baby by oakley: Dementia Sucks

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Dementia Sucks

I don't blog about it much, and if you follow me on Instagram, you've seen a few recent posts about this, but for the last 5 years or so we've watched my father-in-law battle dementia. Justin and I started managing Roger's affairs in 2012 when we moved him up to Kansas City so we could keep an eye on him, make sure his bills were paid and get him the appropriate medical care.

Our 2016 started with a phone call stating Roger needed to be taken to the ER. He was lethargic and unresponsive and had stopped eating and drinking, which we later learned was common for late-stage dementia patients. After a brief hospital stay, his doctor and the staff at his nursing facility thought it was probably time to bring in hospice care. Roger was steadily declining and hospice could ensure that he was comfortable.

While we were celebrating Gracyn's birthday on Saturday, Justin got a call that Roger's stats had fallen off. They were adamant Justin come to his bedside as it appeared to be a matter of hours before Roger passed away. We quickly sang "Happy Birthday" to our fresh three-year-old and Justin left to be with his dad. I went to see him later that evening, as well.

As the hours passed without any other major changes, the hospice nurse advised us to go home and get some rest; an aide would be by his bedside all night and they'd call the second things changed. While we fully expected the call during the night, Roger hung on through Sunday. He passed away peacefully at 11:30 pm on January 24th.

meeting gracyn for the first time..
Taking on this responsibility as newlyweds - and new parents - was hard. And it really sucked at times. But, we would do it again in a heartbeat since it meant having a few extra years with Roger. I didn't really know him before he got sick which makes me sad because I know he had some stories to tell! He was so young and for a disease like this to steal the rest of his life was unfair.

Justin wrote the best tribute to his dad and we will celebrate his life this weekend in Oklahoma. It was a long journey watching him deteriorate but we know we did what we could to help him and that he was well-cared for during his last hours.

Rest in peace, Roger. We will miss you!

3 comments:

  1. It is a beautiful tribute, indeed and our hearts are full of sorrow for Justin, you, your girls and his family. Dad and I are so proud of you two for your love and care of Roger over these past years. I'm sure if Roger could have expressed it, he would have told you how grateful he was and the love he felt. We love you all.

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  2. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. I imagine it has been a rough few years for you guys. Dementia (especially such early and aggressive onset) is so scary. My little sister's boyfriend just lost his dad last year about this time and when he was just a sophomore in high school. Way too soon. :( Sending you guys thoughts and prayers!

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  3. That was a beautiful tribute-I wondered who wrote it! I'm sure that if Roger could have truly expressed his gratitude to you guys he would've thanked you for all that you have done for him. Just even being closer to you guys and the girls I'm sure lifted his spirits and gave him more time to be with you. I'm so sorry for your family's loss, dementia does suck and I'm sorry it had to happen to someone so dear to you guys. Love you lots. <3

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