Saturday, April 19, 2008

Dementia Lives On

I thought my walk with craziness was over, but I feel surrounded by it every day.

I take on too many tasks, stay up too late, get up to teach a class on two or three hours of sleep--and realize I am now the carrier of dementia.

I go to Build a Bear with my oldest daughter buy a graduation dress for her chihuahua to wear to her sister's graduation from college on May 18: should it be a spaghetti strap floral print or a more formal pink satin? "My dog can't wear anything tacky because it reflects on me," she says. I'm reeling from this craziness.

At the parent Al-Anon meetings I attend, we understand that we are all crazy over how to deal with addiction in our children. Is she or isn't she using? Should I check on her, do an intervention--or let her have the dignity of her own mistakes? Should I cut off his funding because I know he's using? We recite Step Two: Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

John goes into his office Saturday at 5 pm and stays until after midnight. Craziness again--workoholism.

When I visit the other residents where my mother used to live, my heart aches to see the behaviors of Alzheimer's, Lewy Body, and other forms of dementia. That world lives on, even if I don't go there. The caregivers report to work every day.

Dementia lives on.

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