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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thought For Today

As I have mentioned at various locations in the blogosphere, my mother-in-law is in the final stage of Alzheimer's Disease. She is a pitiful creature, and all who love her are more than ready for the Lord to call her home.

Before she was diagnosed as having Alzheimer's, she was very difficult.  The word difficult doesn't begin to convey her personality.

Once my mother-in-law started showing clear signs of Alzheimer's decline, however, she mellowed out.  She was so pleasant and remained so until she became a living statue.  Indeed, she started enjoying life and overtly changing dramatically with regard to her interpersonal relationships.

Those were halcyon days — not only for her but for the entire family!

I asked my brother-in-law, "Why is she so easy to get along with now?  Why is she so pleasant?"

His response: "She doesn't have enough memory left to recall what used to keep her all ramped up."  He was referring to my mother-in-law's propensity for (1) holding grudges and (2) being a news hound.

I see a life lesson there.  Do you?


  1. Could you possibly be suggesting that we'd all be better off if the "difficult" people among us suddenly became afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease? ;-)

    I have always resisted the idea that we are nothing more than a complex series of chemical reactions -- or prisoners of our genetic makeup --, and therefore, have no control over the way we think, feel and relate to others.

    Your mother-in-law's ha-BITCH-ual behavior might have been improved had someone administered a good beating or two at strategic intervals during her formative years.

    Family members become tyrannical when no one stands up to them and tells them where to get off. Bullies are only encouraged by servile, subservient behavior. Their odious behavior often may be stopped permanently by a good punch in the nose or a swift kick in the shins -- either literal or metaphorical

    1. FT,
      Your mother-in-law's ha-BITCH-ual behavior might have been improved had someone administered a good beating or two at strategic intervals during her formative years.

      My mother-in-law was not a difficult person until she reached her 30's, and certainly was well disciplined as a child; furthermore, nobody else in the family had similar personality problems (i.e., being in a constant state of agitation). I'm not sure what happened.

      Could you possibly be suggesting that we'd all be better off if the "difficult" people among us suddenly became afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease?

      Not exactly. But if it's true that senility can reveal one's true personality, it is certain that my mother-in-law's senility brought forth a much nicer person -- someone we loved to be around (until her final decline into something akin to locked-in syndrome. In my mother-in-law's case, we don't know how aware she actually is; she certainly is beyond any kind of communication whatsoever and has existed in this state for about 3 years.

  2. .

    You have my condolences. The disease is devastating. It is a terrible situation for all involved.

    Ema Nymton

    1. Ema,
      Thank you.

      We rarely see her. She lives on the opposite side of the United States; we're on the East Coast, she on the West Coast.

      Her condition has now reached the state that nobody takes photos anymore. The photos are too disturbing to look at. She is long past being presentable -- although for a while she did have the dignity of a Queen Victoria. No more!

  3. I think your brother-in-law's response was spot on.

  4. Very difficult indeed. No worries, once the panels come through, anyone not productive will suffer no more. So sorry to hear.

  5. 'news hound' - our minds get into such a roil that we see the world as the 'enemy'-

    that is why I turn off my computer for a day or two- then- I am not tempted to over read about the 'stuff going on'--

    Thank you for your personal insights - and- I am sad that your mother in law did no 'see the Light' as to being stuck in the past (grudge holding) --before she was afflicted w/ Alzheimer --


  6. My husband's grandmother was a sweet and lovely woman, ... until she came down with Alzheimer disease. She became more and move difficult, even violent. She was physically stronger than my husband's parents, who both had long time heart problems, strokes, etc. They had to take care of her, until they could not. She was stronger than them, up at night, swinging a cane around, they feared for their lives. There was no choice except to eventually get her into a nursing facility. Very sad and very scary. We never know what the future holds for us.

    Right Truth

    1. P.S. She did not know them or other family members 90% of the time. The mind went, but the body stayed healthy for years.

    2. There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that people in that condition should be quietly and comfortably put to sleep. We are kinder to our pets than we are to our kinfolk.

      ------------------> Katharine Heartburn

  7. AOW, Alzheimer's disease is, without a doubt, the absolute worst disease that a person can be afflicted with, for the individual AND for their family members. My heart goes out to you and yours. My father started in his early 60's with what we termed "CRS" (Can't Remember Shit). He finally passed away at 83. The last several years were spent in a nursing home as we just could not give him the care he needed. I visited at least twice a week and so got to watch the progression of that curse on mankind. I would not wish it on my worst enemy, if I had one. Anyone who has never had the misfortune of being close to someone with it should be thanking their lucky stars. You are 100% correct to wish for her to be "called home to the Lord." It will be better for her and for all of her family.

    1. AA,
      Prayers are offered up every day for her release.

      My mother-in-law entered the nursing home the same week that Mr. AOW came home from the skilled nursing facility here. He is improving -- albeit by millimeters -- and she is declining by leaps and bounds. However, she doesn't have high blood pressure, a heart condition, or kidney problems. Who knows how long she will "live"?

      The entire situation is hideous.

  8. I....a really HORRIBLE disease. I have rarely heard of anybody getting sweeter; Debbie's right, too....most get MORE combative and angry and nasty.
    Interesting thought that your mom-in-law just doesn't remember enough to stay ticked off.
    I'm not sure Katharine Hearburn isn't right.....as much as I hate to say it. It's a disease that's humiliating for the victim and nearly impossible in EVERY WAY, for the families and other loved ones. I don't agree with Euthanasia, but if there was ever a reason to.....................this is probably it.

    1. Z,
      What my mother-in-law is going through is a living death.

      My mother-in-law is a Believer, but somehow I think that she'd end her "life" is she were able to do so.

      Her swallowing is becoming more and more problematic. At any time, she could aspirate -- and will die shortly after. We're all in agreement to withhold any treatment.

      The only who go to visit her now are her boyfriend of some 20 years. As far as anyone can tell, she doesn't know that anyone is there. She is completely unresponsive. It's been at least 3 years since she has made a sound or smiled -- or moaned, for that matter.

      At age 94, she has clearly outlived her life.

  9. It's a terrible disease. My father had it and when our mother passed away he'd say "When are we gonna see Ma?" and we'd have to tell him all over again.

    1. We had similar issues with my mother-in-law when she was able to communicate. She frequently called her long-time boyfriend by her deceased husband's name. There was, of course, no way to reason with her.

      In the "walkabout" phase, you often got as far away as 10 miles. She couldn't give the police any helpful information. Nightmare!


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