Nurse Talk column, Alzheimer's in the First Person, a journey through the disease. Melissa worked for an orthopedic surgeon for over 30 years, as a CMA and then LPN. On her way to her RN degree, Melissa dropped out to take care of Barbara after brain surgery. She eventually obtained a paralegal certification and worked reviewing records for medical malpractice cases. She retired 4 years ago due to Multiple Sclerosis and to care for her mom at home. We love them and thank them for their humanity and generosity of spirit.
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Alzheimer’s in the First Person
Barbara Taylor Vaughan is 90 and in the early stages of Alzheimer's. Barbara and Melissa Vaughan are putting a face on the disease by chronicling Barbara's illness. Melissa, living with Multiple Sclerosis, is Barbara's daughter and caregiver.
They hope educating others will inspire them to volunteer to help ease the suffering of those with the disease, thier families and caregivers. Barbara and Melissa's relationship, compassion and humor are inspirational.
We love them and thank them for their humanity and generosity of spirit.
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