I was conflicted....now I'm not. The question was - Do I come above ground and talk freely about Patty's Alzheimer's or do I ignore it, like she does. It has taken me years to accept that Patty has Alzheimer's, and now she is in the middle stage of the terrible illness. I battle with Patty (battle is probably too strong of a word) every night about taking Donepezil, her prescribed medication for Alzheimer's. She says "why do I take this, I don't forget, I just don't pay attention sometimes. By the way, where do you keep the pills? (I tell her which cabinet they are in every time she asks) I can take them myself" She also says "often I don't swallow the pill, I take it out and throw it away after you are not looking'".
Now there are dozens of daily reminders that Patty has Alzheimer's - almost to the point that she can't be left alone......and that is just fine with her, because she doesn't want to be alone.
Alzheimer's is hard to accept. If I had it I would want to forget about it too - a catch 22, I guess. I however feel a need to alert people, maybe stamp on her forehead - fragile, easily confused, handle with care. I don't expect to get any help from Patty with managing her plight. I am coming above ground, not to her delight, and speaking of Alzheimer's to her, others and the world, with sensitivity and when helpful.
This is real. This is life. Talking helps. Understanding, empathy, counseling helps - Thank you Pam, Jane, Alzheimer's Association. I am learning about Alzheimer's, and with help, will cope just fine. In fact, many moments are more special, to me, knowing that it is twilight and each moment is worth loving.