Well, hey there, y’all.
It’s been . . . what? A mere two months? I thought I was done with blogging, my decision stemming from lots of reasons, mostly a desire to not snatch myself bald.
But, well . . . there seems to be a need for this blog. I keep getting messages from total strangers who tell me how much my posts about dealing with my mother’s Alzheimer’s have helped them not feel so alone. They share wonderful, beautiful, terrifying stories, offering bits and pieces of their lives as they struggle against the strangle-weed that is this wretched disease.
When I said goodbye back in February, I really felt I couldn’t support a blog, that I just did not have a single extra brain cell to spare. And I was frustrated that all I seemed to be writing about was the (you’ll pardon my patois) FUCKING ALZHEIMER’S. I couldn’t escape it! And I thought, how boring for all of you to read this sturm und drang.
Then I joined an Alzheimer’s support group. And took some classes offered by our local chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. And finally came to the understanding that you CAN’T escape it. Oh, you can (and should!) get respite. It’s a wonderful idea, and can really help, but in my experience unless the respite lasts two weeks and includes an all expenses paid vacation to the Caribbean, for me it doesn’t help much. Some of that’s my fault — I can’t turn off my brain. It’s not only wondering what Mom’s up to and is she okay, it’s wondering when the next down-turn will take place, what it’ll look like, and what I’ll do when it does. (Remind me to regale you with the joys of fecal incontinence. That’s a real show-stopper!)
I considered starting up a whole new blog, but you guys are already here, right? I’ll update and may change the name (I thought about calling it “The Wild Ride,” after a woman in my support group likened being an Alzheimer’s caretaker to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride), but basically it’ll still be me chewing the fat and reporting on life with Alzheimer’s, encouraging you to write and speak out, scream and cry, laugh and kick the wall.
I think the closet in my office would make a great padded cell . . .