Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mom's Alzheimer's Journey #2

This is the second in a series of excerpts from Mom's journal that she began writing two years ago after her Alzheimer's diagnosis. A former R.N., published writer and editor, Mom decided to write as long she could about the experience of the disease. One of her symptoms is the withering of her language abilities. I've kept the spelling and grammar the way Mom wrote them so that readers can have a sense of her abilities but have included corrections and more information in brackets [ ] when needed for clarity.

[End of August and beginning of September, 2007]

I am having more and more difficulty with balance. I feel like I'm just tottering on the egeg (or however that is spelled). I can't spell worth a darn--a symptom of the disease.

My eyes close even when I'm not sleepy. I look like I'm asleep. I yahn, yaun [yawn] a lot--more than I am sleepy. I relay [rely] on my cane more & more.

The typing & spelling have something in commom--I can't figure out what it is--I can't do either ... I can't figure out how words are spelled, so I can't figure out what I have written down--they're all jumpbed [jumbled] up. ... Words are spelled correctly (I think) but I just can't figure them out. I can usually tell when words arent spelled correctly. I can tell words, but I cant figure out what they mean. It's not because they're unfamiliar, and they'y may be spelled correctly, but I cant figure out what they mean.

I can recognize misspelled words but I dont' have the fogiest what to do about them.

I have a writting problem, not just a spelling problem--but I do have a [hand]writing problem --sometimes extreme. ...I make some words large & some small. ... It's so tiny it looks abnormal.

I have lost strength in my thighs. When I kneel down, I need help standing up ... I'm dizzy most of the time--or all of the time--it's not just dizzy--I don't know how to explain it. I guess dizzysome is the word. ... The world isn't spinning around when I'm dizzy--I don't know how to explain it. I feel I am having more trouble walking than most Individuals with AD. ...

(I'm just dizzy--a dizzy dame)

I have trouble finishing sentences--the problem is more pronounced than before. I had trouble saying "raisen toast" this morning at breakfast.

Fortunately, Charlotte was there, which helped (her husband died of AZ).

I can't tell right from left, which promlen [problem] I never had before & up & down & in and out. I know what I mean but it comes out wrong!

I have headaches a lot, which I seldom had. ...I'm forgetful now; I can't even remember when my daughter, Ann fixed my clock to the right time. It's a good thing I wrote that down! because I couldn't remember that, either! I've forgotten other things, too. I'm more corced [concerned] about my memory, too.

I say things 'spontaneously' that I didn't mean--for instance, I say 'yes' when I mean 'no' and I say 'left', when I mean 'right' and up when I mean down. I can't remember what was happening the night Crystal & some friends were playing a game. I knew the answer was 'St Valentines', but I said Saint someone or other ... I don't know why I did that. I never said 'St Valentine.'

A fellow in memory care [the "lock down" unit for people with advanced dementia, on the other side of the assisted living facility where Mom lives] with AZ ... moves very slowly & I'm not sure he even remembers his wife. I dread getting like that, but I guess I will. (He [is] what I'd call [a] vegetable, although he walks & moves.)


Collin Kelley said...

So beautiful and, if I'm honest, very difficult and emotional to read.

Holli said...

I can feel her pain and confusion and her frustration....she's very good at making you "feel" it all along with her. It makes me cry for her and for your family.....

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

I burst into tears when I saw that the word "spontaneous" was correctly speeled, but the word jumbled had been written down as jumpbed...I'm not sure why, but I suspect the incredible "randomness" of the loss of spelling echoes the disease itself.
Wish I could say more uplifting things, but don't know what to say here, Kate. My sincerest wish--prayer, if you'll indulge me--is for your Mom to always be cognizant of your great love for her. I think even when spelling and editing and order falls away, love remains. Peace, woman.

word verification:shines

Lisa Nanette Allender said...

uh, that's supposed to read, "spelled". Good Lord.