You were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and Dad and I depended on your sons, my brothers, to take us through the various stages. There was no Support Group or assistance on dementia at the time, so their medical advice was very valuable. Time thought us how to deal with the situation and how to go about it. And time thought us one valuable lesson…Enjoy the moment!
We plan, we think of our future, we strive, work hard..but the future is not ours. Only this very moment is ours..so, yes, enjoy it!
Sometimes, the experience turns sour because of lack of cooperation, tiredness, stress and anxiety. How can you enjoy the moment?? How?? Many people ask this question and think it ridiculous, absurb and even bizarre. Of course that is how one feels when he or she is in the thick of it. Yes, you are right to feel that way, to feel like you want to scream.
Mum, we tried so hard to help you and we failed so many times. We did everything we could to make you comfortable, to slow down the alzheimer’s, to push it away. Yet it progressed and you regressed.
One of the challenging parts was the evening and getting you to bed. You became incontinent with time and we reached out to the government service but the latest they could come was 4pm. I couldn’t possibly get you to bed at that time so I looked elsewhere and we hired a carer to help out every evening. You cooperated far more with her than with me, but we managed in the end, so that was more important than my dented feelings. The evening routine took its toll so I resorted to pain killers as my back was not happy at all. The travelling to and from your house was another major issue. Coping with my family, work and the ever increasing stuggle pushed stress and anxiety levels higher and higher. Seeing you deteriorate before our eyes, becoming another person, losing your independence…it really was so hard, especially for Dad.
A major decision had to be taken.
Enjoy the moment? I didn’t think so at the time, but I do now. Enjoy your loved ones now. They are physically in front of you..treasure them.