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It's honestly one of the worst things in the world to watch a parent go through an illness.

Something like Alzheimer's, where they lose their grip on reality, is especially taxing for the children of those parents to go through. The parents may not remember who the children are; they may not recognize those children. They may travel back in time in their minds to when they were young.

The changes that come with facing the disease are difficult in nature and sweeping in scope.



Time Travel

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This is a good question. I care for my grandmother who has dementia and it's been 7 years. First thing I noticed was her becoming testy. She started to not be the sweet grandma anymore. She also started calling me a liar because she couldn't remember things. I was getting puzzled as to why she couldn't remember things.

Then it started to dawn on me. Got her diagnosed and started on medication.

Now, seven years later, she can't remember anything from a minute ago. Yet, she can tell you anything from 50 years ago like it just happened. Crazy how this disease works.

goodlyearth

A Farm In My Mind

My great-grandmother died of Alzheimer's. It is truly a troubling ride. At first, it was short term memory, simple things. However, the biggest red flag was - get this - she would see chickens all over the place. She would try to chase these imaginary chickens around the living room, or would kick her feet as if to get them to f*ck off. She would also clean imaginary spider-webs.

I was once told that often Alzheimer's patients will relive old memories - my great-grandmother grew up in 1920's El Salvador - likely lived on a farm with chickens.

bowlofpasta92

When Time Makes No Sense To You

We were visiting my great aunt. At this point she lived in her own house (no kids, never married). My mother comments that she liked a vase she had in her living room. My great aunt said "thanks, it was Mother's. I'll have to ask her where she got it."

This was about 2004-2005ish. Her mother had been dead since 1955. It wasn't long before it became more obvious.

Just as an aside, as a nurse who works with dementia patients, it breaks my heart when they ask me about their parents, as if they were still alive (or their deceased spouse for that matter).

fruitydeath

A Stranger

I was away at school when Mama first, first started. but it was things like not obeying driving rules, not listening when we told her something, not following the plot of simple movies and... over reacting to them? like I was watching the old animated Cinderella movie, and she couldn't understand why the step mom was being so mean. or why the animals were talking. she also got super religious (she's always been, but it got intense for a year or so) and lost any sense of... tact? like trying to convert a widow to her religion at the memorial service. That happened. It was yikes.

it's been two years since the official diagnosis. She's... bad. She no longer understands concepts like time (1 am and 1 pm are the same to her, she can't differentiate between today/tomorrow) or safety or not waking people up constantly... she no longer recognizes anyone aside from her mother (gran is 93 and mentally fine), my father, me, and my brother. Doesn't know our cat. Doesn't know her brothers, doesn't know friends she'd been close to for 40+ years...

My life changed a lot. I have no energy because any time spent out of work is keeping an eye on her. she's like a toddler, she isn't capable of logic or understanding orders, much less following them... it's hell. i hate the person I am around her. I want to move away. My mother is dead, her body just hasn't realized it yet.

Hedgiwithapen

It Goes To The Shadows Quickly

Not my parents, but my grandma. She was 92 by the time dementia began to creep in, but it consumed her completely within 3 years.

First, it was little things -but very noticeable-, such as words. A few months later, it was people; she would confuse people from her past and the present. Then, she started hallucinating and making up stories about people that didn't exist doing things with her she couldn't have possibly done (like go to places that no longer existed in my hometown or visiting friends that were dead). Next, she completely forgot about my grandpa (who'd been dead for ten years at this point, and to whom she'd been married for over 50), and after that she also forgot about her firstborn son, who had died 8 years before.

A year after that, she no longer recognized any of our relatives, except for my father, who took care of her until her last moments. However, she never forgot about me. I was her first granddaughter and named after her mother (whom she'd also forgotten about), and my dad told me all the time that she would spend days without saying a word, then suddenly ask about me, or light up when he said my name.

It was very painful to watch her turn into a shadow of the amazing woman she'd always been.

creepybookworm

Becoming Caretaker

I have become a caretaker for both my parents who have dementia of different types and levels. Dementia is actually a broad term, not a specific condition, unlike Alzheimer's. My mother forgets things all the time. The good news is she has adapted to me caring for her and recognizes that she forgets. She laughs about it. My Dad struggles a lot because he really wants to be self-sufficient and prove it, but keeps struggling. I have to let him do projects and take some responsibility for things because it keeps him going, even though often he makes more problems that way. He has a lot of trouble with words and frequently gets irritated with Mom and I when he can't communicate. He also has hearing problems.

I was angry about it for maybe a year. I kind of accepted the role, but I also resented it and kind of let people know that I wasn't living the life I wanted to live. (obviously I could walk away, but my parents have been very good and supportive to me most my life). Then I hit a point where I accepted it. I stopped pushing them to consider going into a home and figured this is just what I am doing right now. In some sense I feel pretty good that they are having a better quality of life than they could without me. Since I came to that realization I have mostly felt good and also done more things for myself.

dan_jeffers

There Is No Good Ending

My dad started getting lost driving to/from short errands he'd done hundreds of times. Then he'd start saying things that just seemed 'off'. Then he started forgetting to take his insulin, so his 'wife' would end up calling him an ambulance once a month or so.

None of us kids lived in the same town, so it took longer than it should have to get him help. By that time, he was trying to eat the wooden decorative fruit.

His 'wife' (together 20 years but never married) has it even worse, and they are both in care homes now. Sadly, they aren't married, and he's in one home that the state will cover, while she's in another one that's covered by her long term care insurance. Separating them nearly killed us.

My sister moved to his town to be closer to him. Some days he holds decent short conversations, but often gets confused and changes the subject to whatever is directly in his line of sight (water bottle, fork, whatever.) We had to sell everything he owned (house, motor home, etc.) to pay for his care, then once those funds ran out, the state took over. He doesn't know this, and plans to live in his motor home when he 'gets better.'

dlordjr

It Changes Your Personality

My father was vigorously anti-racist all his life. So when he started blurting our racist and anti-Semitic comments in his early 80's, I told him I was shocked and bawled him out.

"Why?" he said. "I didn't say anything."

I'd argue with him a bit but finally gave up when confronted with his irrational nonsense.

He died at the age of 84. One of the causes of death was Alzheimer's.

Why didn't I see it?

Gorf_the_Magnificent

Gone Too Soon

My grandmother first kept forgetting the grandkids names, or simply called them by a different grandkids name. Usually my cousin since she helped raise him and "that ornery rascal was her favorite". Then she didn't realize where she was in the evening (sundowners). The day she passed she was so lucid and calm. She looked at my mother in her last moments and said "I know the last few months have been hard on you. I love you with everything I have and was." Her big blue eyes went wide one last time and she leaned forward and embraced my mother and died in her arms. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have ever experienced. Thank you for asking so I could remember her today.

unsainted

Love Beyond Time

I didn't see my parents go through this. At least not yet. Hopefully that doesn't happen.

But I did see my grandma go through this. It was tough on the entire family, especially my grandpa. But he definitely taught me something about love in regards to this. They've both passed and I love them both immensely.

I am reluctant to even say this because it makes it more real, but... I do see some things that my dad does that reminds me of what my grandma went through. Once we learned that my Grandma had Alzheimer's and learned more about the symptoms, it made sense. There were things over a decade (or maybe more) that could have been signs.

For my dad, it's more memory things. And a little anger about things at times. I've talked to my sister about it (we're both in our 30s). At this point it's one of those things that it could just be aging, or it could be early signs. I think we are both overly sensitive because of my grandma. But that's not a bad thing.

ancientflowers

Image by Anemone123 from Pixabay

Life is hard. It's a miracle to make it through with some semblance of sanity. We are all plagued by grief and trauma. More and more people of all backgrounds are opening up about personal trauma and its origins. Finally! For far too long we've been too silent on this topic. And with so many people unable to afford mental health care, the outcomes can be damaging.

All of our childhoods have ups and downs and memories that can play out like nightmares. We carry that, or it follows us and the first step in recovery is talking about it. So who feels strong enough to speak?

Redditor u/nthn_thms wanted to see who was willing to share about things they'd probably rather forget, by asking:

What's the most traumatizing thing you experienced as a child?
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Image by klimkin from Pixabay

Being single can be fun. In fact, in this time of COVID, being single can save lives. But the heart is a fickle creature.

And being alone can really suck in times of turmoil. None of us are perfect and it feels like that's all anyone is looking for... perfect.

Now that doesn't mean that all of us are making it difficult to partner up. Sure, some people are too picky and mean-spirited, but some of the rest of us are crazy and too much to handle. So one has to be sure.

The truth is, being single is confusing, no matter how much we try to match. So let's try to understand...

Redditor u/Mcxyn wanted to discuss some truths about love and our own issues, by asking:

Why are you single?
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Tiard Schulz/Unsplash

Whether you're an at home parent, a college student just leaving the nest, or a Food Network junkie, there are a few basic tips that everyone should know.

Chef's gave us some of their top tips for amateurs and beginner at home cooks that will really make a difference. They are trained professionals with years of experience in the kitchen, so they definitely know what we're all missing.

If you're looking to improve some of your cooking skills and techniques, but you're still learning how to boil water correctly, this list is for you.

Redditor BigBadWolf44 wanted in on the secrets and asked:

"Chefs of Reddit, what's one rule of cooking amateurs need to know?"

Let's learn from the masters!


What a common mistake!

"A lot of the time when people add salt to a dish because they think it tastes flat, what it really needs is an acid like lemon juice or vinegar."

- Vexvertigo

"Instructions unclear I drugged my dinner party guests and now they're high on acid."

- itsyoboi_human

"Yes! Or tomatoes. They're pretty acidic too and go with so many things. Our dinners are so much better once the garden tomatoes are ripe. Or if a dish is too acidic, oil/butter or a little sugar can help add balance to it."

- darkhorse85

"Like tomato and eggs. Every Chinese mom makes those slightly differently and I haven't had a tomato egg dish I didn't like yet."

- random314

"There's a book called 'Salt Fat Acid Heat' that comes highly recommended to amateur cooks."

- Osolemia

"Reading even just the first chapter about salt made a lot of food I cooked immediately better, because I finally understood salt wasn't just that thing that sat on the dinner table that you applied after the meal was cooked."

- VaultBoy42

"Salt is important for sweets. A batch of cookies without that little hint of salt doesn't taste quite right."

- Osolemia

Unfortunately, this tip might not be accessible to everyone. Many people who contracted COVID can no longer use their sense of smell the way they used to.

"Have a friend that lost his smell from COVID, and now he only recognizes if food is salty, sweet, sour or bitter."

- AlphaLaufert99

"Just wait until he gets his sense of smell back and a ton of foods smell like ammonia or literal garbage now. Yeah, that's fun... It's been 7 months for f*cks sake just let me enjoy peanut butter again!!!!!!!!!"

- MirzaAbdullahKhan

You can't take back what you've already put in.

"You can always add, but you cannot take away."

- El_Duende666

"I find people's problems usually are they're too scared to add rather than they add too much."

- FreeReflection25

"I see you also grew up white in the mid-west."

- Snatch_Pastry

Safety first!

"Not really a cooking tip, but a law of the kitchen: A falling knife has no handle."

- wooddog

"I'm always so proud of my reflexes for not kicking in when I fumble a knife."

"If I drop anything else, my stupid hands are all over themselves trying to catch it (and often failing). But with a knife the hardwired automatic reaction is jump back immediately. Fingers out of the way, feet out of the way, everything out of the way. Good lookin out, cerebellum!"

- sonyka

"Speaking of KICKING in. On first full time cooking job I had a knife spin and fall off the counter. My (stupid) reflex was to put my foot under it like a damn hacky sack to keep it from hitting the ground. Went through the shoe, somehow between my toes, into the sole somehow without cutting me. Lessons learned: (1) let it fall; (2) never set a knife down close to the edge or with the handle sticking out; (3) hacky sack is not nearly as cool as it could be."

- AdjNounNumbers

"Similarly, NEVER put out a grease or oil fire with water. Smother with a lid or dump baking soda in there (do not use flour, as it can combust in the air making things worse)."

- Metallic_Substance

How else will you know it tastes good?

"Taste the food."

- OAKRAIDER64

"Also don't be afraid to poke and prod at it. I feel like people think the process is sacred and you can't shape/flip/feel/touch things while you cook them. The more you are hands on, the more control you have."

"No, this does not include situations where you are trying to sear something. Ever try flipping a chicken thigh early? That's how you rip a chunk out of it and leave it glued to the pan until it's burnt."

- Kryzm

Here's one just for laughs.

"When you grab a pair of tongs, click them a few times to make sure they are tongs."

- Kolshdaddy

"People really overlook this one. You've gotta tong the tongs a minimum of 3 times to make sure they tong, or else it can ruin the whole dish."

- BigTimeBobbyB

If you're looking to get into cooking or to improve you technique, pay attention to these few tips.

Salt generously, add an acid to brighten things up, and don't forget to taste your food!

If all else fails, you can always order take out.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

Victoria_Borodinova/Pixaba

As part of the learning process, children often do embarrassing things before they learn a little more about the world and all the different implications therein. While the inappropriate moment is usually minor and ends in laugher some instances are truly mortifying.

One such instance involved a little sister who was around 6 at the time. It was the 90s and at the height of the youth-focused PSAs (think the frying egg representing your brain). One type was a safety PSA about stranger danger. The speaker would remind the children that if a stranger tried to take you anywhere to yell “Stop, you're not my mommy/daddy" to raise the alarm.

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