Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Alzheimer's- it's a BAD deal!

I haven't gotten to sew or quilt in a couple of weeks. Talk about withdrawal!

My 63 yr old sister has fought MS for a number of years but this last number of months, Alzheimer's is trying to take over.  Our dad had Alzheimer's so we know it's ugly to watch.  Ann was afraid of getting it so she started on Aricept early. Didn't delay the disease any.
This is NOT a picture of my sister, yet she's been doing this action non-stop for the last 2 weeks. It started when I explained that she had to have more constant care than I was able to provide & that the doctor was recommending assisted living.  We have a lovely place in our town that's much like the Hilton Hotel! 
Ann even has 1 of her cats there with her so that's a very positive plus!  2 more of her cats have come to live with me & there's still 1 more at her place that I haven't located yet. Come out, come out, Madison, where ever you are! 
Ann got lost several times while on her way to go.....somewhere.  Our dad had a couple of car wrecks at this stage and like him, we had to take the keys to the car (also doctor's orders). You can well imagine how that's gone over.  She's accused me of stealing her car.... As I've worked at her place trying to pick the best of her many-memoried possessions to help her feel comfortable at The Lodge, I've found notes much like this one all over the place.  How scary it must be for her!

Someone explained Alzheimer's to me as similar to a curtain dropping down over the mind- picture the curtain on a stage coming down to cover mental abilities. Sometimes Ann is her real self, but sometimes she's just as vacant as can be. Right now she's very angry because moving to The Lodge is forcing her to step out of the "denial" stage (I'm fine, I can do such-n-such) into recognizing that she cannot do all that she previously could. It would make me angry too.  This is a picture of the difference in the brain as the disease progresses.  Very Scary isn't it? 

You've heard of Ami Simms, haven't you?  She's a funny quilter with a great imagination. She has a great dog who even has his own FB page! Ami's mother suffered Alzheimer's, so Ami founded the AAQI- the logo above.  People make wall quilts that are auctioned off to raise money for research.  The September auction is over but you can check out the possibilities HERE .


Anonymous said...

What a moving post! I know your sister will be better off with the needed care, but I can only imagine how hard this is on her and on YOU! God's blessings on you both! I have several friends whos mothers have/had alzh...and a girlfriend now that has it. She developed it at age 50. So sad!

Alycia said...

I have no words of wisdom for you, but I send lots of hugs and prayers. This must just be so difficult. Hugs!!!