WELCOME TO A NEW PATH FOR MOM
Mom didn’t see it coming. None of us did. On February 13, 2005, the love of her life and husband for 55 years died very suddenly. In the midst of that shock and turmoil, we didn’t know that her brain was going through irreversible changes that would affect her and us for the rest of her life.
It wasn’t long before Mom was diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), and eventually she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. I want to share our story and be a source of help to other people who are trying to navigate through this horrible disease. You may know someone who is showing signs that something isn’t right and you just don’t know what to do, where to begin or what is ahead. You may also have to face a new path.
I think Mom would want me to help others, even if only a little bit, and give her journey through this disease some meaning.
I couldn’t believe what I saw. A notation for $2,000 paid to a gardener and it was a name I didn’t recognize. He was not Mom’s gardener. Mom’s finances were out of control.
“Mom, what is that noise? Is that barking?” My heart sank. She was so excited. She told me she went down to the local pet store and bought a puppy.
Your loved one is repeating the same things over and over, misplacing items or getting lost in familiar places. You know something isn’t right.
Mom loved our cats. I confess that my husband has turned me into a cat lady and at one point, we had four Siamese. As you might know, many Siamese cats talk constantly, demand attention and can behave similarly to dogs.
After being the target of Mom’s hamburger as described in my last blog, I decided to drive to the nearest bookstore to see if I could research what was happening.
After years of experience caring for a person who has Alzheimer’s, you can predict certain behaviors. But in the beginning, before you really know what is wrong, your best quality may be your sense of humor.
I always knew there were some things about my parent’s lives that were none of my business, like how much money Dad made or how their money was spent. Nine years ago, I had to learn that sometimes you have to put the past behind and get a grip on what is currently happening.
When I was growing up, Betty and her family lived right across the street and our families were always the best of friends. We would run over to say a quick hello or borrow some sugar for making a pie.
Our journey through Alzheimer’s disease began thirteen years ago. Our family knew nothing about this disease. A new path for Mom was ahead of her and ahead of us.