Monday, October 13, 2014

How Much Pain Does One Have to Endure?

     I have a friend that I meet about twice a month. Albert is a spunky, feisty, with it, little 88 year old. Albert spent all his adult life in upper management and was very successful in his field. Albert was active socially and with his five children.

    Around age 50 the roof began falling in on Albert. Albert's wife developed what they thought was Alzheimer's. She deteriorated rapidly and passed away in her mid fifties. After Nellie's illness began Albert took her to see her sister in California. The first time, they flew and Nellie refused to walk down the stairs from the aircraft. The second time, they drove and Nellie became hysterical when she couldn't see over a hill on the road. They persuaded her to lie in the back seat so she couldn't see the road and this worked. Needless to say, there were many more challenges

    An autopsy showed the condition was fronto temporal lobar degeneration. This condition is not Alzheimer's. This had only been diagnosed  recently at that time.

    Now Albert was told that the condition is hereditary. Albert began to worry about his children. Sure enough, his eldest daughter developed the condition in her late forties. It was first noticed when she was staying temporarily with her Dad and went to the wrong house on her way home for dinner. She had gone to the house her Dad had previously lived in. She had no idea were she was to go. Albert got a phone call from the people who he had sold the house  to, saying that he should come and get his daughter. She continued working for a while. Her husband had her tested for the condition and when it came back positive, he quickly left her. She went into a relationship with another guy and he fleeced her. Albert tried to get custody but it was difficult. By the time he got custody of his daughter, her assets had disappeared.

    When  Albert got  custody he  had to put her in a nursing home and watch her deteriorate. She has lived 17 years with the condition. The usual life with this condition is five to six years. Now her muscles have contracted and become rigid so that she is malformed. She has been fed for several years.

     Genetic testing can be done to show if you have the gene for this condition. His son was tested and does not have the flawed gene. His daughters chose not to be tested.

    When you hear a story like this you first wonder how somebody can be so strong to carry on and then how much pain can one person endure? I enjoy my visits with Albert as he has a zest for life and loves a good conversation. It's difficult talking about his daughter as the tears flow many times. I have learned much from Albert as he's demonstrated tremendous strength to carry on with his life and look after those around him.

34 comments:

  1. This is truly awful but a lesson in compassion and strenght for us all.

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    1. Albert's an excellent example. He never complains about himself. His concerns are about others.

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  2. What a contrast your friend is to the other men in his daughter's life.

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    1. Great comparison. I've never asked him how his daughter ended up with such an idiot.

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  3. Albert sounds like an amazing fellow!

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  4. A heartbreaking post. It should remind us all how much for which we should be grateful.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. We are most fortunate.

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  5. A sad story, some people have such a hard life.

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    1. For the most part , Albert is upbeat about life.

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  6. There is just great compassion and strength when the need is there and it isn't always the people you think it might be. We live in a fast moving world and God Bless Albert for being that kind of husband, father and all round wonderful person. A most sad situation Red, and you have probably heard this before "compassion and strength lie in the beholder" - named Albert.

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    1. Albert never thinks of himself...only those around him.

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  7. This is truly sad. How awful that her husband left her like that. What happened to 'in sickness and in health'? Albert has faced real hardships in his life.

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    1. You hear about creeps who leave people who are sick but it's hard to believe.

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  8. Your title says it all. It's frightening how capricious (and unfair) life can be.

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    1. You really have to wonder how much longer people can carry on.

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  9. Sometimes we feel the world is not going our way forgetting about the troubles many around us have gone through.

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  10. Albert sounds like a very strong soul, someone who has been through the wringer and come out stronger. Bless him! Thank you for introducing us. He's had a hard life but seems to have risen above it all.

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    1. I think you've had some massive challenges in your life as well.

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  11. I am always amazed at the strength some folks have when they are faced with health tragedies. I am afraid I would not be as brave.

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    1. I think that most people put in this situation would do well.

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  12. my goodness. it is true that some get so much to bear. bless that man.

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    1. It's amazing how some people face so many challenges.

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  13. A heartbreaking story. Albert is a truly inspir.

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    1. Yes, he is inspiring and a good person to be with.

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  14. Such a tragic story. I don't know what to say, except I'm sending positive thoughts to this suffering family, and I wish Albert the best.

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    1. What he needs most is some one to listen to him one in a while.

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  15. I have heard it said the the Good Lord won't give you more than you can handle. Your friend Albert must be very strong to have endured so much. It is good that he has you for a friend sometimes a listening ear is the best gift of all:)

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    1. Albert certainly does need some one to listen to him.

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  16. How heartbreaking for Albert. I'm glad he has such a good friend in you, Red. I'm sure it helps ease his load some.

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  17. Some people get it all, don’t they?
    Albert is one of them. Yet still, the way you describe him, he copes. I am full of admiration for Albert.

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  18. As a caregiver in the long run of things I can only hope to be half that strong....

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  19. Albert has a wonderful life waiting for him after this one. Bless him (and his strength), his family...and you, for being there FOR HIM. There are some truly wonderful humans in this world.

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