I didn’t realize I had been avoiding. That’s why they call it avoiding. I was already caregiving for my mom but I believed her excuses because I so wanted her life and—if we’re being honest—my life not to change. I had dealt with the fact that she had Parkinson’s and heart disease. I hadn’t faced the fact that my mom had Alzheimer’s.
Punch in the gut.
I was scared. How do you care for a person with physical and neurological issues? How wild was it going to get? Could I handle it?
I was heartbroken. I thought we had more time. I thought it was hard enough already. I hurt for her, how lost she felt, and how nothing seemed to comfort her.
It made sense. The confusion, agitation, paranoia—the million little things started to add up. We had been dancing around this for months and months.
I knew I had to get educated. I knew I needed a plan. But like most huge things, from the moment I didn’t know to the moment I did, nothing cataclysmic had changed. She was still my mom. I would give her the next dose of meds, make her dinner, and then we’d watch a bit of television.
The changes would come in the next few weeks. I’d go online, make some phone calls, and schedule a doctor’s appointment.
I didn’t know what was up ahead. Not the specifics. I’m glad I didn’t.
Yes, there were rough times and sweet times.
The day I faced Alzheimer’s was in some ways a relief—and a re-committment.
Whatever was to come, we’d face together.