“People think it's just forgetting your keys, she says. Or the words for things. But there are the personality changes. The mood swings. The hostility and even violence. Even from the gentlest person in the world. You lose the person you love. And you are left with the shell... And you are expected to go on loving them even when they are no longer there. You are supposed to be loyal. It’s not that other people expect it. It’s that you expect it of yourself. And you long for it to be over soon.”
Turn of Mind
So much in this quote is honest. Honest because Alzheimer's is so much more that forgetting keys and names. Yet it is deceptive in the fact that longing for it to be over doesn't sound that bad. But, knowing that there is no cure, the reality is that the only way for it to be over means that you are wishing for your loved one to die.
I love my mother. Sometimes I forget that because this hideous disease hides her from me. It hides her behind the "personality changes... mood swings... hostility... violence... " But, I do love her. However, this quote speaks a truth that I only whisper to people who understand. I want it to end. Soon. I rarely say the words out loud. They are said quietly because to want my mother to die is a feeling that isn't easy to admit. But, it is nonetheless true.
Mom's body is very healthy for a woman who is almost 80. She has no major health issues. That is a blessing and a curse. I am thankful that we aren't dealing with Diabetes, or Parkinson's, heart disease or any number of other ailments. But, the reality is that because of that good health, we will probably go through every disgusting step of Alzheimer's. So far, the disease has taken its toll on us in a mental sense. The anger, frustration and resentment of the situation have all been at the forefront. Soon, the physical side of the disease will show itself. Eventually, she won't be able to walk, to talk, to swallow, to breathe. So, yes, I want my mother to die. I want her to die with as little physical pain as possible. I want her to die with what remaining dignity this thief has left her.
And, selfishly, I want to get back to my life. I want my youngest daughter to have a sleepover. I want my oldest to put her needs first and make choices that every 19 year old should be allowed to make instead of always making the choices that make my life easier. I want to be able to celebrate the milestones in my children's lives without worrying about upsetting my mother. I want to laugh in my own home without making someone angry. I want to pay my bills on time, heck, I just want to be able to pay them. I want to start remembering my mother before the disease made me hate her. I want to start healing. And I want it to be over before the stress of it kills me.