I don’t remember when Alzheimer’s reared it’s ugly head. All I know is one day my mom started forgetting a few things like the day, date and year and would repeat questions every so often. When this started, I remembered it raised my eyebrow wondering if this is the start to Alzheimer’s? I was quite familiar with it because my grandmother had it, but I didn’t give this change too much mind because she was otherwise functioning well. Then little by little, there were more subtle changes. When she’d forget something and I’d make light of it, her standard response was “I didn’t hear you.” With my mother’s personality of being timid, and at times having a little anxiety it wasn’t apparent of what was early onset Alzheimer’s and what was her personality. Looking back, there were probably more tell tale signs, but I was dealing with my own life that was and wasn’t going in the direction I wanted it to.
2007 I would say was the real beginning to where I am today. In March of that year, I had some concerns and needed to have a biopsy on my lymph nodes. And during this process with the pre and post surgery appointments, I realized this was the first time I was going through something major and I couldn’t discuss it with my mother fully understanding. So my worries of what is my diagnoses? Is it cancer or not?, were all inside of me.
A few months later, mom, who is also a diabetic, had to go into the hospital because her sugar level was too high. At this time she was still caring for herself, taking her meds (or so I thought) and one day after a doctors appointment, I get a call at work saying I need to get my mom to the hospital. Unable to answer most of the doctors questions, something inside of me knew “these times are a changing” (queue in Peter, Paul & Mary).
Thankfully my biopsy didn’t reveal cancer, but I had to have another one from which a diagnoses was found. To my surprise my friend Grace, whose life journey I think about ALL of the time going through what I am currently, offered to go with me. She new mom’s condition was changing and didn’t want me to be alone. Thankful of her offer, I did let her know my godfather was going to take me, but if he weren’t able I would have taken her up on her offer. It would have been a secure feeling of knowing someone with reasoning could understand what I was going through.
My godfather took me and after being dropped off, he and my mom took off for breakfast. I didn’t mind them going at all, but I remember sitting there with a feeling I’ve never felt before…alone. Looking left and right, who could I talk to, who could be my go between with the doctor if need be. I was alone. I know I wasn’t abandoned, but mom used to stay, I knew I was facing what was to be the beginning of a new way of life for me.
In my next post, I’m going to give some signs of early onset Alzheimers from the Alz. Assoc. Here are some of my mothers:
1) Forgetting day, month, year
2) Forgetting to pay bills (my mom was such a stickler for paying on time, when the calls started coming I knew something was up)
3) Repeating the same questions
4) Forgetting to take medication
5) Becoming confused, anxious, timid