Monday, November 19, 2018
Dementia and If I ain’t me?Dementia
Cars of beauty and art:
I remember talking to Lucy out in Nebraska about her sister with Alzheimer’s. This mental disease usually attacks the elderly, but does attack younger people at times.
Dementia in any form is a thief of our treasures. Our treasure chest of memories is something that gets us thru the bad times, but if you have no memories then hopefully you won’t have many bad times.
I am not ignorant of the fact that dementia starts often at my age. I watched my mama and sister fade into the land of ‘Confusion.’ A land from which there is no return and the stage of the disease where one realizes they are ‘losing it’.
My mama’s mind was bad before I realized it. The loss of memory is tough to live with, for the victim as well as the family. My mama was a double amputee (legs). No diabetes to blame, she just did not exercise her body. Sherry took care of mama in our home. I shared the task of cleaning my mother and even though her mind was gone, it embarrassed her. I tried my best to make it as easy on her as possible, she was the best mother a boy could have. I am thinking of her just now because I mentioned Christmas City in a previous entry.
Once mama said she would like to go over and ride thru McAdenville. Using a lift, we got her into the car. And headed it. It is a very slow process to wait in the long line and then slowly go thru town. After the long wait we got into the line, mama became uncomfortable and said, “I’d give $5 if I hadn’t said lets come over here.” We still laugh about that to this day.
With dementia you have to find something to laugh about or you will join the victim. Once mama was crying when I went into her room. I asked, “What is wrong mama?”
“I was just thinking about your daddy,” she said thru the tears.
“Mama, daddy is better off than any of us.” Said I (Dad had been dead a long time.)
“I guess he is, out there running around with all those women!” She said and then went to something else.
I told Sherry and we had to laugh.
My sister Shirley would say to us, “I am losing my memory and it is WORRYING ME TO DEATH!”
She would say, “Jackie, if I am losing my mind and I know it, how can I be losing my mind?”
Once as we sat talking she said, “I would rather be dead than lose my memory!”
I know some of you reading this have been there. At least one who is reading is is dealing with it right now, and it is taking its toll. Another sweet lady who reads and comments dealt with her mama’s dementia. Another sweet lady's husband became demented. It broke their hearts.
I hope I am spared, but it is something that I know can happen, it does run in MY family!
If I fall victim, I hope the family and assisted living folk have a great sense of humor and can laugh! If I have a choice of what I am when I ain’t me, I wanna be a cowboy or a nudist! Maybe I will practice on my trumpet and be a Louis Armstrong, Satchmo, look alike. I plan to enjoy it, when I ain’t me!