I was visiting with my Dad a few days ago when he announced that he has Early Onset Alzheimers and that he’s taking medication but that he feels it will end badly. I knew he had it, he just was finally diagnosed and accepting treatment for it. He had a stroke a year and a half ago and it’s been rough since then. It changed him, he’s working still and is amazed that he can and still does it well but when you’ve been doing something all your life, it’s second nature.
When I was younger my Dad always seemed immortal to me, I know I’m not the only one who thought that way about their Dad. He was my hero for a long time, the big guy that could fix any car, with so many people into cars, I tried to absorb as much knowledge about them as I could, sadly it didn’t stick.
I’ve taken for granted that my family is getting older, I am self involved and caught up in my own little world so much that I forget sometimes that my time here is short, I don’t have a lot to spare and definitely not any to waste.
I hurt inside that he’s so fearful of the outcome that faces him. I see the fear in his eyes, the terror at losing control, forgetting the things that he’s known and having watched my Grandmother’s memory fade until she didn’t even recognize him, I don’t blame him for being so terrified, I’m terrified.
Folks, it’s a real bitter pill for me to swallow, I love my Dad and I love my Mom and everyone in my family even though I’ve been a contentious bitch to them all at some time or for a period of time, I love them and want them to be here forever and no matter what I hope they all know that.
I don’t like seeing my Dad like that, especially since I’m not in a position to help financially if necessary – that freaks me out a lot.
Do you have severe illness in your family? How are you coping? Please discuss.