21 July 2013

Interview with Author Tamara Fickas: Lewy Body Dementia and Loss of Parent


Tamara Fickas

Tamara Fickas is a contributor to the new nonfiction release “God’s Provision in Tough Times.”  She is the administrator of the Rocky Mountain Writer website. She writes historical and contemporary fiction and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

Tamara, welcome to Overcoming With God.  We appreciate your willingness to share your testimony of overcoming with our readers. 

Would you tell us about the most difficult thing in your life you have had to overcome, with God’s help? (transparency appreciated!)
Thank you for having me here on Overcoming with God. One of the most difficult things I’ve gone through is walking with my mother through Lewy Body Dementia (LBD.) Lewy is the second leading form of dementia after Alzheimer’s. It causes cognitive dysfunction, hallucinations, and Parkinson’s type symptoms.
Dad was committed to doing as much as possible for Mom, and we kids jumped in to help as much as we could. During the last ten months of Mom’s life, I was unemployed and through God’s strength, I was able to be there for Mom and Dad. 

I look back on that time with awe that in one of the hardest times of my life I could see God walking every step of the way with me. It was this time that I wrote about for my contribution to the book God’s Provision in Tough Times.

(CFP: Tammy, one of my best friends lost her father to this disorder several years ago.  I understand that is is very difficult to deal with.  What a blessing you were to your mother.)

What is your favorite bible verse and why?
Jeremiah 29:11 has always been a favorite of mine. It is comforting to know that even when life seems convoluted and messed up God knows the plan for me. I am not just wandering around lost. I can’t see what is up ahead, but God can.

What has been the most important thing you hope your readers will get from your blogs and why?
I started my Rocky Mountain Writer blog years ago when Mom was still alive. It began as a way to get the word out about LBD as well as polish my writing skills. Over the years, the blog has evolved to be more of an opportunity to share the wonder I find in everyday life.

My personal blog has been inactive for a while now as I consider what direction God wants me to take with it. Even though I’m not sure of the direction the blog is going, it is always my hope that people who read my work see how God is at work around us and are encouraged by that fact.

As you researched your manuscripts, did you learn anything that particularly touched your heart?
I am still in the process of researching my historical fiction novel, but as I read I am amazed at how hard life was for those people who came over to the new world. They could have stayed in comfort in what they knew, but they chose to come to America and tough it out to build this new nation. Makes me thankful for how easy life can be for me.

(CFP: Tammy has written an American Revolutionary War manuscript--a time of history near and dear to my own heart!)

In your work, do you share about LBD?  
My latest work doesn’t really have topics, but some of the early posts on my blog dealt with LBD and how our family coped with this disease that affects not only the person who is suffering from it, but all those around them.

Thank you Tamara for agreeing to answer these questions.  Have a blessed day and keep on writing!!

Giveaway:  A paperback or Kindle copy (outside of USA ebook only) of God's Provision in Tough Times.  Leave a comment and your email address.



19 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing with us on OWG, TAMARA. I'm so sorry for your loss and for the dark time you had to go through during your mom's illness. I lost my mom a couple of years ago and I know how hard it still is.

    A dear friend just gifted me with this wonderful book and I can't wait to read your contribution to it AND your historical fiction novel when published as well!

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  2. Hi DIANA, I'm sorry for your loss. Losing a parent is hard no matter what our age.

    I hope you enjoy the book and that you find encouragement in the stories.

    Tamara

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  3. Thank you for sharing, Tamara. Your mom was blessed to have you by her side. :)

    I've read this book and I encourage everyone to pick up a copy. It's a great source of encouragement.

    (I also enjoyed these questions!) Blessings...

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  4. Thanks for stopping by, CATHY.

    I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Thanks for encouraging others to read it.

    Tamara

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  5. I hadn't heard of LBD before. My Father had Alzheimer's and that was very difficult. More so for my Mother as you would imagine.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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    1. Hi MARY,

      I've been in healthcare for over 20 years and hadn't heard of it until Mom's diagnosis. I'm sorry your family had to suffer through dementia. It is often harder on the the loved ones than the one who has it.

      Blessings to you and your family,
      Tamara

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  6. Thank you for sharing. My dad is in a nursing home an hour away from me. Two yrs ago in April my mom died and I was put in charge of my dad. Thank the Lord that I have a brother and sister to help so that we can be with dad every night for supper to feed him. He has Dementia but as far as I can tell it only affects his short memory although every so often he gets confused and a few times he saw something that was not there. Each day that we have him is a blessing and for now he knows all of us. I have not read the book. Would very much love to win the book.

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    1. BONNIE,

      Thank you for stopping by. I'm glad you have support in your brother and sister during this tough time. May the Lord be with you all as you walk this road.

      Tamara

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  7. Thank you for sharing. My DH has memory issues and mental illness. I had not heard of Lewy at all either. We lost DH's Mother 2 years ago, I still so miss her daily. The Lord be with thee and comfort thee.
    Blessings
    Linda Finn
    faithfulacres7@gmail.com

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    1. Oh Linda, I know it must be hard for you to have your husband dealing with this. I miss my mother so much each day also. Praying you feel the Lord's comfort.

      Blessings to you also,
      Tamara

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  8. My dad died from LBD a few years ago as well. I had never heard of this illness before, and it was a difficult thing to experience with our dad. The diagnosis did not come right away--at first they just said early stages of Dementia & Parkinson'. I had already began the crazy travel schedule with my husband, so I was not around as much as I would have liked. Fortunately, like you, my younger brother was unemployed and he became the primary caregiver for my dad with help from his wife in the evenings when she got off work. This was an extremely difficult thing for my brother as the main caregiver, but I was able to help out a little at the last stages to give a LITTLE relief, as did their adult daughter even more so. I was very thankful that they were able to get word to me while I was in another state soon enough for me to get an emergency flight change from our airline and made it home the day before he passed. Now my brother and sister-in-law continue to be caregivers for my mother who has Rheumatoid Arthritis and I make sure to go spend at LEAST a day with my mom each time I am home. I would like to read your portion of this book (and other's as well) and it would be great to win a copy. Thanks for sharing your testimony and offering a copy of this book.
    Vicki
    vmarney(at)hotmail(dot)com

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    1. Vicki,
      My heart goes out to you. I'm glad you were able to make it home before your father passed. Please know that your emotional support for your siblings was and is a blessing to them. Cherish the moments with your mother.

      Blessings to you,
      Tamara

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  9. Thanks so much for sharing your experience TAMARA, not only here on OWG but also in God's Provision for Tough Times. I don't have a copy yet but hope to one day. It'd be a great book to lend to someone going through such trying times.
    I hadn't heard of LBD either, although my dad did have Alzheimer's before he passed away. It sounds like such a tough thing for your family to have had to go through and I'm so glad you had God with you to help and give you the strength needed. God bless you!

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    1. Noela,

      The book is full of amazing stories of God's provision, and I hope you have the opportunity to read it at some point.

      Dementia is a tough disease to walk a loved one through as you well know. I'm sorry you had to experience that reality.

      May God bless you,
      Tamara

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  10. What a wonderful blessing you are to so many, Tamara. So many people have burdens that are lightened when others share their stories. I enjoyed reading your interview, and am so appreciative of your willingness to share your story of caring for your mother and father during the dark time of your unemployment both here and in "God's Provision in Tough Times."

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    1. Thank you CYNTHIA for your kind words and for sharing my interview with others.

      Tamara

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  11. Thank you for sharing with us! What a great reminder that God does know our every move - has a plan for us. I need to keep that in mind also. I cannot imagine what you have gone thru - my grandma has Alzheimer's and it just tears me apart to see her like that. Prayers for continued success for you!
    farmygirl at hotmail dot com

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    1. SUSAN,

      I'm glad that my words were encouraging for you. It is so very hard to watch a loved one go through dementia. I'm sure your grandmother is blessed by you often.

      Blessings,
      Tamara

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  12. This looks like a really good book. I'm glad you were able to be there for your mom. shopgirl152nykiki(at)yahoo(dot)com

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