Three years ago, Jim's parents made the decision to sell their house and move in with us. We were all looking forward to it, but we knew that there would be struggles. I know how had it is to leave the familiar behind and go to something new. Honestly, Jim and I thought that his dad would struggle the most, but it was his mom who missed Indianapolis and being on her own. After just a few months, they moved back to Indy. They found an apartment and seemed to enjoy being there.
Last summer, we started noticing things weren't quite right. Jim's mom used to be an amazing cook. She was struggling to make the simplest meals. Her home was always spotless...like eat off the floor spotless. The apartment wasn't being kept up as well any more. In fairness, she is getting older and my father-in-law isn't in the best physical health. They have always had the stereotypical marriage...he worked outside the home and she did everything else. Kenny was able to retire and relax, Sharon still had everything else, plus a retired husband to take care of. Jim and I started going up weekly on our days off to help out...go to the grocery store, pay the bills, fill prescriptions, doctor's appointments. During all this, Sharon was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
Ken and Sharon asked us to find a rental home for them near us. Jim and I searched, but there aren't a lot of rental places in our small town. When you factor in the things that they wanted and needed, the places to rent became smaller. Jim and I prayed and asked them to move back in with us. They said yes, but I know that all 5 of us had our worries about it again. We loaded them up in December and got settled...as much as possible, because Jim and I were also searching for a new home.
We realized the extent of his mom's illness once they moved in with us. She doesn't wander off, but she has forgotten so many things. She isn't able to cook any more, other than heating up a can of soup. She doesn't remember how to use the coffee maker or microwave. Her short term memory isn't very good any more. She sleeps a lot and doesn't like to shower. These are all things that can be part of Alzheimer's . Our biggest concern is that she doesn't eat. It is a daily struggle to make sure that she has enough food to keep her body moving. We try to give her protein shakes, but it still is struggle. We make sure that she has things for sandwiches on hand and the breakfast bars that she enjoys, but there are still days that I have to be mean to get her to eat.
At the end of March, Ken had a stroke. Sharon got us up in the middle of the night because he fell out of bed. Jim and I recognized the signs of stroke right away and called 911. He was flown to Louisville to be seen and treated. He spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and then was released to a nursing home for rehab. He did really well there and on Mother's Day, came home to our new house. He still has struggles. His left hand doesn't work, but he is able to walk with a walker. Mentally, he is doing great. Physically, he is doing pretty well...I think that he has more strength than before. And he has lost some weight.
In between all of this, we bought a new to us home. We moved in, with the help of some amazing friends. Jim had carpal tunnel surgery on one hand, with the other to be done later this year. My office job was eliminated by my company, but my boss has made sure that I have a job that fits the needs of me, my family, and my store. The first 6 months of 2017 have been full of change. Some good, some not so much. We all have good days and bad days. We pray a lot...and we ask others to keep us covered! On the bad days, we take it hour by hour...sometimes minute by minute. And on those days, we pray even more.
When you see Jim or I asking for some extra prayers, those are the hard days. We know that we will get through them, but we still struggle. We give thanks for the good days...and even though it isn't easy, we try to be thankful for the hard days as well. We appreciate all our family and friends who are caring for us in so many ways. We know that we are loved and that we are being covered in prayer daily. That's what's been going on with the Predmore family!