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13 Dec 2017

Huntingtons in My Family

Written by Jenny Taylor (17yrs)

Dedicated to my Father and my Mum

Things started to change when I was 7 or 8. Mum became agitated and depressed all the time then. When I was little older and Mum starting to show a little more, my father pulled me aside one day and said that he had some bad news. He broke it to me as nicely as he could and tried to explain what it was. But I sort of knew what it was because I had seen my uncle go though the changes.

So now I had to start helping out a bit more around the house. Mum started to drop more things and I could see this upset her. She was put on more medicine to help stop the jerky movements.

Dad had to work at nights so I was there to look after Mum. I was always scared that Mum might have a fall and it would be all my fault. I was confused, why did this have to happen to my family why not someone else's? But I would never wish this disease on any one. At that age I thought it was just our family. Now I know I am not alone. Thanks to my dad putting the effort in, I knew what was happening and that I was not alone.

One of the worst and most hurtful memories I have is when we took Mum shopping with us and people would stare, children would stop to get a good look and the parents never seemed to stop them.

It got to the stage with Mum where she could not feed, dress or wash herself and my father did all of this for her. I would help out when I could but Dad really took good care of her.

I would have to say that my father is the greatest father and husband Mum and I could have asked for. Dad not only looked after his terminally ill wife but brought up a teenage girl without a wife to help him. He has done for me everything that a mother would have.

Then things started to get hard. Mum would have delusions and try to run away. One day when dad was outside fixing the fence, Mum tried to run away. I had to lock all the doors and hold her down. She started to yell at me, called me names which I had never heard my mother say before. Later that night Mum tried to run out on the road and Dad had to call a doctor to get her to settle down. Soon after that doctors had her put into a home were she could have constant care. Dad goes to see my mother every day.

When my father married my mother and made the vows til death do us part, he meant it.

Dad has always been there for my brother and sister and me. When my brother and sister went for their tests Dad stood by them through it all. The day we found out that one tested positive and the other tested negative it was hard. I was happy for one and upset for the other . But once again Dad was there for everyone. I know when I go for my test it will be alright as my family will be there for me and Dad has made sure that I will be prepared. He has always told me to keep my hopes up.

When I go see Mum she is now at the stage where I'm not sure if she knows I am there. It is hard to try and stop myself from letting the tears run. But I don't. I know before Mum got the disease she would not have cried so why should I. I don't really remember my Mum before the disease, just small things like Mum laughing and chasing me around the clothes line and hopping into bed with her in the mornings. We will all miss Mum when she goes, as she is loved by us all.

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Appreciation and thanks must go to Judy Lyon for compiling the wealth of information available
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