Even though it has been two years now, I still miss my mother. Yes, she left me long before she finally went home but sometimes it still feels a bit strange to be what I consider an “adult orphan”. Perhaps that isn’t quite the right tag to wear but when she passed, that was one of my first thoughts. You who have lost parents perhaps can understand. And even though I am no longer a caregiver, that does not mean I do not care about and rally for the cause. I have a cousin who is in the deadly grips of this disease and far too often I hear in passing about someone else who has a loved one dealing with this.
Now I am in the role of advocate and one who tries to help and educate others who have entered the realm of dealing with Alzheimer’s and dementia’s. It is not an easy path to trod and often it is maddening, frustrating, and just plain rough! There can be a few fun moments like the time my mother decided she could not be seen without a hat on – any hat – all day every day! And this was from a woman who in my entire life time only wore a hat when it was freezing cold outside. Dealing with the medical profession, finding a safe place for your loved one while you try to work, getting in home assistance, or finding a place for them to live and be cared for when you just cannot do it anymore; all of these are difficult and will try you mentally, physically, and spiritually. But do not let guilt consume you, my friend. Guilt never helped anyone or anything when it comes to dealing with Alzheimer’s.
There are so many diseases out there and the need for cures for them. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty (there goes that unproductive emotion again) to not support some of them but I hope you will understand that this one is very near and dear to my heart after having ridden the ride for 14 years. Of the many things that could go physically and mentally wrong with me, losing “me” from dementia scares me the most (there are two others that run in the family that frighten me also but this one is scary due to limited treatment, etc.) That’s not to diminish the severity of other diseases, oh dear me no! It’s just that every day when I forget where I put something, why was I going to the laundry room, what was that persons name, etc. – I have this electric shock of a moment curse through my body and frighten me. It is then that I must take a step back and calm myself; telling myself not to panic, it isn’t “that” come to get me.
To all of you in whatever stage of having this disease or caring/knowing someone with this, you have my hugs and prayers and encouragement. If you can, support research for a cure. Click on a website that will donate funds to the cause. Take someone who is a tired caregiver out to lunch or bring them dinner. Wear something purple today and tell people why – I am. Thank you
For Momma, Virginia, Katherine, and Grandpa