*note: my mom reads this blog sometimes. Mom, this is just me writing my feelings. I love the family. I love coming home. But you know I had a hard time over the break. The end. *
My dad has Alzheimer's. He has for a while. My grandma has dementia after her fall a year ago.
Well, I hate Alzheimer's and dementia. Hate is a strong word. But it's appropriate here. Why do I hate Alzheimer's and dementia?
I hate that my dad doesn't remember details. Riding in the car to dinner, he asked me no less than 4 times (in a 20 minute drive) where we were going to eat.
I hate that my dad worries because he can't remember. He worries when he doesn't know where we are. Even if we are just in the next room, you hear panic in his voice as he calls out for us. Same for my Gram. The most common word heard at home is "Linda?" as they call for my mom.
|Me, Dad, and Mom|
I hate that their comprehension levels affect how we can talk and joke with them. Things that would have been funny to them before just go over their head as they struggle with some comprehension.
I hate that my mom is stressed taking care of them both.
I hate that there is a steady stream of doctor's visits, tests, new medications, and other treatment.
I hate that things will never be the same.
|Gram and Mom|
Another cry hit me on the way home. At first I didn't know why I was crying, but I told Tyler in between sobs, that being home was just so sad. I couldn't pinpoint it. And then I said "Because what is going on at home is sad." And I talked through a lot of it and cried. I must have cried for at least an hour. I was trying to cry the sad away.
Alzheimer's and dementia are stealing precious time from me. Thankfully, I have plenty of great memories...but I wish we didn't have Alzheimer's and dementia looming in the background of all these memories now.
I am feeling better. I can't make these awful diseases go away, and I honestly can't do much for dad or Gram at all. But I can do what I've always done: just love them. Even though I hate Alzheimer's and dementia, I love my dad and Gram.
My grandpa had Alzheimer's years ago before he died, but I was young and it didn't really affect me. There were days when he didn't know who any of us were, but it didn't bother me too much. However, I cry at the thought of my daddy not knowing me. I cry at the thought of my Gram not remembering where she is. Stupid Alzheimer's.
I selfishly prayed to God over the weekend that He would slow their progression enough that their bodies catch up. I prayed that some natural cause would take them before this disease did.
I recently watched the movie 50/50 and in it, the main character's father has Alzheimer's. That movie made my heart sad. His father has no idea what is going on or who he is. His father is right there during his cancer treatment, but he might as well be at a carnival. I don't want that for me. For dad. For Gram. For us.
Do your parents or grandparents suffer from this horrible disease? Let me know.