I have two close family members with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia. Although we have been walking this path for over two years, the decline is beginning to show the ravages of the disease. It’s a normal process I’m told that there are declines, progression of the disease and plateaus. As with many diseases, its course is unpredictable and unfortunately, non-reversible.
I have made many friends through this journey. Today I was speaking with another daughter of a Mom with Alzheimer’s. Commiserating about our loved ones’ situations, we found solace in sharing our feelings about the disease without a cure. A disease which is documented to be exponentially growing in the coming years, with the ability to even touch our own lives since many times, it is genetically carried.
How mind-blowing is that? Yes, pun intended.
I read other bloggers who are touched by these diseases. Caretakers, patients as well as doctors who are dedicated to finding a cure and making life better for those afflicted by this disease and their loved ones who wrestle heart-breakingly with the changes that come as the diseases progress.
Of course, I have much empathy and compassion for those who endure this disease, including my loved ones. How could I not when I see as they move along this path? I’m not saying it isn’t confusing or frustrating for those who have the diseases because I know that it is and frankly, I fear that it may strike me one day as well. So I find myself always trying to go with the flow, to assure my loved ones that they are safe, all is well and to make sure that their lives are as lovely as I can make them. And that sometimes, in itself, is a full time job.
But every once in awhile, there comes a time when it feels unbearable. To watch a loved one’s mind slip away is heart-wrenching and I feel so incompetent and powerless to make things better for them. When there come personality changes which may or may not last for long, but still sting because my loved ones perseverate over something or get angry because of something they believe (which may or may not be true), it’s hard to handle. It’s difficult to manage and to let go of what is being said because in my heart, I know she doesn’t really mean what she is saying as she just doesn’t know because she has this disease. But the words and the feelings, sting and pierce my heart anyway. Probably because I still want her to be who I remember fondly and not the grouchy person who is so angry.
It has been said that when the full moon comes, our minds often are affected and surely, with this disease, I have found that theory to be true. The coming full moon and eclipse may even be a double whammy in memory care facilities world-wide. Who knows?
In any case, thank you for reading as the road through aging, isn’t for sissies, no matter how old you are!