Awful

Right now I feel like I’m walking around with a lead weight in my chest.  This may be the most dreadful thing that has ever happened to my family.  It looks very much like my father has alzheimers.

My mom called me and told me that my father had been acting confused and having trouble finding the right words in conversation.  When I talked to her initially I thought that he had possibly had a minor stroke and was upset that no one had told and that they hadn’t acted immediately.  Funny, now I wish that was what it had been.

The diagnosis isn’t sure at this point, but the wonderful (horrible) internet gave me a piece of information that I didn’t really want.  There is a sleep disorder which is strongly associated with alzheimers.  One in which people flail about during REM sleep.  One that the site I was looking at said could possible be the first symptom of alzheimers.  One that my Dad has had for a decade or more.  He actually blacked my Mom’s eye once.  He built a shield contraption to fasten on to the bedframe so he couldn’t do it again.  I so wish that I didn’t know this. 

For now I’m not sharing this information.  It would not change anything about the situation except make more people miserable for a longer period of time. 

Since I found out I walk through my days wrestling with tears, often unsuccessfully.  The worst part is that I’m never alone.  I don’t really have any time in which I can just let go and cry.  My husband is wonderfully supportive, but it would just distress him to witness that.  There’s currently a surfeit of distress going around.  The only time I’m by myself is my drive to and from work.  And while screaming and crying and pounding the steering wheel might be cathartic, it wouldn’t do anything for my driving skills.  Something you need rather a lot of in Southern California traffic.

It has brought me and my sisters closer than we have been in a long time.  I got the news a little before my sisters did.  My mom told me when she was going to give them the news and I waited impatiently until she had.  While waiting I installed an instant messenger on my home computer and sent my sisters invitations to chat.  As soon as they got the invitations the conversation started up and hasn’t stopped since.  We’re all handling it a little bit differently, but at least we don’t have to handle it alone.

When I was diagnosed with lupus I never did the ‘Why?’ thing.  I never questioned why me or why now.  This has me shouting ‘Why this?’ at the skies.  Why this awful thing that kills the person but leaves the shell alive to haunt the ones who loved it?  And would somebody please smack the drug companies and tell them to stop spending all their money marketing viagra and cialis and get to making something useful?  I’d really appreicate it.

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