Thursday, February 7, 2013

Alzheimer's Sucks

My mom is 58 and has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's. She will receive the results from her CT scan that she had yesterday.The scan was basically to rule out tumor or stroke. They expect to put her on medications today to slow the progression of the disease.

My father finally convinced her to get a physical by agreeing to one for himself. She told the nurse she was 39. My mother has been an elementary school art teacher for over 25 years. She taught me to be an independent woman even though my level of independence and outspokenness has offended her delicate southern sensibilities! She's always been the most caring mother and is now showing the same love and compassion to my brother's children, aged 18 months and 3. They ADORE their Mimi.

I don't know what to say or do right now so I'm doing what she always taught me to do, write. When I was mad at someone or frustrated about a situation, she taught me to write a letter with all my thoughts and then put it in a desk drawer. And voila! Suddenly I felt better!

Unfortunately I'm still not really sure how I feel right now. I think I'm angry that for a few years now I've not been able to have a normal conversation with my mother. She always seems lost or confused or addled.

I think I'm sad because I don't have children yet. Will my future children ever know their Mimi? Will my mom ever know them? When will my mom forget my name, my face? When will she forget our Christmases or our family vacations? Will she be angry? How will my dad handle this? How will this impact her physically? How does she feel right now knowing what is ahead of her?

The ONLY thing that I know right now for sure is that I LOVE my mother with all my heart. I am a fixer, a do-er and NOT a wallower. I will put my brave face on for my family. I will do anything and everything to help her and my dad. Because I worked in the medical field during grad school, I have many contacts and I've already called them all in. I need resources and information.

If any of you have experience with this awful disease and have advice, I need it. Now is the time.


  1. OH Sweetie... the only piece of advice I can give you is to spend every possible moment with your mom and Document every FUN and LOVING thing from those times.

  2. Use the love and patience she has shown you all these years. Sending hugs. And rottie kisses.

  3. You can send our mom an e-mail at kmerry44atshawdotca. She went through it all so can offer some advice and support.

    Sam and Pippen

  4. From the mom - I totally agree with Frankie - spend as much time as you can, document in words and pictures. My situation was a little different - my mom was diagnosed with cancer and died a few years later. I wish I had spent more time with my mom those first few years because towards the end, she was on so much pain-killers and totally out of it - she hardly knew I was there. My sister has a picture of her and her son with my mom. I wish I had a picture with my mom during those last few months.
    Mom Kim

  5. First, I'm so sorry about your mom. My father had it, and my 62 year old brother has it. You're going to need patience and you'll have to deal with stuff you never have before. Read up on "how to communicate with a person with alz" because you can't communicate with them like you do with others. If you need help, contact me, and I'll point you to stuff to help. My best wishes to you.

  6. Hey, not on the blogs today but saw me or just come by the house.


  7. So sorry to hear this. The only thing I can say is just spend as much time with your mom as you can and to not mistake the disease for her true actions. My mom will be 60 this year, so I can't imagine having it happen this young. :(

    Elyse and Riley

  8. So sorry. Sending lots of hugs your way
    Benny & Lily

  9. Ugh. Prayers coming your way.

    I've heard there was a recent study that called Alzheimer's Diabetes Type III...maybe google that and read the studies...I haven't taken the time to do so myself.

    What a difficult thing to go through.


  10. I'm so sorry you have to go through this. Gentle boxer kisses and hugs to you and your momma.

  11. Scary and tragic for everybody concerned. My heart goes out to you.

    Mango Momma

  12. Since my mom is 53, we feel your diskhomfort

    Enjoy the time woo have -

    Paws khrossed!


  13. I'm so sorry to hear this, I know its a terrible disease for those afflicted and their loved ones. But your mom gave you some good lessons about writing, and documenting everything you can will help! Hugs and warmth--

  14. I don't have any experience to share but I just wanted to say how sorry I am... But you are a strong woman who will find a way to do the very best for your family.

  15. My dad had it and you're right... it sucks. Hopefully the medicine will help your mom and I'm sure you will be a huge help to your father as time goes on.

  16. Sorry to read about your are approaching it in just the right way and will be able to comfort her when she needs it...and your Father too.

    As for the post below, I was in pieces when I saw it. So touching.