Almost three weeks ago Bo left us, and since then I’ve been thinking about this blog and whether to continue it. I’ve decided to — for a while, at least — because there are things left to say. Thoughts to share.
I’ve made this decision for several reasons. First, the kind words of some of my readers who have told me that they, too, are caregivers and I have helped them in some way; and second, others who aren’t caregivers but who have told me that they learned about Alzheimer’s from our story.
It’s such a cruel disease. We know the outcome, but the journey there is unpredictable and exhausting, and even though the Alzheimer’s Association and websites like Mayo Clinic describe the “stages” of the disease, we still don’t really know what to expect. Each person’s regression is different. The average duration is sometimes listed as eight years, yet each person varies. There are those who decline rapidly, but others, like Bo, whose decline was gradual and slow for at least nine years. What we don’t know is how long the patient has the disease before it becomes evident.
I used to go back to the “stages” chart to see where I thought Bo was. I know there were times when I was in denial. Maybe what happened was just a fluke. Maybe he’d be OK tomorrow. You see, the really odd thing about the disease is that it’s not consistent. He would do one thing that was a sign of the disease yet say and do others that were perfectly normal. Such a reasonable and sensible man: how could he possibly intentionally pour a glass of water over my computer keyboard? or try to drink the water from the flowers on the kitchen table?
In truth, he slept most of those nine years. There was nothing else to do — hobbies, interests, household tasks, reading, television all gradually disappeared until only boredom remained. This ennui was deadening. The purposeless life.
But there are stories left to tell, so I will move forward with Alzheimerswife.com from time to time with a new post. Thank you, all, for your sympathy and support.