Friday, June 14, 2013

Blog 72: The Perspectives of Alzheimer's

The early stages of Alzheimer’s, from the person afflicted.  In this case, my mom. 

1. I want to drive my car.
2. Don't treat me like a child, I know what I am doing
3. They make me do things I don't want to do.
4. I can take care of myself.  I am fine!
5. Nobody understands me. Why won't you listen to me?
6. Where is my car?
7. Will you help me? Someone took my car keys, my purse, my money, etc.
8. I want you to know I love you even though I am acting differently.
9. I can't stand this. Get out of my house!
10. Don't make me take a shower, I just took one today.
11. I have lots of money that I have saved for you girls.  I've saved for years, but I don't know where it is.
12. I don't understand what is happening.

From a person who has a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  In this case, it’s me, saying what I said to my mom, and (what I wanted to say to her).

1. It's not safe for you to drive right now.  I will take you. (You might get in an accident and kill yourself or kill someone else).
2. Let me give you your medication at the scheduled time. (You can't take your medication on your own because you forget when you take it and you have been overdosing on it. You almost died, remember?)
3. Nobody is going to make you do anything you don't want to do. (We have to change your diaper now).
4. I know you can take care of yourself, I just want to be here to spend time with you. (Someone needs to be here with you so you don't get hurt).
5. I'm listening to you, mom.  (You just told me that a dozen times.  Or, now, I don't understand what you are trying to say).
6. Your car has been sold, but I'm telling you it's in the garage, at the house you no longer own, but you don't know that it is not your house anymore.
7. I can't find your car keys.  Maybe you put them somewhere?  Let's look for them.  Where did you last put your purse? (You have been hiding your purse and your money, I have been hiding your car keys).
8. I love to hear those words... I love you. (I hope you never forget me).
9. I know you don't like this, mom, but everything is going to be ok and I will always be here for you.  (I don't like seeing you like this. I hate this stupid disease, it is changing you and taking you away from us).
10. You need to take a shower (You haven't had one in a week).
11. You sure do have a lot of money, you worked hard for it and it is safe.  (Your money is gone, the long-term care costs have taken it away).
12. Everything will be ok.  We all love you and are here for you.  Don't worry about anything.  (You are dying and I am dying inside.  I am losing you, mom.  I can't live without you.)

What I think my mom would say if she understood what was happening…

1. I've lost my independence, which is the worst feeling in the world for me.
2. Thank you for coming to my house and saving my life that day I overdosed on my medication. I had no blood pressure.  If you didn't come I would have died on that fateful day in August of 2009.  But then again, if I knew I was going to live with Alzheimer's and dementia, I wish you wouldn't have come to my house.  I wish I would have died.  I never wanted to live like this.
3. I don't want people to see me like this.  I am doing embarrassing things and I have no privacy or dignity left.
4. Thank you for taking care of me and looking out for me.  I am scared and you make me feel safe.
5. I have so much I want to say but the words just won't come out right.
6. Please do what's best for me, for you and your families.
7. I'm sorry I blamed you for stealing my purse, my keys and my money.  You were only trying to protect me.
8. Always remember that I've always loved all of you more than anything in this world.  I want you to be happy.  That's all I ever wanted.
9. I can't believe I got the disease that I always dreaded.  A disease that changed me and made me say mean things to my loving daughters.  I wish I could take it all back.  I pray this never happens to any of you.
10. I'm sorry I put you through the pain of seeing me like this.
11. I know what is happening to me and to you, my daughters.  I know where my money went.  I know what went wrong with you girls.  I'm sorry you had to go through this, and I want you girls to come back together and stop fighting.  Do this for me.  I never raised you to be hurtful to one another.  I love you all so much.
12. Take care of each other when I am gone.  I will look down on you from Heaven and show you my love every day of your lives.  Watch for the signs.  You will see me all around you.  I will never forget you or ever leave you.  I live in your heart and you all live in mine, for eternity.  


  1. Thank you, Lizzie, this is very moving.

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