Sunday, September 21, 2008

I Can Remember What Day This Is

...But there is evidence to believe some day I won't. And that, for me, is reason enough to put up a posting about World Alzheimer's Day.

I've relatives who went that way. Quite a few. My Dad had partially left the planet long before he went, though, proud and taciturn man that he was, just how far gone is a secret he took with him. One of my aunts, always a liitle and very pleasently fey, now has essentially no memory of anything that happened prior to the last fifteen minutes, though she's still got plenty of memories from fifty years ago and, horribly enough, knows her memory is gone. She deals with it gracefully. Me, I'd be frantic. I'd be screamin' and climbin' the walls.

I don't know what any of us can do -- toss a couple bucks in the jar and hope it goes to somebody workin' on a treatment, that's about it. But the mind you save? There's a real good chance it could that of a dear family member. There's a chance it could be your own.


Shermlock Shomes said...

I think most of us have had members of our families who have suffered from what they used to call "dementia". My great-grandfather Aaron spent the last bit of his life in the Traverse City State Hospital. My grandmother Edna spent the last bit of her life in the Masonic Home, her mind mostly gone. Though my mother said that just before the end things did clear so that she could say a proper good bye. Alzheimer's is not tragic but just so infinitely sad.

Anonymous said...

My daughters and I visited my parents yesterday. Daughter Xenia told them she had set the date for her wedding. Mom said she needed to write it down. She wrote down June 13, and said, "Next year right?". The girls told her, "Yes." Mom then thought on things for a while and asked, "What year is this? Is it 1996? Or is it 1980?"

She has been fading pretty rapidly for a few months now. I'm now visiting much more often than I was.