Last week, you had your initial diagnosis. You refused to take anyone to the doctors with you and I imagined you coming back and telling me they said everything was fine; but you didn’t. Instead you asked me to take you somewhere to get something to eat and you cried. You shared they told you that you had either dementia or Alzheimer’s. You asked them if it could be your old age (63) and they told you no, that something was definitely wrong. Although I knew this was coming, it felt like a sucker punch to my gut so I can only imagine what it felt like to you. Your mind has been really bad lately…your memory is bad…your speech is affected etc. You asked your sister and I to not say anything to your son just yet because you were afraid how he would react. [My brother has been very vocal that there is nothing wrong with mom and she has been this way for most of her life. This is not a true statement and he only sees her about 1x a year so those of us around her see her changes.] Mom, you said the doctors told you to not be alone with your grandkids and you said you were ok if I never wanted you to see them again. Obviously that will NEVER happen. Your grandkids are going to know you whether you have a mental illness or not. I have the privilege of knowing who you are deep inside and I will not keep them from you. My heart broke for you as you heard the news from the doctor and I assured you that you were not going to be a lone through this process. Tomorrow you have a lumbar puncture, Friday a MRI and next Wednesday, an EEG. I’m with you every step of the way. You’ve gone back and forth with wanting me to go with you and today you were texting me asking me why you were having these tests done. I know that you get so frustrated with yourself because you don’t remember or you are unable to process things the way you used to. I try to encourage you but you get really upset. I walk on thin ice all the time when speaking with you but if I can make you feel better for even a moment, I will tread that ice; hell, I’ll dive in the water if I need to. Mom, I love you so much and I know you are afraid. I can feel it, I can hear it in your voice, and I can see it on your face. I promise you that I will never leave you! You said that if these tests confirm what the 2 neurologists said, that you wanted to move by me. I’d love that Mom. I’d love to be able to take care of you and have you closer to your grand kids. You go back and forth with that all the time but if it works out, I’d be happy to have you close by. I’ve already been looking at places closer to me…just in case.
At the end of the day mom, you are not alone. We will get through this together!