Thursday, January 8

Have you seen my keys?

The title is in very poor taste. The post is actually of a more serious nature. I have two different grandma's with Alzheimer's right now. They are both in about the same early stage, but well enough along. One of these grandmas is staying with me for a few days as her house undergoes some minor renovation. We are so excited to have her here! The kids are overwhelming her with their enthusiasm, I fear.

Seeing Alzheimer's in both sides of my family, I'm suddenly aware of my ability to inherit this awful disease. It is so hard watching my grandparents go through this. I ache at the thought of.....well, you have no idea how many times I've typed and erased throughout this post. I've always been a bit scatterbrained and forgetful. More going on and more going through my head than I could keep track of, I guess. I put a lot of energy into organizing to try and combat this awful confusion, but the thought that it won't someday get better, but could actually get....worse.....it's just terrifying.

I guess this isn't turning out to be very much of a deep post. It's more of a "Hey there. Here's something we're going through" kind of post, with a dash of "Hey, here's a fear of mine, anyone else have it?" thrown in.

So I'm off to read now:

7 comments:

Ginger@chirgies said...

I'm right there with you. My Nana (mom's mom) had Alzheimers. It got really ugly. My sweet Nana got violent (like scratching, biting) people at the end. And I have such a tendency to lose keys, lose ... you name it. My Mom always said if my head wasn't attached, I'd lose it too. I'm afraid she might be right. And I'm afraid of that disease too.

wedogmomma said...

mmm....growing old in general is a fear....it's such a sad way to go....and yet I picture being the 'all there' grandma who is encouraging in the Lord, and a blessing to be around....but the reality will probably be more along the lines of your fears...and that just makes me sad. So I hear ya.....God give these kids compassion and strength if that's going to be the case....I'm SURE I'll be a handful!

Jenni said...

None of our family members have been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I wonder if one of dh's grandmas has some sort of dementia brought on by old age or if the same can be said of old age that Bill Cosby said of cocaine:
"'...it intensifies your personality.' I said, 'Yes, but what if you're an a**hole?'"
That sounds harsh, I know, but you just have no idea.

Sometimes I worry about his other grandma because she has begun to mix up names and forget which grandchild or great grandchild a memory is attached to. (She'll remember it as being one of our kids who did something that Danny did when he was little.) Now, I don't have any grandparents left, and I am much closer to this grandma of dh's than I was to any of my own grandparents. She is such a strong woman, always on top of things, the head and heart of the family. I know that she has been under tremendous stress in the past few years with her husband and then oldest son dying and her daughter battling cancer twice and a grandson having a drug problem and run-ins with the law. It may just be stress that is making her more forgetful.

Is Alzheimers something I fear for myself? Well, yes, I do have those thoughts. I don't allow myself to dwell on it though. There are other fears of old age and family medical history that are just as bad and I'm sure I could think of a million things to worry about if I wanted. I just keep doing my best to give it to God and trust in Him in everything. Worrying won't do any good anyway.

Shanna said...

Yes, it's always been a fear of mine as well as it runs in our family too. Also, it breaks my heart how quickly I can forget almost entire seasons of my life. I try to remember our children when they were 1 or 2, but since we've had so many so quickly all of those ages seems to mesh together. I'll say to my husband or friend, "One of the kids used to (insert funny or unusual thing), but which one was it?" I hate that my memory isn't better and often when the kids do something small but really special I find myself praying that God would let me remember it.

I do take a lot of pictures and scrapbook and that seems to help. I would encourage you to think about making heritage albums with your grandmothers while they are still in these early stages...not to add "one more thing" to your list...but I was able to do this with two of my grandmas and it was such a blessing to me. Just go through some of her old pictures and let her tell you stories about them. You could also come up with a list of questions to ask her about her childhood, early married life, when her kids were little. Take notes, or even better record it. Then write out or type her stories along with her photos and put them in an acid free or digital album. I've heard people say that doing this with a parent or grandparent has even helped them with Alzheimers as they can read those memories to them and help them to remember some. I'd be happy to help...I can also restore old photos and could help you with that if you want.

I really didn't intend to write all of that...sorry this has been so long. I find hope in that when we get to heaven we will "fully know"...I think we will fully remember there too.

Jenn said...

Thank you, guys! It's nice to know I'm not alone....and not nuts. I love the memory album idea. I found a list of prompt questions online to do a grandparent-interview. I don't know where her photos are right now, but this is something we will have to do. Thank you, Shanna, I will be bugging you more about this one.

Lawanda said...

My grandma had Alzheimer's. :( It is a difficult thing for everyone involved.

I really and truly think I have the beginnings of it. I am and always have been a scatter brain. But there are seriously times when I am like "What was I doing here?"

It is pretty scary if ya dwell on it.

I try not to dwell on it. :(

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