B-17 Bomber during the first big raid on Germany by the U.S. 8th Air Force. The raid destroyed most of the Marienburg Focke-Wulf aircraft factory. World War 2. October 9, 1943

050317-F-1234P-002This is an article I wrote for CNN iReports this morning. I think of all the people I have cared for or assisted, this particular family was the most difficult for me to watch as things unraveled in the mind of the husband/father of the family. It is not a cheerful ending. Alzheimer’s does not give much in the way of cheerful endings. But I learned a lot about the effect of the disease on a family and how it affected the people in a family. It was exceptionally difficult for me as the man who succumbed to the disease was a very close friend before its onset. I still remember much of that period of time which came when I was also a new father having just had a daughter born to my wife and I. My daughter would never know the man who actually blessed us with many things before his life changed for the worse. It made it doubly hard as this very brilliant and generous man slid away from us all. Especially difficult was the days when I realized he no longer saw me, but saw an officer who he served under many years before. His memory of David Waterman was gone, and had been replaced with the memory of a long since deceased World War II serviceman and officer in the Air Corp. Once that memory of me faded, our friendship was forever changed and had effectively become one way. I don’t know how to even put into words what that felt like. But I wish to not do it often, if ever again.

 


Impossible to Defeat, Relentless Enemy

Written by David Waterman
I am a spousal caregiver. I have had a lot of serious accidents in dangerous construction jobs. My recovery has not always been smooth but I did learn how my wife feels when she is bed bound for long periods. With similar experiences in our past I have a better understanding of what she needs to be comfortable. I also spent years involved in Christian ministry and the principles of Christianity apply so well to this life I lead now and give much needed stability when all other things are so often in the air.

Related Articles

Tidewrack

Tidewrack

It was two months after Mum died. I would not meet anyone. I would not answer messages. I would not talk about my feelings. I didn’t want to chat. I...

Elderly and imprisoned

Elderly and imprisoned

"Efforts to reduce the aging prison population are driven not solely by compassion but also by the tremendous cost of incarcerating older people....

Popular categories

Finances
Burnout
After Caregiving
Housing
Relationships
Finding Meaning
Planning
Dying
Finding Support
Work
Grief

Don't see what you're looking for? Search the library

Share your thoughts

0 Comments

Share your thoughts and experiences

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join our communities

Whenever you want to talk, there’s always someone up in one of our Facebook communities.

These private Facebook groups are a space for support and encouragement — or getting it off your chest.

Join our newsletter

Thoughts on care work from Cori, our director, that hit your inbox each Monday morning (more-or-less).

There are no grand solutions, but there are countless little ways to make our lives better.

Share your insights

Caregivers have wisdom and experience to share. Researchers, product developers, and members of the media are eager to understand the nature of care work and make a difference.

We have a group specifically to connect you so we can bring about change.