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!
I’m glad you share your stories and what your going through. It helps! Keep shining friend.
Thank you Saymber! You always shine as well! ♥
Yvonne you are touching so many people with today’s writing. It lets all of us just stop for 5 minutes and feel.
Thank you dear Iris. I appreciate you! ♥
Watching a loved one physically deteriorate and slowly slip was heartbreaking enough. I cannot even begin to imagine your situation. Know that: (a) regardless of their deeds, in their deepest heart of hearts, they do love and appreciate you and your efforts and (b) there are angels all around you willing to lend an ear, a wing, or anything else you may need.
Many heartfelt thanks ML as I know you are here for me as are my other angels. It’s just a common thread that we all share when we have loved ones with this disease and I just felt like connecting since I was having a hard time. You know how it is. We reach out and there are angels like you, who willingly share a hug and we feel loved again. Thank you xoxo
I’ve been very fortunate in that regard. I have an aunt with it but she is on another continent with her family all around. At 84 it’s not as bad as some. My next door neighbor had it and some of the neighbors were very impatient with her “forgetfulness”. Like it was a conscious choice. They finally had to place her in a care facility because her son worked nights and she would wander. Her anger and frustration were palpable and she would lash out at him often. My heart broke as I soon came to learn that he has some form of Asperger’s himself. I’m hoping that they will soon understand what makes the gene more receptive to expressing as Alzheimer’s. Not everyone who is coded for it gets it. We can only hope someone comes up with a way to hold it off but then, look how long they have been working on cancer with vast amounts of money. 😦 The person with Alzheimer’s is not the real person you once knew. Most of their brains are damaged and we have to remember that. Hang in there.
Thank you Marlene. I do know that and I enjoy the moments of peaceful essence which are more the norm for us than the grumpy, but I just felt like it was important to acknowledge the caregiver’s sadness at times. I hope your neighbors become more patient. Surely someone with Alzheimer’s doesn’t mean to be forgetful. They’d rather not be! I pray that I am not coded either. Thanks for stopping by! xo
It just shows how uniformed so many are about the illness. Care giving is an exhausting venture and even more so with an Alzheimer’s patient. Heartbreaking and my worst fear.
I understand! And for your neighbor to have additional difficulties, it’s even harder! I’m glad you’re there in the neighborhood to be the one with patience, kindness and compassion! ♥
How lucky these two women have you to love and comfort them through this disease. They are so blessed.
I am the one who is lucky and blessed. They remind me that we only have the present moment in which to comfort, to love and to be at peace. ♥
What a beautiful post! I have been volunteering for a few organisations lately that give support to people who are caring for loved ones with dementia. With Anthony in the full throes of dementia now, it has become a challenge but I am learning to have fun with him again and to go with the flow …
I have not had time to read your blog lately, but I plan on stopping by to check in. Sending you big hugs and love to both you, Anthony and your son! ♥
Beautifully said my friend, and I know what good care you give, they are lucky to have you hon!
Thank you, but I am lucky to have them! xo
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Thank you for sharing!