I love my mom.
My mom has vascular dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease.
The progress of her disease has been much quicker than I thought or hoped. When it was found out that she had Alzheimer’s I felt and conveyed to my family that she could have years and years of cognitive skill remaining. She was mobile and strong. She ate well and could be as quick witted as ever.
And now, less than 18 months since her diagnosis, my mother has become bed-ridden, has to eat pureed foods and is, for the most part, non-verbal. On rare and wonderful times, you receive a glint of recognition in her eyes as she stares at you. Other times, she only recognizes the love of her life, my father.
My once vibrant, beautiful and outspoken mother has become a smaller, quieter yet still beautiful version of herself.
It gets harder each time I visit her because I see less of my wonderful mom. And I don’t want to lose that picture in my head of her as she was before the disease. I want to carry that memory to share with my children when they are old enough to retain it.
Along with watching the vitality withdraw from my mother, I am struck with thoughts of things that can never be again. I could always talk to my mom, about anything, I mean anything. When I wanted to know things about my childhood, she always quick to tell me those memories. I learned to be a strong outspoken woman and to give as good as I got. Mom has always told my sisters and I that we were smart and beautiful. Always smart first because that was the important one.
When my children get sick, my first reaction is “I need to call my mom she will have the best way to handle things”. I am saddened by the fact that my daughter will never know my mom the way that I did. The hip-swinging don’t give a damn about anything woman that I remember from my childhood. My mom has always been fearless and ready to take on whatever comes her way.
Alzheimer’s is a horrible disease. In my opinion it is far worse than an illness* that wears away at the body because while horrible, the ravages of the body can be seen and felt by both the victim and the loved ones. Alzheimer’s is a sneaky underhanded disease that affects the mind sometimes long before the victim or loved ones notice the damage. It is unknown how long my mom has suffered with the disease, only how long we noticed the aftereffects.
So as this blog is my vocal outlet, I would just like to say, loud and clear:
#alzheimerssucks #endalz #findacure #memoriesshouldlastforever
*This comment is in no way meant to lessen the pain of other diseases or illnesses. Simply a statement of my opinion on how this particular disease is so sneaky. If I had my way I would eliminate all illnesses because they all tear us from each other.*