She’s Back!

Alzheimer's Disease

Alzheimer’s Disease (Photo credit: AJC1)

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 . . .


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
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13 Responses to She’s Back!

  1. Elaine Bruno says:

    So happy you are back! I so identify with all you write!! We have to re-schedule our date!! XOXO

  2. adina says:

    Hang in there. Sometimes it feels like nothing we do matters but in the end is the old Zen conundrum : what’s the sound of one hand clappping? Nothing! Many hands joined in holding/clapping or what not is what moves the world.
    suffering from a chronnic degenerative dissease I know how the circle of your own reality tends to suffocate you but you need to step outside of it every once in a while.
    (If you figure out how to do it let me know!)

  3. Linda McGee-Grimes says:

    You cannot believe how much you have been missed. Even though I am not going through what you are, I have my own cross to bear at the moment, you just being there is a blessing. I am so glad that you got some “relief” no matter what the form. Thank you for returning.

  4. MJ Allaire says:

    Glad you’re back. I’ve missed your blogs! You always have *such* a way with words! 😀 Know that I’m here for you – even if it’s just a visit to that padded cell in your office 🙂

  5. NanJan says:

    Welcome back! I will always be happy to ready your writing, even when what you write makes me want to get in the car, drive to you and hug you. For now, zen ((((huggs!))))

  6. Glad to see you here online again! Happy you were able to make the “repairs” necessary to do it. Seems the support group was the way to go. Yes, you are support for many in the same situation and likely some you might not think! (I do have to do something about that fireplace!)

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