Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thoughts About My Mom

What would you do if you felt like you didn't have any friends? After being diagnosed with Alzheimers, my once social mom lost her ability to carry on conversations. I have never realized how much conversation affects our relationships until I witnessed my mom's inability to participate in this activity we take for granted.

So why after five years of my mom's diagnosed illness am I just now allowing myself to vent my frustrations? Well, there is a possibility of my mom regaining her memory with the help of a team of doctors who created a new study using an anti-inflammatory injection used to treat arthritis. If my mom's results are similar to other patients who have participated, she could regain all of her independence, including the ability to carry on a conversation with memory of what was discussed. While my siblings and I are excited about this possibility, it also makes us worried that her alertness will come with a consequence. What if she realizes that she has not seen or talked to many of her friends in months or years? Will she pick up where she left off, or have to start the friendships anew?

I understand that my mom's disease is very different from cancer, a heart attack, or even surgury. People don't know how to react to uncomfortable situations and it is uncomfortable when someone you have know for a long time does not act exactly the same. How do her friends think her husband and children feel? We have watched our mom change and learned to love her and take care of her how she needs to be in order to cope daily. I have learned how much it would mean to my mom for someone to surprise her with a trip to get ice cream, take her to Target to shop, or even to Terry Lynn's to get a Sharron Special and piece of pecan pie.

I am sad because I know she remembers her friend's and that she hasn't talked to them in a long time. I am thankful for my Auntie Joye and her committment to take care of her Sunshine no matter what the circumstance. My dad has modeled what a faithful husband looks like as he takes blow dries, straightens and styles my moms hair, applies her makeup, gets her dressed, takes her for her bi-weekly manicure, gives her morning and nighttime meds., and makes sure she eats three meals a day. Bottom line, I am thankful that it has brought my family closer, and I hope my mom realizes how much she is loved.


Shannon Pate said...

Wow!! Thanks for sharing. I needed that insight. I would love to take your mom somewhere. Who would I talk to about that? Love you! Shannon

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