March 2016, Sioux Falls

Marian Gunderson

First post: Feb 1, 2018 Latest post: Feb 18, 2019
Mom passed away at 2:15 am on February 18, 2018. She’d started receiving hospice care along with nursing home care on January 29. She told me in November that she was at peace with her life. She had a peaceful passing from this life.

I’ll continue posting while I sort through what happens after. 

She was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease (PD)  in May 2006. Two years ago, the neurologist added Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) to the mix. She had a selection of effects of both diseases. For now, we have learned that LBD is a fluctuating dementia. Apparently after Alzheimer's it's the most common form of dementia. She knew us and her friends and caregivers until the end when she slipped toward death. She remembered her life and said funny, wry things. Over the last year she’s had aphasia more often, not being able to find the words she wanted or process her thoughts fluidly into words. We’d listen and grab for a word or idea that she might mean. It was frustrating for her, very frustrating for an intelligent vibrant person to be muzzled. I've learned that aphasia doesn't mean loss of intellect.

She moved from assisted living to nursing care at Dow Rummel Village, Sioux Falls, in November 2016. There's no cure for PD or LBD only treatments and medicines that can make life more somewhat more bearable. Mom faithfully exercised and as recently as early January she loved the Sit-to-Stand which gave her the chance to bear weight on her feet. She had lost the strength to walk with assistance in late fall. Her relief and joy at being able again to stand for as long as 20 minutes was wonderful to see. 

Marian showed courage and grit through almost twelve years of living with this debilitating illness. We love her. We know she loved us. No expiration date for that.

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