Kevin's story – Bravelets

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Kevin's story

Posted on December 07 2014

Kevin's story
Kevin and I met in 2005. We had both had previous marriages, me a widow and he divorced. We found each other online 1500 miles from each other. We sparked a friendship and I moved up to PA were he lived. We continued to see each other and in April 2008 were married. It was a great marriage. But in Sept 2009 Kevin had a major stroke. He was only 57 and from that moment our lives changed. He did not have to much of a disablility with his body except for a little on his lower left side. So we thought, great! He's going to be fine. Then things started changing, his memory wasn't quite as sharp as it had been. He would loose his keys or something small. As it advanced with the memory problems his doctor noticed that things just weren't adding up for Kevin. He put Kevin through some testing and come June 2013 Kevin was diagnosed with Vascular Dementia. Since that diagnoses his memory has faded even more, his reasoning was not there. He couldn't accomplish the simplest of tasks. His personality changed, his behavior was inappropriate at times and now he's wandering in the house at night. He can't sleep, he's doing things in the house that have me scared for his safety and mine while I sleep. Vascular Dementia is usually reserved for a subtly progressive worsening of memory and other cognitive functions that is presumed to be due to vascular disease within the brain. VaD patients often present with similar symptoms to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients, however, the related changes in the brain are not due to AD pathology but to chronic reduced blood flow in the brain, eventually resulting in dementia. Clinically, such patients can look very similar to patients with AD, and when this occurs the two diseases are very difficult to distinguish from each other. However some clinical symptoms and brain imaging findings suggest that vascular disease is playing a role in, if not completely explaining, a patient’s cognitive impairment. So now we live one day at a time, I showing as much patience to him as I possibly can. He doesn't remember if he's done something wrong and it doesn't do anyone any good to get upset with him about it. It simply makes him feel worse. He knows he has this disease and it could take his life or be a part of his death with complications to something else. He is now 61 and he tries so hard to be normal, but there is no more normal in this house. I love him, show him I love him and we continue on this journey together. We both have our faith in our heavenly father who sustains us with the hope of a cure. But with us we will get through it together. Vascular Dementia tends to progress in a ‘step-wise’ manner. This means it changes fairly suddenly at times. It is less predictable in its progression. People may stay the same for a long time (be on a plateau) then have a rapid change, lose skills, and then stay at that level for a good while.
•The areas of damage vary greatly depending on the specific type of vascular dementia the person has AND the areas of the brain losing oxygen and nourishment. Because the damage only happens to the specific parts of the brain not supplied with oxygen & nourishment, the symptoms for each person and after each event will may be different
So you can't predict when he will decline, he's a smoker and that's not good for him. He also has been diagnosed with small vessel disease of the brain. His blood vessels are very frail and the can burst at any time sending him into another stroke. So far we have been lucky, I have gotten him to cut back on his smoking but after smoking for 50 years its hard for him to stop. And now with this disease its even harder because he forgets why he has to quit. We've tried everything, patches, gum, Chantix. Nothing has worked. He's on 2 different blood pressure medications to keep his BP down but that's a fighting game as well. Its one day at a time for us. Time is all we have.


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