I never knew what a trigger seeing someone I love with dementia and Alzheimer’s would be.
I traveled to Chicago (my hometown) this past three day weekend to help my father and aunt with sorting through my grandparents’ house. We just moved them to a care facility due to their debilitating dementia, Alzheimer’s, and self-care ability.
There wasn’t just the pain and stress of going through their house, the only stable home I’ve ever known; but also visiting them at the facility. They barely recognized me. Had no idea I am well past college and own my own house now.
The memory struggle hit me like a punch to the gut.
The weekend fractured and I have whole chunks missing. I’m back home now trying not to lose myself to the terror of losing my memory more and more. The crippling fright is more overwhelming than it’s been in years. Maybe ever. I’ve never seen the struggle of memory reconstruction from “the other side”.
I love my grandparents with my whole heart. But I seized in panic every single time we pulled into the facility’s parking lot. The first visit I could barely carry a conversation. The other visits are a hazy blur due to the disassociation/blackouts/switching/lost time.
I’ve discovered a trigger than I have practically no coping technique for. Besides being a shaking mess in my bed with Zoe.
I’d rather kill myself than have that much constant trouble with my memory.
And it terrifies me to think that I might already be more than halfway there.
Above are a couple of the old pictures I found while cleaning that give me a slight smile.
I don’t have the strength for a long entry, even though there is much I could say on this topic.