On the importance of long-term memories
I kind of skip from day to day living in the moment. But every once in awhile I’ll have a cold, grey day and remember my mother; or I’ll be out under a deep blue sky with a plane droning in the distance and remember dad; or I’ll hear my husband humming in the other room and remember how many wonderful people I have in my life. And it makes me happy.
Her personality is completely different. She’s not consistent in the things she says. Her personality can be harsh sometimes, or other times just listless and sad. She still loves Blue Bloods, though. It’s this TV show she used to always watch with my grandfather, and she watches it all the time at the facility she’s at now, and she’ll watch the same episode just over and over again, but somehow it’s just going back to that sense memory, I guess, associated with TV show.
When she was living at her house, she always cleaned. She loved cleaning and I guess having some sense of control over her surroundings, even when she could barely stand up, because she has kind of an inner ear issue with the water in the brain. She always tried to clean surfaces as best she could…At this point, it’s hard to know where she is because first of all she’s on the other side of the country from me, and I can’t talk to her on the phone anymore, because I can’t understand her verbally. She blurs so much that I can’t understand her at all.
At first, I was scared because I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know – I didn’t know anything. Now that I know that the mood swings are normal, that helps. I try to not fear too much about the fact that it runs in the family. Because Alzheimer’s does run in families.
Part of me wonders if the fact that my memory isn’t working as well as it used to, if that’s a sign that I may have Alzheimer’s one day … I go to worst-case scenario mode. At the back of my mind, I have that fear, where I’m like, “I will have Alzheimer’s some day,” especially since I relate to my grandmother so well, even though I didn’t know her that well before she got sick. It makes me rethink how to handle life thinking that that might be something that’s in the future… if I get Alzheimer’s by the time I’m 70, I want to fully enjoy what I have now.