Today I want to tell you about my fellow PWD (Person With Dementia) friend, Robert Bowles, and what motivates him for living with a dementia diagnosis well. The introduction is by his daughter Ashley on July 1, 2014:
I sit here a grateful, amazed, and proud daughter. … My Dad inspired me as a pharmacist, and he inspires me even more today with his hope, optimism, and FAITH! My Dad and the late great Mike Ellington were “hospice” before hospice was around. They had an IV home therapy business and gave IV nutrition, morphine drips, and whatever else was needed to comfort many people in the surrounding area. My Dad brought compounding to Thomaston/Upson County. … He was the first in the area to compound Phenergan gel that got many women through tough pregnancies and helped many parents get sick kids through the night. My Dad brought diabetic shoes and inserts to Thomaston/Upson County. He brought a focus on diabetes education to this area that many stores are now carrying on. My dad gave medicine to people who couldn’t afford it; he held checks until payday for people who needed their medicine right then. He even bought a cell phone for one diabetic customer so she could receive medication reminder alerts via the phone to become compliant with her meds. My dad was as innovative a businessman as you’ll ever meet. He was constantly learning new things, taking classes, going to conventions, getting certified, and doing whatever it took to be on the cutting edge of pharmacy. It is impossible to quantify my dad’s impact on the pharmacy profession or on the lives of people in the surrounding counties. Now he fights bigger battles … with the same courage, optimism, dignity, and faith that he demonstrated during his career. I am so proud to call Robert Bowles my Daddy!
Excerpts from Robert’s FaceBook page:
2014 Jul 19: Often times when an individual receives a diagnosis of some type of dementia; they feel like their life is over. It is important for the person with dementia to stay active, exercise, stay engaged and continue to do as much as possible. When I was diagnosed in June 2012, I read what the life expectancy was for dementia with Lewy Bodies. My thoughts were they are only statistics. My goal at that time and still today is to defy statistics. My diagnosis simply gave me a different venue to do the things that I had tried to do all my life. I received the report from my neurologist this week. To me, it was very encouraging. It showed that even though I was in the mild dementia range; my level of cognitive function has remained largely stable without having the orthostatic hypotension, slurring of speech or supine hypertension. Additionally it states, given the persistent Parkinsonism, dementia with Lewy bodies remains the most likely etiology. All I know is that God has given me a new purpose in life; and I refuse to let dementia with Lewy bodies rule me. Instead, with God’s love, mercy, and grace; I intend to rule it.
2014 Sep 11: Each time things deteriorate, it gets more difficult to accept the “new normal”. Dementia is such an insidious disease that acts as a thief coming in the middle of the night. God’s promises continue to sustain me through these changes; and I am thankful that He will never leave me nor forsake me. He is with me always.
2014 Sep 16: I am realizing that I am now taking one more step in my journey with LBD (Lewy Body Dementia). Some things are easier to accept than others. Even though I have taken another step, God continues to sustain me through these changes. We serve an awesome God. My passion for dementia advocacy and helping others along their journey keep me going.
2014 Sep 17: I like to call LBD the disease of many faces. When I wake up in the morning, I never know which face I will be wearing. Throughout the day that face may change many times. The new face may last minutes, hours, days or weeks. I just have no way of knowing. Take a minute to imagine the fastest and highest roller coaster you have ever been on. With LBD, the changes may be slower or faster; and they me higher or lower. We just never know. For me, there is one thing that is always constant; my God will supply all my needs.
2014 Sep 17: Even when LBD rears an ugly face, I am thankful that I always have hope. My hope is deeply rooted; and I cling to that. I still have a choice each morning of the attitude I will have. For that, I am thankful. I have choice each morning of whether LBD will rule me or I will rule it. For that I am thankful. I will always have the insatiable desire for me to rule LBD. It is a passion. Nothing will get in my way. I have a purpose in my life. For that I am thankful. One of the most difficult things that I experienced after my diagnosis was my loss of purpose. Often times, loss of purpose may lead to depression. I refuse to be depressed. While it took me several months to find my new purpose, I was able to find it and embrace it with as much or greater passion than during my 38 years of owning my own pharmacy. It allows me to advocate for dementia and care for other persons with dementia and caregivers. Finding my purpose greatly increased my quality of life. I became more active and more socially engaged. My friends are very near and dear to my heart. For each of them, I am thankful. My circle of friends simply increased after my diagnosis. I have new friends all across the world; those that I have met in support groups both persons with dementia and caregivers. These are my virtual friends. I know they are always there. I love each one of you. For that, I am thankful. I have my virtual memory café through Dementia Mentors. Here, we can laugh together and cry together; for we have each other. Mostly we laugh though because we all know that there is life after a diagnosis of dementia. I have so much to be thankful for.
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I have only known Robert via the LBD Group on facebook for a short while, but feel like I’ve known him and his family for years. He’s always been there for me answering my questions concerning medications, lifting me up in scripture and in prayer. He is an amazing example of Gods love, and such an inspiration to each life he touches! A complete blessing and a wonderful friend in Christ!
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I think he is pretty terrific myself 😀
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I have dementia with Lewy bodies and am so thankful to find this site. A volunteer from LBDA suggested I find Mr Bowles on Forget Me Not. I can’t seem to find his site,. Are you able to hel me?
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Very pleased to do so. The problem is Forget Me Not is “secret” support-type FaceBook site. You can sign up for it at http://www.forgetmenot.support. Or “friend” FaceBook account “PWD Perspective”, which he is also part of. PWD Perspective goal is to make public the perspective of Persons With Dementia so it is NOT support-type, but instead very VERY public!
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