Today marks the 7th anniversary of my Mom’s death from Alzheimer’s disease. She was my best friend and my biggest supporter. The anniversary day of her death is always very painful for me, and stirs up so many emotions. I can’t seem to get past it.
I was her caregiver and did everything I possibly could for her, even moving into the nursing home with her in the final months to ensure that she was adequately cared for. Watching what this disease does to someone is just unbelievable. They become a shell of themselves. You watch them die a little more every day until they virtually have no quality of life. In the end I could do very little to make her comfortable or make her happy. She didn’t recognize anyone but me. She was unconscious for the last two weeks of her life, and was unable to eat for the last month.
Now that I have been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s I know that eventually this is what I have to look forward to. What can I do to change the trajectory of my last few years on earth? What can I do differently than her to possibly give me a few more quality years than she had? I have developed my Alzheimer’s Plan of Attack. It that enough? Currently there is no cure, or no medications that really help slow down the progression of this disease. Today, things seem pretty bleak. But my Mom always told me that “Kelly, you are the only person I have ever seen that can make the best out of a horrible situation”……so that is what I need to do. I have to LIVE IN THE MOMENT, and be GRATEFUL.
Mom, I love you with all my heart, and I hope I am making you proud. Please give me the strength to handle this disease with grace and dignity.