Friday, May 8, 2015
Where Am I?
I have known people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease. I have also known people who's minds work perfectly well but they cannot communicate easily because their bodies cannot cooperate.
I cannot think of anything more frustrating than to be unable to make someone understand what you are thinking. To have all those thoughts and feelings right there and not be able to issue them has to be painful to the soul.
My heart breaks for those whose minds have betrayed them. Not only can they not remember things but often their judgement is impaired as well. That is why you hear of Alzheimer's patients wandering off. Their minds do not recognize the dangers they face.
My son-in-law had a grandmother who suffered from Alzheimer's. Her wonderful husband kept her in their home and took care of her. She thought he was her father because he took care of all her needs.
There were several daughters who did not live close by. They continually asked him to move closer so they could help more with her care but he refused as long as he could.
Eventually he had to put her in a home because he was ill. He went to see her every day. She was happy when she saw her Daddy.
But she did not anyone else in the family. They visited regularly but she did not know them.
Of course we have all had those moments when we go blank for a few seconds. You know how it works. You go to the back door and then cannot remember for the life of you why you are there. Or you cannot remember where you left the leys to the car. Or you need to pick up three things at the grocery store and can remember that there were three things but you only remember two of them. It happens.
I got into my car one day a few years ago. The street we lived on had two directions to go. One was down across the train tracks and then we could turn to go wherever we wanted to go in that direction. The other direction took us up past the fire station to the street that we could use to take us wherever we wanted to go that way.
So I got in my car, turned it on, pulled out into the street and could not remember where I was going. I had no inkling of where I was going. But I knew if I just kept moving I would remember.
Bit I could not remember! I pulled over to the side of the road in a complete panic. The more I tried to remember where I was bound the less I knew.
Was this the beginnings of some horrible problem with my memory? I was extremely frightened.
I decided to start moving again. Most places I would go were in that direction. It had to come to me.
I believe I finally went to my son's house. It was not where I was going in the first place. I still have no idea where I was going in the first place.
Now I still misplace my keys (but less often than I used to) and I still get those blank moments of why am I standing at the refrigerator? But I have never again had a moment like forgetting where I was going.