my dad has alzheimer’s. and while this isn’t a particularly well-kept secret from people who know me, it’s something i’ve consistently refrained from writing/ blogging about. to be honest, even now, i’m not sure i’m going to publish this post.
when my dad was first diagnosed as having alzheimer’s-related dementia, i did my usual search for related resources, both online and off. however, i couldn’t bring myself to read alzheimer’s blogs because they were just too heartbreakingly depressing.
it’s over two years since then, and a lot has happened in that time. most notably, my parents have moved out of the city i grew up in, and to a quiet, green, lovely little colony, occupied mostly by retired people. i moved back to live with them last year. and my dad, slowly, but pretty certainly, has gotten worse.
we now have a companion for him during the day — this will need to be extended to fulltime help in a while, as my mom is already running herself ragged.
the two of us have gotten closer than before, and together, we’re running what feels like a ph.d. course in optimisim. her thesis subject would be a million different ways to say but at least he isn’t getting worse. mine, how to make one single, bright, semi-lucid moment last till the next, while ignoring the time that passes in between.
many people have said that the worst thing about alzheimer’s is the way it robs you of your identity. my dad has always been a cheerful, wisecracking, endlessly patient man who loves the good life. alzheimer’s has leeched away so much of that.
i believe the only way to keep your head screwed on when dealing with an illness that takes away someone’s memories is to hang on to the ones he’s given you.