When someone receives a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease, a whole new world opens up; for the one diagnosed and for those in their circle, everything changes. My mom died three years ago this June. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Thankfully, she didn’t lose all her capabilities. She told the same stories over and over, ones she enjoyed. Ones that made her laugh. She still had a wit about her.
She couldn’t drive or be left alone. She would forget to put her cigarettes out and dropped ashes constantly, burning holes in the carpet at her feet. My sister, the one in whose home my mom lived, allowed her to smoke in her bedroom, where she spent most of her day smoking and playing games on the computer. That was her haven, her refuge, her sanctuary. It is where she wanted to be.
I disagreed with my sister. I thought my mom would burn my sister’s house down one day. I am thankful it didn’t happen, but couldn’t understand her taking the risk. My mom died more from the smoking than the Alzheimer’s, constantly sucking on an inhaler due to her chronic bronchitis. It all gets so overwhelming. I miss my mom. I miss my sister too, as we haven’t spoken since my mom’s service nearly three years ago. Alzheimer’s Disease opened up a whole new world.