F is for Forgetting, #AtoZChallenge

This might get sad.

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading my blog, you are probably aware that my mom has Alzheimer’s. She was diagnosed about four years ago now. I remember because it was during my first year of teaching when we got the official diagnosis. She had been showing symptoms since her late forties, but the doctors kept saying too young, too young.

They said she was too young for about four years. I don’t remember the way the news was delivered. I’m not sure if someone called me or if it was in a message. I don’t remember if it was my dad or my sister who finally broke the news. I do remember that after I found out I went numb for a second.

Then I wanted to scream.

Then I wanted to punch something as hard as I could. I punched my pillow and it was satisfying for a second and then that seemed so completely irrelevant.

And then I just cried instead.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know it was coming, we all knew it was going to be Alzheimer’s. It’s just that, the official diagnosis made it so real, so undeniable.

I remember feeling so alone. I don’t know why I couldn’t talk to anyone. There were people I could call, my roommate in the next room, even. There was just no way for me to communicate the way I felt. I didn’t even know how to try.

Before my mom got diagnosed I had a morbid mantra I would say to myself. It was before I’d do something stupid or something I knew I probably shouldn’t. I’d just think, “I’m just going to grow up to forget this anyway.”

We have Alzheimer’s on both sides of the family, my mom’s and dad’s. It feels kind of inevitable, and if it’s not me, probably my brother or sister. It’s a heavy weight to carry that thought.

Maybe a breakthrough will be made and a cure will be found, or at least a more powerful way to slow the progress. Maybe we’ll all get lucky and discover that gene passed us by.

Or maybe, in just twenty years or so, just like my mom, I’ll start forgetting.

Momandme

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20 thoughts on “F is for Forgetting, #AtoZChallenge

  1. I haven’t lost a parent, but I did lose a grandparent to dementia and the Alzheimer’s ward of the nursing home. I got lost there once and was irrationally afraid that I would never find my way out again. I don’t know if this is comforting at all… but I think about growing up and forgetting everything too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So far, no one in my genetic family has suffered Alzheimers, but I know a few friends who have cared for stricken parents. I am sorry for your mom’s diagnosis. I am sorry for your family.

    My family, including both my parents and half my grandparents and no one knows further back than that, is marked on both sides by cancer. I have four sisters. There is strong chance at least one of us will succumb.

    You’re rigt. That kind of knowledge is a heavy weight to carry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My heart hurts for you. I have two close friends whose mother’s are battling Alzheimer’s. I can only imagine how devastating it must be for you and your family. Take good care of yourself…that is so important! 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s not only a sad post, Serena, it’s a scary post. Your writing made me feel frightened for you. I hope the bullet misses both you and your siblings, though I know the odds might not favor any of you. One thing though: From what I understand, Alzheimer’sI research is currently being well-funded, and rapidly advancing. I hope there’s a cure soon,

    I believe I know some of what you might be feeling. My mother has suffered from dementia these past few years. I feel the loss of her kindness, wit, intelligence, wisdom, etc. so very often.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There is a lot of research being done, but currently researchers aren’t even in agreement as to the cause of Alzheimer’s. I hope they do continue to research and make new advancements not just for Alzheimer’s, but Dementia in general. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, those things you miss about her are what I miss about my own mom. It’s hard to have a person with you, but in some ways it feels like they’re already gone. I still get to see glimpses of my mom, in her smile, or when she gives me hugs and still rubs my back a little, but mostly I have to rely on my memory of how things used to be.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello Honeybunch. I put out some bad news, good news about dementia in response to your post. I encourage you and your readers to look it over; dementia is avoidable even if you have a genetic predisposition for it. Unfortunately, I did not know enough, soon enough for your Mom. Also, I’m not sure my side of the family suffered from Alzheimer’s, it could have been vascular dementia, which has virtually the same symptoms. Be well.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’m sorry you felt so silenced and alone. I can relate to that feeling of being overwhelmed by difficult truth and not understanding how to express it or knowing if anyone would ever really understand. I know you, like I, have found comfort in writing, and I’m so glad you’re planning grad school for Creative Writing. I hope you find your full voice and continue to bring us all to understand each other a little more. Thanks for speaking out, and it’s so cool your Dad responded. It warms my heart to know he’s there listening to you too.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I am so sorry to read how this experience made you feel Serena and although I do not know what link your father provided, I do know so much more is known (and not always shared). There is a website/journal called ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell You’ where they have a few interesting articles about Alzheimers prevention: http://www.wddty.com

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yes, Serena, it’s a sad post. But at the same time, your inner self comes out and makes it a beautiful post too. You know your mom would be proud. I’ve dealt with the same issue with my family and my wife’s mother too. It’s super hard, but somewhere in there is the person you know and once in a while, I’m convinced anyway, they find themselves. And in those moments, they know the true inner you.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Thank you for sharing. I stumbled upon your blog whilst searching alz blogs. My mother is set to have her 1st neurology appt tomorrow and we all fear it’s Alzheimer’s disease. She just turned 65 and has had symptoms for years, but her dr always dismissed it as “getting older.” Anyway, your words are comforting. I’m going to follow your dad’s blog as well and share it with my father, who I know is nervous about the probable future. I’m so sorry about your mom. It’s a heartbreaking disease.
    Thank you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reaching out. When my mom first got her diagnosis we sat down as a family and made a bucket list together for my mom. She was able at the time to tell us what she wanted. It really helped turn the situation around because we were immediately given something positive to redirect our focus on. Something to think about as you move forward. I wish you and your family the best. 💕

      Like

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