Alzheimer’s. That’s what the doctor is calling it. He felt the word would be graspable for mom while offering me “dementia” or “cognitive decline” as the result to present her with. I couldn’t argue with his logic. The MRI shows vastly reduced hippocampus volume and two old hemorrhages. My limited knowledge of Alzheimer’s (tho likely far greater now than many) leaves me pondering things such as:
Mom isn’t presenting with the ususal behaviors of Alzheimer’s, like putting things away in bizarre places or wandering at night.
Mom has been on this path for a very long time. Dad and I began talking about her memory over 9.5 years ago. Is that indicitive of Alzheimer’s? I thought the disease progressed much faster.
I’m not looking for an ‘out’ from this diagnosis, just clarification, illumination for the journey, now that it has a destination.
Having this diagnosis is like viewing my mom through a new pair of glasses. Yesterday we went to the bank where she took a long time writing out a check to cash. In the middle of this she asked what the date was (a typical thing for her to do). Two of us answered her. When it was our turn in line, the teller kindly pointed out to mom that she had written the check number in the date field and asked mom change it. I haven’t seen her do this before. Next we went to the grocery where the produce department seemed to overwhelm her. She would pause, scan, stare, start for something, stop, turn to something else, consult her list over and over again and then make a choice. The entire shopping trip wasn’t like this, but with this new set of spectacles I’m using, it gives greater meaning to her every move. These new glasses also have brought out a well of patience in me I didn’t know I possessed.