Alzheimers is a fucking POS disease

One of my elderly friends (I’ve always had friends easily 10-15 years older but have regularly counted pensioners as people I meet and make friends with, too–old people like me cos I’m liable to start talking about things THEIR parents talked about, the blessing of being raised like it was the mid-1800s….) had fallen into pathologic memory-loss last year.

I rang her a few times within a week because I could tell something was off with the first call, then the second one? She didn’t remember who I was for a long time and when she did, she talked about how I hadn’t rang in ages (it had been the day before). Growing up with first cousins who were dying of old age means that I’ve seen a lot of odd illness-born dementia and full-on Alzheimer’s Disease but it’s easier with family than friends.

I gave up ringing her because it upset her. I tried emails and that didn’t work, so I went to sending greeting cards. I figured that she’d lose some, so I kept an onslaught thinking that either she’d remember one long enough to contact me back OR somebody checking on her would do.

Oh. it’s a 1200 mile trip or obviously, in-person would be best. Hell, I forget peoples’ voices if I don’t hear from them in 3 months. –well

Anyway, I got a letter today from one of her local friends and it has upset me to hear about her condition more than what I thought it would say (which would be: she’s dead). She has no short term memory. She needs constant physical and emotional care and she DOES remember old timers — like me. Somebody found one of the cards in her home and took it to her, which set off Lily Stories. In a way, it’s good but I’m sure that it upset her to have forgotten me or maybe she only thinks she has been there a day instead of 6 months. I didn’t get anecdotes, only specific conditions. From the part that said she needed constant emotional support? Oh, that breaks my heart even more than hearing she’s not ambulatory. Such a fucking asshole disease.

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7 thoughts on “Alzheimers is a fucking POS disease

  1. Its got to be one of the worst diseases out there, because its as though someone dies – but they don’t. You don’t get closure. You don’t get anything but years and years of heartache. I’m sorry to hear about your friend 😦 Hubby’s grandmother had it as well and passed away after seven long years – all of them she spent wasting away with nurses. I want to meet someone who has this disease and doesn’t just completely fall apart physically 😦

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    • Sorry about Granny…that’s the one thing about my mammy dropping dead that was good: no wasting, physical or mental.

      Her husband during my childhood had it and as awful as it sounds, in some cases, some of those years can almost be funny–you have to laugh or you’ll cry, foster sis’ granddad, too. We had loads of Walt stories.

      This friend is one of those people who I always described as a Sherlock Holmes (before the recent Sherlock serial, we’re talking like from the novels).

      She was SO sharp and clever, amazing logic, etc. A wonderful kind heart who I called mentor as she cut sort things out so easily and help me make decisions.

      Anyway, after she went in the home, almost immediately ‘something’ happened and she was non-ambulatory. I guess that means she had a stroke but WTF? That’s awfully quick timing to go south.

      As you say, it’s wretched.

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  2. Ugh. It truly is horrible.
    A co-worker retired last year to care for her 65 year old husband who has advanced Alzheimer’s. After about a year he was admitted to the hospital, hooked up to feeding tubes and ventilator, when he went into respiratory failure. We were all astounded. Why in the world would you keep the poor man alive. He was a vegetable. We don’t know. From what we were told he is still being kept alive. UGH.

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    • I hear you. As I mentioned, family’s different from friends and a spouse is CHOSEN, so maybe she just couldn’t do it but my view is it’s worse to be alive–at some point. I’ve spent a lot more time (volunteering) in dementia wings and it’s a bad, bad thing for most. One lady looked blissful but many are screaming and reliving horrors. For my friend, she is apparently at that point where she continues to lose WHY she’s there, why she can’t move, etc.

      The person said once she calms down when you’re there (if she knew you from long enough ago), she’s her same personality but then you leave and it’s hysterics again.

      It’s very upsetting for her, obviously, and also so bad for loved ones.

      I was talking to Brother about sufferer family members and it’s funny how it always plays out the same: they think I’m The Suchess and constantly ask after ‘the baby’ (Brother, older by 8 years). It’s like that was the glory days of all.

      As a teen, I learnt to Play Dutch. Saves everybody from an upset. But that’s family… Anyway, shit.

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  3. So fucking merciless, that disease. It’s rampant in my family, such that I don’t even hope for a cure, just enough forewarning not to go down that path.

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    • It’s so very much harder seeing a friend rather than my family members, which I’d have thought would better prepare me but it has not.

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      • Well, I won’t agree with that because seeing my grandma fail nearly destroyed me. I don’t have any friends I love that much. Regardless, it’s brutal.

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