by Marie
(South Carolina)

As we go through life, we experience joys and sorrows, miracles and disasters, tests and trials and much more. During this long journey called life, one thing remained the same and that is change. Our lives are always changing, sometimes for better and at times for worse. However, all these memories remain with us forever. These memories tide us through the rough waves and the high currents in our life. When times are bad, we revert to these memories for solace and comfort.

But, what is one supposed to do when all the memories are erased from our brain and our heart forever? Alzheimer's is one of the worst diseases possible a man could get. Imagine not knowing who you are, or not being able to recognize your own kids. Imagine going to the market and forgetting your own address on the way back! Alzheimer's is a cruel joke of nature that can take away the entire essence of life from a person.

I know from experience as my grandmother developed Alzheimer's about ten years ago. She is still alive but, none of her kids live with her. My father goes to check on her twice a day, but finds that he cannot make any conversation with her at all. My mom has stopped visiting altogether as she doesn't recognize her and starts getting violent. We have kept two medical nurses for her who ensure that she is well and she remains calm with them only because she has started to become familiar with them.

We try to keep her relaxed and comfortable. We also try not to change her medical staff or the setting in her room so that it doesn't trigger a violent attack.

The sad part is that she is physically in excellent health and there is nothing wrong with her body whatsoever. On the contrary, her brain has totally given up and she no longer remembers any of her past. At times she thinks that my Dad is her brother and other times she has no recognition of him at all. It breaks our heart to distance ourselves away from her but there is no solution or cure.

As much as we would like to be caregivers we can't.

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