Alzheimer’s disease is killing my mom. Sounds harsh, but it’s true. It’s deliberately taking over my mom’s brain like a wildfire out of control. It’s an insidious, controlled blaze that is slowly and methodically destroying the parts of her brain responsible for memory, language, reasoning, walking, swallowing and eventually breathing. It’s a long drawn out death that will most likely have my mom in a vegetative state near the end.
Nothing will put out this fire except the fire itself when it destroys it’s host.
In describing the final stage of Alzheimer’s disease, alzheimersillness.com says,In this final stage of disease progression, many individuals enter a catatonic-like state, and they are suffering from the worst effects of Alzheimer’s disease. They lose their ability to speak and respond to others, though occasionally words may be uttered. They are unable to sit up, smile, swallow, hold their head up, and their reflexes become abnormal and muscles get rigid. Eventually this end stage leads to death, typically about eight years after they were diagnosed with the disease.
I’m telling you this because we forget that Alzheimer’s is a terminal illness. Well, I know I did — rather, I was in denial about it. The symptoms of Alzheimer’s shift the focus from terminal illness to memory impairment and strange behavior. It becomes real easy to focus on how the Alzheimer’s sufferer is no longer normal and how we are coping with the abnormal behavior, rather than acknowledging they are dying a long drawn out death.
We are complacent when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease. We hear the term all the time and many of us come to believe it’s a natural part of aging, but it’s not.
Quick — what do you think of when I say Alzheimer’s disease? If you’re like me, you think of memory loss. But that’s just the first of 7 stages of the disease, with death being the last. What if I told you that 42.3 million people worldwide will die from brain cancer in the year 2020. Scary right? This isn’t true, but if you replace the words brain cancer with Alzheimer’s, that would be true.
Alzheimer’s is a deadly disease not a memory disease.
There is no cure. Which means my mom is dying.
Come back tomorrow for “10 Reasons I’m Grateful for Alzheimer’s Disease”