This Part of Life Doesn't Come With An Instruction Manual
Dad is battling Alzheimer's and he is losing
By julie Hall
I fell to pieces last night … literally an unrecognizable, weepy being frozen in my bathroom. My husbands heard my sobs over his ever-increasing TV volume and shoot 'em up Army movie, so I must have really let it all hang out. To his credit and excellent nature, he came to comfort me without saying a word, understanding the pain inflicted on this lovely family.
I always thought I was incredibly strong, but when the realization hits that you are helpless against a loved one's disease, there is no pain quite like it.
My dad is battling Alzheimer's and he is losing. I can see it now and the heartbreak is almost more than I can bear. He answers the door when the telephone rings, pushes buttons on the telephone to lower the volume on the TV, and just fell last week and broke his nose. There's more, but I won't bore you. Dad is still exceptionally conversational and cares for himself very well. He'll talk on virtually any topic, but politics and gardening seem to be his favorites.
Recently, for what seemed like an eternity but only took a few seconds in reality, he forgot that I was his daughter. Then a moment later, he caught himself. That is the first time that ever happened. I somehow managed to keep a poker face only through the grace of God, I'm sure, then managed to walk out to my car where I promptly called my brother and let it all hang out again.
I am not complaining. I am hurting. I hurt for dad who never deserved this horrid affliction. I hurt for him because he is in the stage where he knows something is amiss; it seems like a hellish limbo to me. Truth be known, I hurt for all the people out there that have this disease, and for all of us that are dealing with it on a daily basis. “It must be the work of the devil,” I told my husband. “He must be in such a lonely place.” On the one hand, I praise the doctors for knowing as much as they do and helping as much as they can. On the other hand, I curse them because they don't know enough. My mom made her exit from life rapidly, and I am seeing what a blessing that was.
As with anything negative, it is the wise who will turn it into something positive. Because of this life experience, I can now add another dimension to my work as The Estate Lady: assisting my clients who are also dealing with this same issue. I can most definitely relate, and now I can comfort them too. It has long been said that in comforting others, you also will be comforted. I certainly hope so. I feel another book coming on. I'm open to title suggestions ….
Visit the Estate Lady, Julie Hall at her website.
Published June 6, 2012