Here is another great piece written by my good friend Norrms McNamara on what it is like to live with Alzheimer’s disease. The examples he gives are very good everyday things we as caregivers need to remember.
Living On The Edge Of Sanity
By Norrms McNarama
I have Alzheimer`s, therefore I have Mental health Issues, I am Mentally Ill!! There is no cure at the moment and if one is not found it will kill me!!
…Whichever way you want to dress it up that is the stark reality of my life at the moment.
Do I dance with a Devil called “Insanity?” Do I flirt with him on regular occasions?? YES I DO!!!
EXAMPLE 1 “Who in their right mind would try to cross a busy road/highway without looking first what was coming and step straight out in front of an oncoming vehicle? Mmmmm that would be just me then!! My arms are black and blue from Elaine pulling me back every time I want to cross a road. Thing is, I know I am on a road, I know cars are there as well, but whichever light in my head that should go on when there is danger has GONE OUT!!! And never to return!! Would anybody else in their right mind do this? No! I don’t think so.
EXAMPLE 2, who in their right mind jumps out of bed in the middle of the night, screaming at people and things that aren’t really there, whilst sweating profusely and shaking, waking practically the whole neighbourhood,? Paces up and down the hallway unable to sleep, talking to themselves and wishing the demons away? Me thinks that will be me again!!
Example 3, Who could eat a full and hearty meal at five o clock, then ask at Five thirty where their evening meal is, absolutely convinced that they were starving and had nothing?? No wonder I am starting my diet tomorrow.
All these things and more are some of the things I have to endure every day of my life and I haven’t even touched on trying to remember names, places and people!!! But do you know what bothers me most? Do you wonder what is the most upsetting? It’s not that there is no cure, or that I feel sorry for myself, it’s the look on my family’s faces every time I do something silly, or can’t get my words out. The hurt in their eyes is something I can never get used to. The look says it all!! The look always seems to ask the same Question of “WHY??”
I live and breathe for my family and I would do ANYTHING to spare them of seeing me like this every day and getting slowly worse. I do not think “I could have done this, I could have done that” Neither do I think “WHY ME” because if I fell asleep tomorrow I would be very happy with my life up to now, very proud of what I have achieved and so very proud of my family!!
So now it’s a case of not “what could I have done”, but a case of “WHAT CAN I DO NOW!!!!! How can I save my family from this awful disease that is affecting not only me but all my family and friends as well? It just doesn’t affect the person diagnosed but Alzheimer’s is equipped with very long tentacles that reach farther than you might think.
My Answer is
I WILL FIGHT IT, AND FIGHT IT ALL THE WAY!!!! I WILL MAKE MY FAMILY STAND PROUD AND LOUD BEHIND ME AND SHOUT “DO YOUR BEST!! THIS IS ONE FAMILY THAT WILL NOT BOW DOWN TO THE DEVIL NAMED DEMENTIA.
There are times I feel like giving up and throwing in the towel, I would be such a liar if I told you any different!! After being told you have put the towel in the fridge and the butter in the sink so many times it does have a awful effect on your confidence and everyday life, but such is life, and I am so blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family, as well as having the best friends in the world!!
Till next time, all the very best, Norrms, Elaine and family