I Know They Mean Well….

I know people mean well when they give me advice or ask questions about my mom. I try to be open because I often don’t know the right thing to say to people in tough situations and have put my foot in my mouth enough times to get a taste of the pavement. But in all honesty there are a few questions/comments that drive me bananas.

I’ll post about the first one here, it goes something like this, “Beyond forgetting things, what else does Alzheimer’s do?” Hmmmmmmmmmm where to begin, forgetting what you did yesterday or what you had for lunch does seem harmless, but forgetting how to use the restroom, how to read, how to use a fork, how to even speak, well, it impairs your whole life.

At the beginning when my mom was just really forgetful we found a way to deal with the seemingly minute problems associated with memory loss. When she forgot to turn off the faucet and flooded the bathroom at work TWICE, we installed an automatic shut-off faucet, when she stored raw chicken in the fruit bowl, we politely threw it in the trash and cleaned up the sticky bowl. But as her condition progresses forgetting impairs every aspect of her life, she can’t dress herself, bathe herself, prepare food, put on a seatbelt or open a car door. And soon I know she will forget even the things she can do now, like call me by name, laugh, feed herself, draw…..

So while the question is well meaning, think through what you can do without any form of memory. You are pretty much left with nothing.


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