There is something to be said for families facing a loved one's devastating illness. My family has changed, but, has remained the same. Does that make any sense? Let me explain.
We still laugh. But, we laugh different. There's a sadness just underneath the surface. There's a certain sadness in the air in my house, but, we still laugh. There's a missing link in our family now. So, we laugh and joke and cut up. Beats the alternative.
I think this Christmas was the turning point in this disease. The kids who were here saw it, Marie saw it Friday. Wow, in less than a week, husband has completely lost a huge part of his memory. Alzheimer's hit his delete button.
For some reason, it has not really affected me the way some people think it should. I'm taking it all in stride. It's not depressing me, nor do I cry about it. Honestly? I have been preparing myself for this for 2 years. And I'm ready for it.
It's not easy, mind you. Husband can get out of hand. I have learned to not make such a big deal out of anything in front of husband. If he becomes unruly, it's up to me how I handle the situation. I've learned that ignoring him is the best way. He will settle down and in five minutes (I'm not kidding), he is smiling again. Forgetting all about his tantrum of a few minutes ago.
Another perk of this disease.
I am surprising even myself at how well I'm handling this. It's not as devastating as I thought it would be. Maybe because he is, most of the time, oblivious to the fact the he can't remember anything? He smiles through it all. Just smiles. This is new to me. He fought so hard against this disease, and now that it's taking over his brain, he has begun to smile.
Smiling is contagious you know. So, when he smiles, I smile.
We are entering Stage 7 of this disease, the final stage. Funny how one just knows. It's OK, I say to myself. You can do this, I say to myself.
Wait. I am doing it!!