Saturday, September 22, 2007

Alzheimer's

So now it has a name.

It was a little shocking and scary to hear it, of course, but in some ways a relief. For several years now I've been describing Dad's illness to people and they say, "Alzheimer's?" And I answer no, and explain that it's like Alzheimer's, but different. Different cause, kind of a different effect. But now they're saying that's what it is, so at least I'll be able to just say Alzheimer's and be done with it.

There are some promising drugs on the way, in spite of our having a president who cares more about cells than living human beings. But I don't think that will matter by the time they're approved. Because it's not Alzheimer's instead of his original diagnosis, it's Alzheimer's on top of that. And even if they cured or staunched it, the damage from the other is long since done.

So there you go. The long goodbye. His mood is better, at least, since Christmas. More confused, yes, but less stressed out and anxious, which is good.

Today we visited Great Falls, just down the road from their house. On the bright side, from his standpoint, it was his first time seeing it, even though it was literally at least his thousandth visit. Then we washed the car. He helped me, like I used to help him, stepping in for the fun parts, rinsing it down with the hose.

I'm glad I'm here. And I can't wait to get home.

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