My Dad, Eladio Inirio (Papi)
I know there are many stories, many families, many hardships, many unique and wonderful memories of loved ones being afflicted with Lewy body dementia. These few sentences are of my father, my dad, Papi, Eladio Inirio.
My father was the head of the household, a strong man, yet the gentle silent type. We are Dominican (from the Dominican Republic with some of the children born in New Jersey) and as such, were raised the Latino way with lots of respect for our parents, especially our father. Our household was one of joy and many children (eight). While not knowing the language our parents would preserve and build a successful business from scratch. It was a clothing factory, named Gina Fashions, Inc. (at one point a shortened version of my middle name, Georgina, and my paternal grandmother's name).
I can recall going to the clothing district in New York with my father when I was younger to deliver work. It was an adventure. I have so many memories, we all do. My father became ill a few years ago and was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. We were fortunate the neurologist was quick with the right diagnosis after other medical professionals misdiagnosed it as Parkinson's and so forth. We had never heard of LBD before. As my dad was deteriorating quickly, my mother would be simultaneously diagnosed with breast cancer. She would undergo a mastectomy as well as receive aggressive chemotherapy. Now she is showing the beginning signs of Alzheimer's.
My dad is in hospice at home where my sister’s and I are his primary caregivers. It has not been an easy road, but there is laughter, memories, and so much love and joy for we can care for him at home and give him a quality of life! I feel for all those who live through this. I feel more than anything for the patients, but I also rejoice in venues such as this website and the doctors that help us give our loved ones the best care and love we can.
Papi, as we all call my father, smiles often and I feel he knows he is so loved as we are always with him!
Leda G Inirio
May 16, 2016