Writing about my mom and Alzheimer's disease is...well, it's depressing. Depressing to read about and depressing to write about, particularly for those that have never experienced the disease firsthand. So, I quickly decided to compartmentalize my Alzheimer's/mom posts to Mondays only. I did not want to bring myself or others "down". Afterall, this is not the "real me". I like to have fun, laugh, tell stories that people are interested in. Who wants to read about a 40- something daughter struggling to take care of her 67-year-old mother and three kids!? Probably not many. Yet, like it or not, this is a big part of my life right now. This is also my blog. I need to talk and write about it. I hope to bring some awareness, even to those who have never been affected or cannot relate. I actually hope you never are affected by this and that you never will be able to relate.
I can't help but recall over 10 years ago when I had met a neighbor mom in my kids playgroup who told me about her mom having Alzheimer's disease and how she was not doing very well. I tried to be empathetic, but the truth was I really did not understand what she was going through. Her mom passed away shortly after I met her. I have since reached out to her and told her I understand now, because I do.
The only other awareness I had of Alzheimer's Disease was through my in-laws. My father-in-law's father had the disease. What I remember most is that when my father-in-law was literally dying of cancer at the young age of 60 he remained firm that he was sooo relieved that he did not have Alzheimer's disease. I thought to myself, "Wow, surely he doesn't mean that". Now I know....he did mean that. My father-in-law passed away of cancer at the young age of 60 and still would have chosen cancer as his demise over the Alzheimer's disease that his father had suffered and died from. That is very telling....
Today has been difficult. I try to keep my mom engaged in her daily living skills. In doing so, I am continually reminded that the disease is taking her abilities away. Even seemingly simple tasks. Making instant oatmeal this morning became a great challenge and I had to intervene. Finding the bowls, the spoon, the measuring cup, her glasses to read the directions, how to work the microwave. She is great at folding laundry. However, sorting the laundry is complicated (sorting anything is complicated). Although I have told her many times it is not necessary to fold or "sort" the piles, like a trooper, she continues to try. It becomes much more complicated than it should be...even exhausting sometimes.