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I Have Alzheimer’s or Another Dementia
Reflections On Receiving Your Report
Reflections On Receiving Your Report...
Oh the report? The report hit me like a ton of bricks.
It was so different,
before the report than it is now...and I am not sure if I can even describe it
anymore. I'll try. Before, when you were aware of your loss in
function...and you were telling people of your struggles, and they minimize it,
and you had the glorious luxury of wondering if it was all just in your head
and you were really fine. Before, I
thought I had a good handle on what I was struggling with (task wise)...but
thought that others saw me as more able.
Then there was the day you
get the report. The first few moments
there is a relief *phew* it really wasn't all in my head. And then you think, *crap*....I really DO
have this. It really IS going to be
progressive. It is as if aspects of
this dementia issue appear that were not there before...and a lull comes over
you as you face your coming death in a way you haven't before...because now it
is real. And there is fear too because
now you can no longer hide it (not that I was hiding it as well as I thought I
was to begin with).
But after a while, as the
sun rises a few more times and life around you continues to go on...the grass
still grows, the birds still sing, the dog wags his tail...and life is like you
never got the report...you realize that you really ARE ok, and the sun really
WILL continue to rise...and your life CAN go on. And it can go on in a way it hadn't before.
Now that you have a
diagnosis, and thanks to the diagnosis, you can begin to take charge of things,
especially of your future. A sense of
empowerment comes over you. And you can
move on because you are no longer trying to get the doctors to believe you and
you no longer have to fight for a diagnosis.
Now you can get books, start an exercise program, a diet, and getting
out and socializing more.
Later comes the
realization that things in the dementia world are not nearly as good as they
should be. And gravely different than it
is in the cancer world where people "get" that you are suffering. They say it like they "get it" in
the dementia world, but really it means that everyone sees your caregiver as
suffering...people don't really see you anymore. And no one cares what you have to say
anymore. It is as if you went from human
one day to a door stop the next.