Friday, August 6, 2010

Alzheimer's from a 19 year old's perspective...

Okay- I should be going to bed. I'm tired and haven't been sleeping well. But I need to write some things down before I forget them.

I shared the following on the website.

Alzheimer's from the perspective of a 19 year old boy: (DS means "dear son")

DS is playing Guitar Hero in the family room. Mom walks in and sees DS with his fake guitar. "When did you learn to play guitar- no one told me!" DS: "It's a game Gma- this guitar is a controller to a game." Mom:"Oh okay."

Couple of days later DS is again playing Guitar Hero. Mom walks in and watches. Sees DS "playing the guitar" and notices the TV is on. (the game is shown on the screen) Looks at my son in amazement and says:"You are so talented! You can play the guitar and watch TV at the same time. I wish my dad was still alive to see this. You must have gotten his musical talent." DS (couldn't bring himself to tell her it was a game) Thanks Gma.

Scene set up- DS playing an Xbox game while sitting on the couch in the family room. He has headphones on and is playing a combat game with friends who are in other cities. He plays this game a lot.

Mom wanders in stops and watches for awhile. Walks away- shaking her head. Comes back 5-10 minutes later. Watches awhile. leaves. Comes back. Taps DS on shoulder. "There sure doesn't seem to be much plot to this movie." DS: "Its a game GMA- we're having a battle." Mom: "Oh- OK."

The next day- Mom walks in as DS is playing the game again. Taps him on the shoulder- "Do you watch the same movie everyday?" DS-"Its a game GMA. Not a movie." Gma wanders off muttering-"Still doesn't have much plot."

DS playing the same game at a later time. He has his headphones on and is talking to his friends via the headphones as he plays. Mom hears him talking and comes up behind him and taps him on the shoulder. "Who are you talking to?" DS: "Some friends I'm playing a game with."

Mom: "How can you play a game, watch a movie and talk to people on the phone at the same time?" DS: Starts to explain to her that the movie is a game, and he's wearing headphones that he can use to talk to his friends. Decides against it and say: "I'm talented Gma- you said so yourself." Mom pats him on the shoulder and says "yes you are. yes you are."

(In the back ground my father can be heard yelling "its a game! Its just a game! Leave the boy alone!")

6 AM one morning as DS gets ready for work- making his lunch for the day. Mom wanders into the kitchen. She doesn't have her hearing aids in yet, so she can't really hear a thing.

Mom: Hi, I don't have my ears in yet. (Big smile)

Mom: What are you doing?

DS: Making my lunch.

Mom: What??

DS: Making my lunch.

Mom: When did you eat breakfast??
 DS: I'm packing a lunch to take to work.

Mom: What? You work today? Do you work today?

DS: Yes Gma.

Mom: Do you work outside?

DS: Yes, Gma. I work for a company that creates hybrid corn. I work cross pollinating the corn. Sometimes I work in the lab.

Mom: Your work is bad? I'm sorry.

Later that afternoon when he comes home from work- sweaty, sunburned and smelly...

Mom: Were you out fishing today?

DS: No Gma I was at work.

Mom: Do you work outside?

DS: Yes Gma- I work outside. I'm going to go take a shower.

Mom: You could hug your Gma.

DS: You don't want to hug me right now Gma- I stink!


Cher said...

Oh mom thank you!!! For the first time I have felt ok to laugh about the Alzhiemers... I know part of it is the tech stuff she doesn't understand and can't learn... but the smelly and the hug.. If she would have hugged him she would have been asking what that smell was all day LOL.. I was laughing so hard I was crying... When thinking about the grandparent's I needed that.. and I was looking for the part about grandpa yelling it's just a game leave him alone... oddly that seemed normal :)

I'm so glad you shared it! Maybe it's not right I found it funny... but wow!!

Emily said...

Thank you for sharing your family with the Blog community...I'm looking for stories of families dealing with Alzheimers, and am glad I found your blog. I know I'm not alone, but it feels lonely.