Some of the first things we really noticed about my father as he developed dementia was his lapses in judgement. With a farm this resulted in more broken equipment… A wagon accidently pushed into a pond. The oil pan cover on a bulldozer being forgotten. We even found at one point that my father had thrown away the smoke alarms while my mother was out. We narrowed it down to while my mom was out and my dad had made himself something to eat. He had mentioned that the food was so burnt that the dogs wouldn’t even eat it. Apparently he had taken down the smoke alarms and carried them out to dispose of them. It wasn’t until my mother had a slight kitchen mishap weeks later that we noticed the alarms didn’t go off… upon a search, we noticed they were completely missing.
The toughest to correct was the wagon in the pond. Someone had to get into the pond and attach onto the wagon and then the wagon had to be drug out of the pond. It ended up taking a few years to get it out! The bulldozer though may still be needing repairs.
After the last farming season – the season of a lot of needed repairs…. my dad began to have strokes. Something I feel that I need to keep an eye out for in my future. I already know that on blood tests/lab work that odd test that shows the size of the red blood cells gives a result showing mine are a little large… I’m not really sure what that means, but I’m guessing that means I’m at a higher risk of stroke. My dad always had issues with clotting – he clotted easy and honestly with very little foreshadowing I already see my future coming… Add to that the fact that I know I have small veins (They say drink lots of water before lab work, hello, that just means I’m going to be in the bathroom a million times between now and bedtime and probably even have to stop to go on the way home – and the way into the lab)
Looking up items to reduce my risk of stroke, I’ve found:
- Start drinking
- Control Blood Pressure (mines already fine)
- Watch your weight (um that’s not feasible…. I do everything I can and nothing helps)
- Cholesterol (mine’s already fine)
- Exercise (does going up and down stairs count?)
- smoking (never have…)
- eat chocolate (does white chocolate count?)
- sleep (must add this to my calendar)
- limit red meat (we already do, but we need some for iron – though we eat a lot of other things with iron)
- Fiber (that could be good to add)
- drink tea (I need to find one that doesn’t make me jittery)
- drink water (I try)
Looking through my list of ways to reduce my list, I think I’m doing pretty good. We have also worked to reduce our fried foods, reduce our fats, and we mostly eat healthy. That tends to break down a little when my husband finds any snacks, when my mom visits, or when we are up in Illinois.