Mischievous, she delighted in the proverbial “pulling of the leg.” My mother especially liked it when someone asked for a “little” of something. She loved placing a teaspoon of ice cream in a large bowl. The extremeness of Minnesotan politeness caused the person to thank mum which made her laugh and then return with a single scoop, per the person’s request. It was her favorite joke.
July 31, 2011 was the first time we cried together about her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. I had visited for a couple days and was packing to leave. She came into the guest room to say that I should look through her jewelry (costume, nothing expensive). “I don’t know how long I’ll have my mind,” mom stated and I burst into tears. She began to cry too. We sobbed into each other’s arms for several minutes. Oddly, it felt good to release the pain.
She had been so angry about the diagnosis two years previously and would not say the word Alzheimer. I’ve told her repeatedly that she did nothing wrong, she does not deserve to have this disease. During 2011 she began repeating herself more and only remembered about half of what occurred during the day. I’ve already written about when I cut my hair in May 2011 and she didn’t recognize me. In a way, this is worse than a terminal illness like cancer. I will be losing her twice, first her mind and then her body, which could be years later. Prolonged grief.
Mom said that she didn’t have physical pain in 2011 but not being able to remember hurt her heart. I feared that she would slip into oblivion quickly, but it was gradual. The twinkle in her eye, her personal spark, dissolved and the confused look became permanent. I hoped that she will fade into happy oblivion but she is fearful and confused in the nursing home. Her physical pain has grown and I worry that the prescription of Vicoden won’t be strong enough. It might be easier for her to be medicated into a coma. I hate to see her suffer.
I hope that a cure or vaccination for Alzheimer’s will be developed soon. I know that it is too late for my mother. I fear that my siblings, their kids, grandkids and I may carry the gene since my mother’s older sister also has the disease. I wish that the US’s National Institute of Health would provide guidelines to reduce the possibility of this awful condition. Are there herbs or supplements that I should take? Are there things that I should avoid? I am not interested in folklore but actual studies that have proven that these alternative medicines work. Somehow we are causing the gene to activate, what is causing it?
Don’t waste a day.
Copyright © 2013 by Ima B. Musing; All rights reserved