Friday, February 6, 2015

Today on Facebook I watched the most stirring video.  It was a news anchor and a guy whose mom had Alzheimer’s disease.  They were doing a 12 minute experiment to experience what it is like to have the disease.  They wore goggles to make their eyesight screwed up, headphones to hear nonsensical noises constantly.  They wore rubber gloves and had their fingers taped to make it like they had arthritis.  They put stones in their shoes so they were uncomfortable walking.

Each was given 5 tasks to perform.  At first they couldn’t understand what their instructor said because of the headphones.  (I didn’t realize that Alzheimer’s patients usually hear constant irritating noises.)  The two became quickly impatient.  The lovely news anchor actually threw down a dinner plate at one point.  Each said it seemed like ages and not just 12 minutes.

I suggested all my FB friends watch this video.  It was mind blowing to say the least.
My grandfather was the first person I ever knew that had Alzheimer’s disease.  It was the saddest death possible--slowly reverting to your childhood and infancy.  His death was so very sad.

My grandma and grandpa Long.  He loved the Cincinnati Reds and listened to them on the radio.  The time I had to sit with him I took my radio and we listened to the game.  I'm sure he was confused.

I’ve noticed in my sixties that I have had to make some adjustments because of age.  I put my underwear and pants on quite differently.  I used to just stand up and pull them on.  Now I have to hold onto something like the doorknob and put one leg in and then switch holding onto the doorknob with the other hand etcetera…

Recently I put my underwear on sideways.  My immediate thought was, “Oh my god, I have gained twenty pounds.”  And of course, then I realized that I had put my underwear on sideways.  What an idiot!  It was about then that I changed my underwear and pants strategy.  Now I sit down and look at the item first.

I used to run up and down the stairs.  No big deal.  Now, I have to hold onto the banister while running up and down the stairs.  (It is not easy being hyperactive at 64, let me tell you.)  Sometimes after one or two flights, I may slow down a bit.

My eating habits have changed also.  I can no longer eat a big meal and go to sleep.  The heartburn or acid reflux hits me.  Now after I eat I have to run up and down the stairs at least once, and I stretch myself for a while to gets the digestion process going.  And then I stack two pillows up and sleep elevated.

Another of my habits that have changed since getting older is putting on makeup.  I no longer find it necessary to put on makeup to go everywhere.  Sometimes I go to the store in my pajama bottoms and no makeup.  And as far as the fixing my hair goes, sometimes I just wear a hat.

Getting older is not for sissys for sure.  The fear of Alzheimer’s disease is always with me.  I have had an aunt die this past year from the disease, and I have one aunt in an Alzheimer’s nursing facility right now.  I was told my mother had symptoms of the disease shortly before she passed away.

I’ve always been told that I am much more like my father’s family.  I certainly hope all my genes are more like his family.

Here’s to growing older and wiser.

1 comment:

  1. I was quite young when Grandpa was getting sick. I did not know what was going on. I do remember him setting in my dads car just looking all around. My dad, Oliver Long, took him by the hand and went back inside the house. I am not sure at the time what was going on, but now... I see my Aunt Nollie in the same state of mind that my grandpa was in. I take her hand and we just walk until she asks me "Who I am" . Darren Long