Moving On… Exposing the Depth & Vulnerability of Dementia
By Norrms McNamara
As I sat there last night, the whole enormity of what we had all just done over the D.A.D weekend hit me. It hit me in waves, time and time again until it drained my body and mind like a whirlpool emptying, and when it had finished, empty is what I felt. I half expected this as I had been so busy over the last few months. Unknown to me I have had a couple of extremely bad nights, shouting, screaming, not knowing where I was, but very frighteningly I have no knowledge of memory of this.
Can you imagine waking up in a morning and being told you were stood there in the middle of the night, demanding to go home, and asking where the other window in the bedroom had gone? Can you imagine being told you had thrown all your clothes out of the wardrobe looking for the Store keys so you could open shop that morning? Even worse, can you imagine being told that you sat and cried like a baby for hours because you couldn’t understand what was happening? Its horrifying having all that time, all that emotion and all those memories, gone, lost and banished forever to who knows where? It feels like I have an empty space inside my head that I want more than anything to fill with memories lost, good or bad. Being told I have done these things over the last few days is like someone taking a part of me away and throwing it into an abyss which can never be recovered.
The feeling of losing that bit more of my life makes me furious! No it doesn’t, it makes me downright MAD!!! It makes me want to shout “Come on Alzheimer’s, SHOW YOURSELF!! Stand and fight like a man!! Not like some creeping slithering invisible entity that is impossible to see and take a swing at!! After my “Angel” Elaine has told me all about these things I have done, I look into her eyes, they shine like stars in the night, so warm so loving and so understanding, but when I am angry with my illness, she looks in mine and sees nothing but hatred and spite in my eyes and as hard as I try, it’s not something I can easily conceal.
MY GOD I hate this illness with a vengeance!! I have never in my life felt hatred until I was diagnosed with this awful illness. This morning I tried to shave with my toothbrush, couldn’t fasten my shirt buttons and was hopeless at trying to tie my shoelaces, and all that after having to get changed twice because of certain clothing on the wrong way round!!
And yet, strangely enough, that’s what keeps me going, it’s fighting this fight every hour, every day and every month of the year that keeps me going. It’s my sheer determination to beat this B****Y disease that keeps my heart beating and my blood boiling, and I won’t rest until that day they find a cure and all my family and friends can sleep easily in their beds knowing that this godforsaken disease has finally been beaten!!
But until that wonderful day comes, we will carry on raising awareness, we will carry on standing up and shouting “HEY!! I have Dementia Not the BUBONIC PLAGUE!! And until that day arrives we will ALL stand together make Dementia Awareness Day BIGGER AND BETTER every year from now on!!!
All our best wishes, Norrms, Elaine and ever expanding Family xxxxxxx
Norrms never fails to amaze me with his writing. He shares the raw honesty of his personal journey allowing us to feel the emotional roller coaster of his life with Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you Norrms for being so generous with your life. You are constant teacher. It’s an honor to call you my friend.
Lori La Bey Founder of Alzheimer’s Speaks