Saturday, July 6, 2013

'It's Not Like He'll Remember."

A Woman With Opinions is undergoing some remodeling, but I had to do this post.

I haven't blogged about how my dad is doing for quite some time. And frankly that's because I don't like talking about it.

The family was cleaning today and we came across dad's nails spilled across the floor. Someone wanted to keep them and then another person wanted to get rid of them and made the comment "It's not like he'll remember." (Dad was not in the room.) Once the words left their mouth they knew  they made a bad word choice. People got hot. But we love the individual and they were forgiven.

Nails on the floor

It's heart breaking.

But it's also reality. And something we are reminded of every day.

My dad suffers from Alzheimer's disease and it's hard to watch.

Let me clarify that he's no where near as bad as you might think when you hear the word "Alzheimer", he knows who his family is and regular friends, and can navigate his regular walking paths, make his lunch,and can still read and understand all his engineering and astronomy journals.

But the man who raised me, who taught me to ride a bike, slept on the couch so his daughter terrified the monster would come get her could sleep with her mom, a published electrical engineer, helped build XM radio, lectured at George Mason University, and who has done countless projects. Is not here.

The man who has his daily routine, (and is not too happy if it gets messed up), someone who repeats the same stories, asks the same questions, and can't remember what happened last week is here now. And it's hard, and heart breaking. He can't remember when he taught me to ride a bike, and I remember like it was yesterday telling him "I want to ride a two wheeler."

Awesome Rock Chair

And I want to cry when he says "I don't remember."

But Heavenly Father gives us these small moments, when he's totally there. When he remembers I'm the daughter who loved the bike rides, and taking TVs apart. He'll make these witty comments and jokes. And can clearly explain why the moon is so bright, and can follow the conversation jumps at the dinner table.

Conversations with Abraham Lincoln

And it's like nothings wrong for that brief moment.

So he went to the neurologist this week. And there is a Alzheimer genetic marker. And he has it, this does not set ones fate, but it does have a heavy influence. (I find it interesting that the Alzheimer marker is on Chromosome 21, same as Downs Syndrome.)

So my mom made the comment that my siblings and I should make the decision if we want to get tested. One decided then and there they're going to do it, the other and I sat there unsure. Which is unusual for me, I've always been protesting "Knowledge is power."

Yet to know what state my life could end is terrifying, to find out I could not remember who my husband and kids are, do I want to have that on the back of my mind the rest of my life?

But I could also be proactive.

So I really don't know what I'm going to do. Either way, I hope that I won't let it run my life and will be able to face it with my head held high.

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know there was a genetic marker for Alzheimer's. As I told you in the mother's lounge the other day, my grandfather had it for seven years. I found out last year, that my grandpa's youngest brother has it now, too. I wonder if that means it runs in my family.

    Good luck making your decision. I don't know what I would decide.

    I'm sorry about the days when he is less there. I'm so glad that you have the ones where he is!