Alzheimer's  

amb_lily 40F
371 posts
1/7/2006 6:10 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Alzheimer's


So I survived my extended family xmas today, though just barely. There are just under 50 of us; four generations, all in one house for 8 hours.

The reason for my writing tonight is my mental struggle over my grandmother. I wish to remember my grandmother as the active, quick witted, core of our family. She looks the same, speaks the same, but remembers nothing that happened even just moments ago. I dread the day she will cease to remember me.

My mother, grandmother and I have always had a strong bond, and my mother is reacting to this situation very differently than me, while most others seem to just ignore the fact altogether. The situation I am speaking of is Alzheimer’s disease, and what an awful disease it is. Though my grandmother is only in the beginning stages we are aware of what is ultimately to come.

I know that I have begun spending less time with her, but it is so difficult to see her.
I feel awful for dreading to see her, to see how quickly she is declining. I realize that I will always have my memories of her when she was my most admired mentor; but that doesn’t replace how much I hate to see her the way she is now.

My grandmother married young at 17; she had 7 children of which two were mentally handicapped. My grandmother was married to an abusive alcoholic and finally had enough courage to divorce him even when that wasn’t what a woman should do. She managed to raise those 7 children on her own. She has a kind soul, and has had so many struggles in her life, she doesn’t deserve to have her life end this way, not that anyone does.

I’m not sure why I write this tonight, perhaps I have a guilty conscious for having the feelings that I do. While it was a happy celebration today, it felt more like an ending to me.

JoePineCity 55M
104 posts
1/8/2006 7:19 am

Amb,
I know what you are going through. I went through the same thing, only the memory wasn't gone the ability to get up and move around was. My grandmother who meant more to me than anyone in the world ended up in a nursing home about 7 years ago now. For the first few years her husband was visiting every day, then all of a sudden he died of a heart attack (which suprised everyone in the family we thought he would out live us all). Which fortunately left me the opportunity to purchase their lake home of 50 years (nice to be able to keep it in the family). As I would make weekly trips in to see my grandmother she looked so helpless and frail, not the vibrant always doing something person I had known all my life. It made it so hard to see her, even harder to bring in her great granddaughters (I didn't want them to know her as the old lady in the nursing home, but rather from my memories). It was hard, very hard, I hate to say it but at times I would pray that she would be taken so she wouldn't have to live like that anymore. Eventually she did pass away and I will always remember her for her kind words, strong life she led (before her illness), and for when I made visits asking if I still had the cabin and if I liked it and if the kids liked it. I know she is happier now, and looks over the place (I can almost feel her here now as I write this), and I know she is happy that I have the place and am keeping it up and love the place as much as she did.

It will not be easy as your grandmother looses her memory, but your memories will always be with you and try to draw strength from that. You don't need to feel guilty for wishing that she (and the family) don't have to go through this. Unfortunately it is something more and more people are having to deal with. Draw from the fact that luckily she probably is not noticing anything is really wrong (that is the only good thing about AD, the person who has it doesn't really know what is happening), and remember her for the person she was before it all started, the thoughts and everything she expressed to you durring her many years of life.

I wish you well.

JOEPINECITY
I get things at the G spot
I know you will


Deepthroat215 52M
328 posts
1/8/2006 8:02 am

My wife's grandmother slide down a similar path. Just before the quick decline though, she shared a comment with me as I was with her alone, "Remember me how I was."

That's who she was to me until the day she died. She wasn't herself for 6 long years.


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