The Lord also blessed me with writing stories of my journey and poetry that has expressed my feeling as you read them throughout this book. I pray as you read these stories they will give you some insight, understanding and hope of what it's like for your loved one to has this disease, "Alzheimer's," and to not know you after being with them for so many years.
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I Was Once Like YouBefore I Got Alzheimer's
By Carolyn (Nesto) Haynali
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2011 Carolyn (Nesto) Haynali
All right reserved.
Chapter OneI Was Once Like You Before I Got Alzheimer's
The Very Start of Our Life
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Thinking back to when I first met Chuck I was so very young seventeen and he was Twenty Two it was at Hanna's Dairy in Clarksville, Pa. It was in October on a Friday night 1952 after a high school football game a bunch of us stopped in for soda and hamburgers I will never forget that day.
Chuck was in the U.S. Navy and a friend introduced me to him. He was very handsome blond hair and blue eyes and was slender built. Chuck asked me to dance. I guess it was love at first site for Chuck and for me. But I was going with someone at that time you know how it is you break up and go back together young love.
Chuck called me many times then came over to see me. Oh course at that time my mom and dad didn't want me to go with anyone I was two young I was only eighteen. But I fell in love with him and didn't want anyone else in my life. He went back to the Navy base in Norfolk, VA. As the months went by we would write to each other almost every day. When he came home he would come down to see me. He had given me his beautiful jacket that he had gotten made in Japan, as you know it had a beautiful design of a dragon on it.
I would wear it all the time but my mother was not happy and I had to give it back to him. I kind of wrote a Dear John letter and told him I couldn't see him anymore. But he never gave up on me and still came to visit me ... Yes, he still had my heart that he captured from the very first time I saw him. Even though my parents didn't approve of the relationship I still kept writing to him and seeing him whenever he would came home.
It was on Valentine's Day that he gave me an engagement ring, "WOW," my mother was furious with me. But of course they couldn't do anything about it I was at the age that I thought I knew all about life. So we got engaged and planned on getting married in a year. We all went out to eat to celebrate our engagement. Had a wonderful time my sisters and their husband went with us.
Chuck was a very good dancer and we had a lot of fun together that night dancing and talking about the future and laughing and falling in love we couldn't keep our eyes off of each other. One thing I have to say Chuck had very good control over his self now I am not going to say that he didn't try but I knew in my heart that I wanted to wait till I got married before I ever had sex. He respected me for that and I am so glad that he did.
Well, we didn't wait a year because things changed and he was going to be shipped overseas and Chuck wanted to get married before he went overseas.
We got married on April 6, 1953 in Winchester, Virginia and got married in one day with my parent's blessings in a Catholic Church. My sister Dolores and brother in law George drove us there and they were so funny making us laugh all day. We were standing in front of the Priest, Chuck dropped the ring ... he was so nervous and we were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes. Then we came back the home same day all excited and in love.
We really didn't have a wedding night I got sick and had to have the
Doctor came to the house. My dad had wondered what Chuck did to me but really he had done nothing he was very patient with me ... so we really never had a honeymoon. We were at my parent's house and Chuck only had a week then he had to go back to Norfolk, Va.
I did not have a wedding shower because the mines were on strike. So Chuck and I from the very beginning were left for ourselves.
I stayed with my mom and dad and he went back to the service. I wrote every day and he did too. I lived for his letter. Not too long afterwards I learned I was pregnant and it was hard living at home with Chuck away.... but the months passed and my mom helped me prepare for the new baby with making baby clothes. I had a hard pregnancy and was in the hospital many times and at seven months they wanted to take the baby from me. They told me I would not live to raise it. You see I had a blood condition called Thellessiam anima and had to have many blood transfusions.
But things work out and I would not let them take the baby from me like they wanted to. I said, "If I die I die."
Christmas came and we spent it at my sister Ellen's house it was great but because I was so close to having a baby and Chuck being so far away I was sad and cried. It was not be very long before the baby would be born. I woke up during the night, my water had broken, I was so scared called my mom and she called my brother Joe to take me to the hospital. It was a long labor because of my blood condition they had to give me transfusions so they called a few miners from the coal mine to come to the hospital to donate blood for me. It was a small hospital in Waynesburg, Pa and there were no blood banks at that time.
Denise was born on December 29, 1953 a beautiful baby girl just what I always wanted. I made sure she was ok, counted all her fingers and all her toes to make sure she was perfect. Chuck was so proud and happy. He was not here but got home from the Navy later on an emergency leave. There was a big snowstorm when we came home from the hospital and my brother in law George brought us home. It was hard because of all the hills he had to put chains on the car. We settled in at my mom's and then Chuck went back to the Navy after a few days.... It was so funny for Christmas he had gotten me an electric iron very romantic. It was so funny I guess I had to start to learn about housekeeping and this is one of the things I needed ... but I loved it anyways. I missed him so much but the baby kept me busy with all the attention she needed. Denise was a good baby and my dad would get up in the morning and say she looked like a litter heifer because she would always have milk around her mouth. She ate well and was so beautiful.... I would look at her while she was sleeping I was so young and inexperienced Wow don't know how I made it through. But my mom and dad were a big help to me and my sisters were also. She had so many clothes and dresses she was the best-dressed baby around. She had a different outfit oh her every day, like a little princess.
Well it didn't take long before I went down to Norfolk where Chuck was in the hospital. At first my sister Ellen watch baby Denise as I went down to see Chuck.
It was very hard for me to be in a strange place by myself. But I was able to get a room close to the hospital and I walked their everyday to see Chuck. Then we decided that I should move down there with the baby.
So I went home and got things ready for the new adventure. My brother in law who was still in the service took Denise and me down with our personal things. My mother and dad cried but I had to be with my husband. It was a long trip and Chuck was supposed to have an apartment for us, he had paid on it. But when we got down to Norfolk and found the house the apartment was on the third floor. It was small and very dirty the window was out and it was cold. I would not stay there. My brother in law had to get back to the base so I called the lady that I had a room with that lived close to the hospital and I had stayed there before. Her husband came and picked me up and I left all my things there. The next day the landlord said she had another apartment for me so we looked at it. Small kitchen and a big room to use as a bedroom and living room we had to share the bathroom with two other apartment dwellers but it was still better then the first one.
I settled in and I cried I was scared and alone, didn't know anyone there. Chuck was still in the hospital and they would not let him out for the weekend. He sent me food money through the mail and I never got it.... So again we were in a strange town and no money. Denise got real sick and I would have to travel on the bus to the Navy hospital, so the doctor could see her. My dad had sent me money but wanted us to come home. I had no car, no phone; the apartment was furnished very little, no TV and no baby bed for Denise to sleep in. I took a drawer out of the dresser and set it on the coffee table and made a bed for her. Since I had to make a croup tent for her and keep the vaporizer going day and night. I had a sheet over a broom and a mop and formed a tent that is where she slept for days on end.
It was a hard life but I got through it and I made friends and there was a family there that helped me a lot. We were there for about six months, and then Chuck got out of the Navy we came home. He got called back to the mines and we stayed at my sisters Ellen's house. I watched her two boys because she was working in Pittsburgh the mines were on strike. It wasn't too long then we got our own place in Carmichaels they were Army houses, the rent was $18.00 a month. We got some furniture at Gross in Fredericktown stove, kitchen set and a bedroom set and the most beautiful baby bed for Denise she deserved it. So we set up housekeeping like everyone else did, we still had no car so my brother-in-law traded Chuck for binoculars and gave us a 1939 Ford coupe.
Chuck got laid off at the mines then he came to Cleveland to find a job. He started at General Motors in Euclid, Oh. We moved again to East Cleveland in a small apartment. Chuck had two sisters living there also so I was not alone. I then had another child a boy born on September 19, 1956 he was a joy. I always wanted a girl and a boy a perfect family. Life goes on and then we bought a small house in Eastlake, Ohio we lived there for over nine years. Chuck got transferred to General Motors in Lordstown, Ohio. We bought so land in Berlin Center, Ohio and spent the rest of our life there.
Till Chuck had a heart attack after a few years he had to retire.
Then we were told he had Cancer, we were able to handle that it went into remission. But then the nightmare of our life started when we were told he had the beginning of Alzheimer's disease.
He Was Once Like You became the title of my poem and book. This was the beginning of my Caregiving journey. The rest you will read in the short stories and poems I have written. I pray they help you on your journey taking care of a loved one.
Caregiver's Inspirational Journal
Day 1: Exodus 6:6 I am the LORD ... I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments.
Day 2: Matthew 19:26
But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
Day 3: 1 Peter 4:12-13
12: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13. But rejoice, in as much as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings:
Day 4: Philippians 4:13 Philippians I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Day 5: Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Day 6: 1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Day 7: Joshua 1:9-11 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
Day 8: Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Day 9: Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Day 10: 2 Timothy 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Day 11: Romans 5:5 Hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Day 12: Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you."
Day 13: Isaiah40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles
Day 14: Zechariah 12:5 Great strength comes from FAITH IN GOD
Day 15: II Corinthians 12:9-10 He has said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power Is made perfect in weakness.
Day 16: Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all you who labor and are heavily burdened, and I will give you rest.
Day 17: I Peter 5:7 casting all your worries on him, because he cares for you.
Day 18: Psalm 138:3 When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.
Day 19: 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Day 20: John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Day 21: John_3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Day 22: Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
Day 23: Proverbs 16:31 The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness
Day 24: Proverbs 23:22 Listen to your father, who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.
Day 25: Leviticus 19:32 Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord
Day 26: 1 Corinthians 13:13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Day 27: Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord blesses you and keep you. The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The LORD lifts up His countenance upon you, and gives you peace.
Day 28: Psalm 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Day 29: Revelation 21:4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Day 30: Jeremiah 30:17 'For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,' says the Lord
Day 31: Psalm 145:2 Every day I shall bless You, and I will praise Your name forever, and Ever.
What Is Respite?
Respite is a term used to describe time taken by the caregiver for rest and rejuvenation from the demands of caring for a person with Alzheimer's disease or other long-term illnesses. This "time out" is just as important for the caregiver as it is for the one who suffers from Alzheimer's.
Caregivers need time away from their care giving responsibilities to pursue personal interests, socialize with friends and family, or simply to just take a break from the demands of life. Though caregivers often experience feelings of guilt leaving their loved one in the care of someone else, it is imperative for both parties. Caregivers who neglect their own physical and emotional health may be ill-equipped to meet the daily challenges of care giving.
Excerpted from I Was Once Like You by Carolyn (Nesto) Haynali Copyright © 2011 by Carolyn (Nesto) Haynali. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
I Was Once Like You Before I Got Alzheimer's....................1
Caregiver's Inspirational Journal....................6
What Is Respite?....................9
This Is My Angry List....................10
My Thankful List....................12
Into The Hands Of Strangers....................14
Alzheimer Patient's Prayer....................18
The Caregivers Army....................19
The Caregivers Army....................21
My Depression Story....................23
My Thoughts Of Why I Write....................26
The 10 signs of caregiver stress....................29
Overcoming Loneliness And Grief....................30
Facing The Problem....................31
Recovering From And Loss Of A Loved One....................36
The Grief Goes On....................37
Different Kinds Of Losses....................38
Surviving Alzheimer's A Caregivers Story....................41
Today the Rest of My Life....................42
When Chuck Was Not Able To Communicate With Me....................47
My Time On The Internet & Pretty Thunder's Jukebox....................49
Can You Imagine....................51
A Loving Wife and Caregiver....................54
My Visits To The Nursing Home....................55
When it's Time to Let Your Loved One Go....................57
My Story As An Alzheimer's Caregiver....................64
My Care Giving Days Has Ended....................75
Being a Caregiver....................79
My Role Has Changed As A Caregiver....................84
My Life After a Loved One Has Gone....................85
Looking Back On Life....................88
The Face Of Alzheimer's....................95
Alzheimer's Disease Another Way to Die....................98
Trying To Get Through The Holidays And The Days Ahead....................102
This Is Our Story Living With Alzheimer's....................104
Caregivers Are Unsung Heroes....................111
Letter to my Grandpa Remembering Back In Time....................285