Dazed and Confused.

My grandmother has Alzheimer’s. It’s been a long, depressing slide from ‘slightly forgetful’ to ‘incapacitated’, and it’s only going to get worse. While she doesn’t necessarily remember who I am, she still is capable of speech. It cheers her up to have someone to talk to, even though she cannot hold the thread of a conversation.

We go around in circles of conversation. Sone deeply ingrained part of her remembers the pleasantries, so we have a lot of “How are you doing, dear?” and “Wasn’t that nice?” kinds of questions. She hasn’t undergone the kind of personality changes yet that are often attendant on later-stage Alzheimer’s patients. She is still gentle, sweet, and slightly fey.

I try to cherish the conversations that we have, because there will come a time when the disease has her totally in its clutches, and she will have a vocabulary of under ten words, she may become incomprehensible, or utterly mute.

Today was a hard day. She seems to have lost the toy dog that sat on her bed. Then she was talking about ‘the funeral for that poor little doggie’. Of course, I don’t know if she lost him and imagined the funeral, mistook the stuffed dog for a real one, and assumed he was dead, or a combination thereof.

Yes. Today was a hard day.

3 Comments to “Dazed and Confused.”

  1. By stephanie, February 26, 2007 @ 9:54 am

    Alzheimer’s is rough. For everyone.

  2. By Arwen, February 26, 2007 @ 1:40 pm

    Oh, god. I’m sorry.

  3. By Liz, February 27, 2007 @ 12:10 am

    Stephanie, you’re right. Sometimes I wonder who has it roughest. My grandmother, who is often clueless, or me, who has too much of a clue as to what’s going on.

    Thanks, Arwen. It’s a tough one.

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