You cannot force this disease into submission, no matter how much anger your exhaustion riles after another sleepless night. Or if there was sleep, it came in choppy waves of fitful delusions less like dreams than feverish thrashings. Kicking off the covers, pulling them close. Sweat and shivering intermingled. It was a hallucination. A hallucination inside a hallucination. Whose dementia? Theirs or your own? You were back somewhere. You were ten again. Your mother came to wake you in the morning with her hand on your cheek. She packed a lunch for you. It had your favorite snacks. But then the cold blew through and you found her sitting on the edge of her bed cackling. It was 4 am. And then he was coming toward you, your father, and he had his head in his hands and he just kept saying over and over “I’m going crazy. I think I’m going crazy. I’m losing my mind. I’m losing my mind!” And you want to scream: “You ARE losing your mind! You are losing it!” As if that might tame it. But no words. No actions. NOTHING. You cannot force it to submit. It never will.
This reckless drunken beast. This Alzheimer’s. This dementia.
My journey began with my mother October 4, 2015. She has been diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment. She gets confused easily, and asks the same questions over and over again and when I leave her and go home (we live 4 doors apart in an apartment complex), she calls me and asks the same question again. She gets her days mixed up, loses track of time, and on and on it goes. I cannot imagine what you go through, but at least you have support. I am doing this on my own, I’m an only child, my son lives down south, and I have no spouse. I understand how it must feel, experiencing loneliness. Please continue to write, something that has helped me with this struggle. I have two blogs, but it has been dormant for a while, and hope to start writing again. Thank you for sharing your journey.
I’m an only child too… My mother was acting weird for years…I had no clue, I had no idea what dementia was. She’s now 58..changes began 8-9 years ago… and one day, I woke up and it seemed that she didn’t.. no more denial on my part, no fighting this desease it us now here and it has broken us to peices. I have my mom, but I don’t. : (
This is the toughest part of the Alzheimer’s journey. The new reality. It’s a helpless feeling, but one where education is important. It’s never a life that you’d plan for yourself, but one that you cannot deny help. Siblings, relatives, neighbors, community and hired caregivers will be needed to be successful in getting the right plan set up. Without these resources, it’s like your navigating the sea without instruments, in the dark.
We love the raw unfiltered approach to your writing. It the truth the many need to understand how important it is to get help. Thank you Elizabeth!