I haven’t been writing much because I have been spending a lot of time on an Alzheimer’s forum. It’s only been a little over a month since the diagnosis was confirmed by doctors, but man it feels like forever ago.
Some days, like yesterday, mom is almost normal, just old. She almost remembered where we were and most everything she said made some sense. We all went for a ride to Ocean State and Stop and Shop. She got tired two aisles into the grocery store and Jim took her out to sit in the Jeep. God Bless that man.
It wasn’t until we got home and were sitting in the living room that she asked me who we were feeding in the back hall. #1 we don’t have a back hall. #2 we really aren’t feeding anyone. She insisted Jim lets people in and feeds them during the day. Maybe they come to visit the lady who sits at the end of the hall or the men who have passes to fix her window in the middle of the night. Guess all those extra people explains the increase in our grocery bill.
To mom, there are always people in the back hall. Like I said we don’t have a back hall, she hasn’t had a back hall in over 40 years. Not since we moved out of the 3 decker in Worcester when I was 10. It is so weird how this disease acts. As little as the medical professionals know about it they do know people show the same type of memory loss no matter what their lives have been like.
Alzheimer’s patients lose the present, near present, and work backwards. Short term memory goes first. Remembering what happened ten minutes ago is gone. As each hour drags on they go further back. People from today become people from long gone. Home is not where they live now, it is where they have lived in the past. Everything they learned through out a life time of living is erased in a matter of months. It is sad and scary when our brain just decides to quit. Walk off the job like we don’t need it. Our brain, the main computer for everything we are, just progressively shuts down.
It was suggested to me, by people on an Alzheimer’s forum, that I keep a journal of everything. That means any changes, physical, behavioral, and mental. I thought about it when we originally went to the doctors, but didn’t need it. Now I agree it will come in handy as this monster moves forward. Being able to have the information at my fingertips in the upcoming months could be the difference between making informed decisions versus guilt trip or accusatory ones.
My new writing assignment, a journal of a journey through AD. Handwritten, free form, and no grammar or spell check. Hopefully I’ll be able to decipher it when it’s needed.