Lest we forget – Non Fiction/Personal

Warning: This is post is outright BEGGING for donations to https://act.alz.org/site/TR?pg=personal&px=15054191&fr_id=15681. Trigger warning: an account of caring for a person with dementia/Alzheimer’s.

My mother died in 2019, March 2, the day after her 70th Anniversary. She didn’t remember it had been her anniversary. She didn’t remember I was her daughter. She didn’t actively remember anything. The woman who had taught me how to read when I was 3 instilled my lifelong love of books, had forgotten how to read. How to dress herself. How to brush her hair. How to eat. You can read more of her story by clicking on the above link.

Here’s some more terrify facts.

  • Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • Alzheimer’s is the only disease in the 10 leading causes of deaths in the United States that cannot be cured, prevented or slowed.
  • 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s.

You can find more at https://www.alzheimers.net/alzheimers-statistics, Let’s break down the three I listed.

1. 6th leading cause of death. SIXTH. Think about that.

2. ONLY one of the 10 leading causes of deaths that CANNOT be cured, prevented or slowed. It is even quite difficult, often impossible to predict who is at higher risk of contracting this slow moving disease. Researchers are working on medications to slow the progress, but they need help (this means money!)

3. 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65 already has Alzheimer’s, many of whom have very mild symptoms which will continue to evolve.

This disease strikes without care of income, illness, social standing, or even heredity. Aside from my mom, no one else in my family had this disease. According to the same site, 44% of people aged 75-84 have Alzheimer’s. Those are just the reported cases!! Meaning, nearly 50% of that age bracket has this disease. Guess what? That percentage is rising.

Currently, I have a friend whose husband has Alzheimer’s. In the last 10 years he has gone from one of the most vibrant, fun, intelligent men I know to one who can’t remember what year it is. He is 100% dependent on his wife to make sure he knows where the bathroom is, when to eat, and how to tie his own shoes.

I am not too proud to beg or to admit I am terrified. I don’t WANT my children to change my diapers. I don’t WANT to forget they exist. I don’t WANT my husband to lead me by the hand to the bathroom. I don’t WANT to do this for him. However, my chances of this happening are almost 50%. Your chances of this happening are almost 50%.

If you’ve ever considered donating to help find a cure, now is the time. Why? Because if you’re reading this, you remember how to read. That ability is not a guarantee.

4 thoughts on “Lest we forget – Non Fiction/Personal

  1. I feel you. My mom is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. She does not know who I am, she does not know who SHE is. If I am diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, I will kill myself. It is the kindest thing I could do for my husband and children. I am so sorry for your pain. I understand.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you. I am a member of alzheimers.org and also use their 24 hour phone support when I get overwhelmed. When my mom passes and I feel a bit more grounded I want to volunteer to help others going through this with loved ones.

        My dominant Husband and your stories help ground me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My grandmother lost the battle to Alzheimer’s / Dimensia over 10 years ago. Watching one of the women who helped raise me and the one who my husband sought the approval of when he asked for my hand. It doesn’t get any easier but we who are left behind do find a way through. 💗


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