Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Whole New World

diagnosis of Alzheimer'sWhen someone receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, a whole new world opens up; both for the one diagnosed and for those in their circle, everything changes. My mom died five years ago this June. She had a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. Thankfully, she didn’t lose all her capabilities. She told the same stories over and over, ones she enjoyed. Ones that made her laugh. She still had a wit about her.

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Whole New World

She couldn’t drive or be left alone. She would forget to put her cigarettes out and dropped ashes constantly, burning holes in the carpet at her feet. My sister, the one in whose home my mom lived, let her to smoke in her bedroom. It is where she spent most of her day, smoking and playing games on the computer. That was her haven, her refuge, her sanctuary. It is where she wanted to be.

diagnosis of Alzheimer's

My sister couldn’t say no to my mom’s smoking in her room. I thought she would burn my sister’s house down one day. I am thankful it didn’t happen, but couldn’t understand my sister taking the risk. My mom died more from the smoking than the Alzheimer’s, constantly sucking on an inhaler due to her chronic bronchitis. She was adamant about not quitting. I know my sister was only trying to make my mom’s days as happy as possible. It all got so overwhelming. I miss my mom. I missed my sister too, as we didn’t speak for 4+ years after my mom’s service. Alzheimer’s opened up a whole new world.

Thankfully, my sister and I have reconciled. I am so glad as it’s hard to explain the inner anguish of losing your mom and then a sister relationship. She knows how I feel though, as she experienced the trauma too, as did my other sister. We all know. We all miss her. It has been a whole new world without her.

diagnosis of Alzheimer'sMy partner’s mom has recently received a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. It has been a rough year. Her dad is 88, still sharp as a tack, but has macular degeneration. Watching the family try to make life-changing decisions has been difficult at best. The disease affected her mom differently than mine, causing her to lash out to the point of violence. It wasn’t safe for her to stay home. She had to be put in a facility to be under constant supervision.

Visiting her is painful. I’m sure any of you that has gone or is going this understands. She doesn’t understand why she can’t go home. She has that blank look caused by medication and feelings of WTF is going on. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease – A Whole New World. I usually sign off with a Thrive! OK? It just doesn’t feel right today. Cry! OK? Robin

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Susan
Susan
5 years ago

Hi Robin, I read your About Me story and tears welled up in my eyes. I applaud you for being so positive in life. My father has AD and he’s now 87. Now he can only recognize my mom and our helper who is his main caregiver (he needs someone almost 24/7 to tend to his needs). Sometimes he would ask our helper “who is that woman?” when I paid a visit. Sometimes he couldn’t be bothered at all. I can probably understand why your sis let your mom had her way (smoking). The same with us when it comes… Read more »

Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Susan

I agree that I should reconnect with my sister. There were things that happened even before my mom came here to live, and I just couldn’t find a way to deal with my emotions regarding those issues. I tend to withdraw when I am at a loss. My mom coming here and living with my sister amplified the hurt already there. The smoking issue was not big for me. I was concerned for my sister, her home and my mom. She would drop ashes at her feet. Her robe was burned in many places and so was the carpet beneath… Read more »

Yvonne
5 years ago

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m sorry for the loss of your mother. My great-grandmother (whom I’ve never met) had Alzheimer’s Disease too. I’ve heard stories of her forgetting that she had taken her meals. I can imagine it must have been tough on your sister to care for her. She provided the best possible care that she could by giving your mother a safe haven and refuge. I can also understand your concern that your mother might have caused a fire. But that is all in the past. I hope that you and sister will be able to… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Yvonne

Hi Yvonne. Thank you for commenting. The smoking isn’t the issue between my sister and I. My mom’s worst fear was that she would die by fire, and she seemed to have a death wish. I wasn’t angry with my sister about this, just concerned for her, her family and my mom. You are so right. It is in the past. My sister was mom’s caretaker and did the very best she could. God bless you too!

Steph
5 years ago

I wish to say how sorry I am for your loss of your Mom. I lost my Dad a little over a year ago and I know how it hurts. I agree that smoking can be harmful. I am also so sorry about you and your sister not speaking to one another since your mother’s services. So many times death can bring more tragedy into a family. So very sorry for your loss.

Thank you for sharing such a personal story with us.

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Steph

Thank you for commenting on my post Steph. I’m sorry about your dad. I’ll bet he’s so proud of you and amazed at what you’ve done! I’m sorry about my sister too. It’s a long story, a lot of pain, but I know we will heal somehow. Nice to meet you. I’m sure I’ll see you around 🙂

William
5 years ago

My grandmother has Alzheimer so I know it is difficult to deal with. I am very sorry for your lost. I hope one day a cure is found to help people with this disease.

-William

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  William

Thank you William. Sorry about your grandmother 🙁 So much research is taking place and hopefully it won’t be long!

Jack
5 years ago

That’s really rough! I can tell you that one of my biggest fears is to lose my mental faculties. My mind has always been my mainstay…my best asset, as well as my mightiest foe. The thought of losing myself in that tangled web makes me shudder in anticipatory horror. I think I understand both your point of view, as well as that of your sister’s. Your sister, no doubt, was thinking that she wanted your mom to be happy. No doubt you were all aware of the inevitability of the situation. The fact that your mother had family she could… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Jack

Thanks so much Jack. I agree with so much of what you said; and yes, I believe I am the person. The timing hasn’t worked out yet. Maybe pride is holding me back. I have made two attempts and have come close two other times. I know I haven’t found total peace there yet, but I am seeking and pursuing and know I will find. Thank you for taking time to write (you’re a good writer by the way!). I’ll be checking out your site! Blessings, Robin

Jade
5 years ago

Wow, first of all, thank you so much for sharing this very personal and moving story. It couldn’t have been easy writing this and it comes through in emotion when reading it. My grandma hasn’t got Alzheimer’s , but dementia, so I can relate to the stories being told over and over. I am so sorry to hear what happened to your mum, but thank you for sharing your story to the world, hopefully it will help people heal their own difficulties with this very sensitive topic. After all, understanding that you are not alone in the world with a… Read more »

Robin
Robin
5 years ago
Reply to  Jade

Thank you Jade! My mom was in the beginning stages of AD. Sorry about your grandma. I totally agree that it is so important to talk with each other and share our stories. It is comforting, as you said. I appreciate your comment on my website and writing. I just started on Feb. 14th and have learned so much already! Hope you are enjoying the journey too! Robin

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