Things have been a bit stressful these past few months. The day before my birthday we received confirmation that my dad has both frontal lobe dementia and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). While we all suspected the news was coming, I was in total denial about it and sorta still am in denial about it. The only blessing is that with dad’s dementia, he doesn’t realize that he has ALS.
We learned that dad’s ALS is likely tied to his time in the military. Apparently it’s a growing trend with military veterans being diagnosed with ALS. While dad never served overseas, he did work with many types of chemicals for warfare and whatnot. I don’t know all the specifics about what he did, but I do know that back then they never wore protective gear (masks, gloves, etc). Even with his actual job (post military) he dealt with a vast array of chemicals and of course they never wore protective gear for that as well. It was never a concern back then.
Now we are navigating a new way of life. We’re learning about ALS as well as dementia. Dad is no longer driving (he thinks the doctor told him that because he’s not wearing his hearing aids), but that’s not the case. We’re trying to keep dad happy with continuing with activities that he loves: going to the gym about 6 days a week, going to NC State football games, dinner with friends at his favorite restaurants (42nd Street Oyster Bar and Hayes Barton Cafe) and most recently a trip to the NC State Fair.
I’m going to try to keep this blog regularly updated about dad to eventually share with family and friends on how he’s doing and all the activities he’s still involved in.