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Spokane, WA
This profile photo is my mom and me at the beach--she is 26 and I am about 18 months. LOVE the joy!! I am a mom of three and a teacher; being a teacher means I have to go back and cut the f-bombs. There were a few. Because Alzheimer's sucks badly. This blog, for nine years now--skipping a few while I was too cheap to buy my domain name-- helps me un-peel and process the endless layers of sad woven with weird and--impossibly--comedy.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

"You have a great memory!"

The other day I ran into a man whose wife and I had bonded at the 2008 presidential caucus. We both had moms (hers passed away)who were both alcoholic and had Alzheimer's. And we were both named Lisa. So I remembered a couple of things about her husband (like he was teacher,  etc.)and he was impressed--since I don't think he remembered my name, even though it's the same as his wife's--he said "Wow, you have a great memory." And I said, "YES! I do.." and thought, "but for how long?"
See, my mom's getting bad. Really bad. she can't finish sentences. Pretty sure now that it's Early Onset, because the sudden quick demise matches the pattern of early onset, and I've been watching Grey's Anatomy and learning alot about Alzheimer's from Derek's trial. Ha. It's been making me cry pretty hard though. Actually, I've learned nothing that I didn't already know from my own research, but as an aside to my aside, I am pretty sure either the shows creator r main writers have a mom with Alzheimer's because even with the huge forecasted growth in people with Alzheimer's, no one who WASNT dealing directly with it would think it was good TV. I can tell you it's not good party conversation, or good stand up material both me and my brother have attempted both
ANYWAY
my mom has been kicked out of her retirement community. Or, rather, been given a notice to vacate for not paying rent for 3 months. I've fired her guardian for being negligent (for example she hasn't told me that my mom was-for all intents and purposes- kicked out of her place, not has she purchased her medication for two months) but there's a few delays while another guardian takes over her finances and the sale of her condo, etc., and getting her into a new place that can monitor her. Hopefully a group home, because none of us, especially my mom (even though she is scared of a shower and it takes her 20 minutes to put on a shoe) wants to go to a dementia unit. Not yet.
So, back to me.
Like we're ever not on me, but I'm calculating how many good years I have left. If it is EO (Early Onset) Alzheimers, then its highly genetic, like 50% chance. So I thought about going back and getting my doctorate, but then I think, well, that would be a waste if I took 2 more years to get another degree, build a business, then have only 10 years to work, and I've got o travel and grow old (for what? 3 years until I lose  it?) Twisted and dramatic, I know. But that's me. It's sort of like my friend's husband whose dad had a massive, lethal heart attack at 58 and figures he's got 5 years left himself, if genetics decide.
But it's the fiorst thing I think of when I wake up every day. Where the hell and what the hell is my mom, and what if this happens to me? And then I go be with my own children and put the thoughts aside. But there they are, aside...following me like...an unwanted obsession. SIGH.
I know, live in the now.
We went to see my mom tonight (to assuage my guilt and to say that I did it, and to see her...of course.) She was more coherent than at our last visit; laughing at Seinfeld, and enjoying the girls, even though they were running down the hallways threatening to knock over grumpy old people on walkers, and fighting.  She always wants to leave when we come, and tried to get into another black car the other day. I guess she thought it was hers. Another sigh. Enough of this, my own biological offspring need me now. Isabella is having a tantrum because Sophia got glitter glue on her blanket and I can't wash it in time for bed. I have to get Alex to take a shower. Its been nearly two days.

Thoughtful young me

Thoughtful young me

Seventies chicks

Seventies chicks
Me and my mom Lynn, 1973

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