Friday, April 24, 2009

What I Hate About Being a Professional Woman With a Parent With Alzheimer's

No one would choose it...
seeing your parent losing their memory, getting more and more confused...
Alzheimer's moves in and reasoning and thinking moves out...

Those times when I was to take her to the doctor's and she was convinced that it was on a different day and would be waiting for me...calling me again and again, leaving me messages that she was waiting for me to get there....sigh..

Mom was always so precise with her punctuality...kept an accurate calendar and followed it precisely. Experiencing her frustration with her confusion was so painful.

I hate seeing Mom losing her once professional brain.

This is a photo of Mom just a few months before her Alzheimer's diagnosis three years ago.

And when I couldn't remember something, I was convinced I was losing my professional brain also.
With Alzheimer's in the family, was I next?
I started to think I was headed down that road right along with her!

I even made an appointment with a neurologist...for see what he thought about my condition. He took me through some cognitive tests and informed me I scored higher than anyone else had scored...told me that it was the stress of the situation with my mom that was causing me to forget things. Having this Alzheimer's support made a huge difference for me in relaxing about what I'd been feeling.

He reassured me that when Alzheimer's comes along at an advanced age...after 80...that it is not as likely to be an inherited condition. It is early-onset Alzheimer's that is passed on from generation to generation.

I hate that I sometimes have problems focusing on my work. It's easy to let concerns and anxiety about what's coming next cloud my clarity. It takes conscious effort of setting clear intentions and categorizing time segments.

I hate leaving Mom each time I visit her, wondering if she'll know me the next time I see her.

I hate not being able to share my latest projects with Mom.

I hate seeing so many of Mom's friends getting very frail and dying.

I hate seeing Mom's eyes looking so lost and far away.

I hate losing my Mom.


GrannyKaren said...

I lost my Dad about a year ago to Alhzeimer's disease. I understand what you are going through. There will be good days and good things mixed in with the confusion and pain.

Suzanne Holman said...

GrannyKaren, I'm sorry to hear that you lost your Dad to Alzheimer's...
And I was reading on your blog and found it inspiring!
Thank you for sharing from your heart.