It creeps up on you without a sound. There are no warning bells, signs, or notices to alert you of its coming. It slips into your life and once it is there, it will doesn’t leave. At first, you might not know it has crept silently into your life. You might be unaware of the way it lurks around the corner, waiting to get its foot into the door. It waits patiently, yes very patiently, for the right opportunity. At first you might think it can’t be That! No it must be due to something else. It does not discriminate on age, gender, race or ethnicity. It is not partial and does not care who it affects.
It plays tricks with your mind. Starting out slowly with maybe a forgotten memory of where you placed your keys. This is simple forgotten moment of time, nothing to be alarmed about. Everyone forgets where they placed their keys every once in a while. Where did I put those keys? It takes longer than usual to find them, but you find them eventually. Then it progresses, to something slightly more serious. Forgetting you left the stove on, you didn’t lock the front door, or where you are when you are out driving. All of these can be explained away with business, lack of sleep, or simply too much on your mind. It laughs at your trying to reason away the memory loss. It knows you will never think it is behind it.
Once it has begun making gaps in your memory, it begins to move on, ever restless. Next it decides to play around with your speech. This covers a wide area. It will switch your words around so you might be thinking one thing and then end up saying another. People begin to wonder if you need more sleep or maybe some rest. Other times it will withhold the word you’re trying to say. You think and wrack your brain for the word, but it has hidden it away just out of reach. When you start using shorter words and sentences, it feels cheated. To thwart your attempt at trying to cheat it, it starts to steal all the words from your vocabulary so you’re only left with mutterings that make no sense. But this won’t happen right away. No, it will wait patiently till just the right time. It still has more to accomplish before it makes its presence known.
Memory gaps, check, speech gaps, check, next on the list to tamper with is movement. This is the simplest of all. You become clumsy, unsteady, and your movements aren’t as refined as they once were. You attribute this to getting older, it can’t be anything else, just age setting in. It laughs in your face as you bump into walls, chairs, and other people. You begin to walk slowly so you can avoid objects but then you start to waiver. Walking a straight line becomes harder. You don’t remember turning the key in the lock being so problematic. It is has set up all the pieces it needs to begin its full scale attack.
All the little things that have been happening to you have been easily explained away. Now it wants you to know it is there. That it will slowly, ever so slowly destroy your life. It has weaseled its way into your life, has gotten a firm grip of all your senses and now can take its time in destroying your world piece by piece. There is nothing you can do about it now. You cannot run or hide from it. You cannot turn back the hands of time or shut the door in its face. In fact, you never even knew it was there; how could you have stopped it?
You memory gaps grow. Now you begin to forget how to dress, eat, shower, and take care of yourself. The need to rely on others is heavily pressing in on you, but you mustn’t give in yet. You must retain your independence for as long as possible. Fight it with every breath you have. Modify, adapt, and simplify everything around you. Slowly and surely it takes away your memory of how to read and understand what is going on around you.
Your speech degrades even further. It takes it revenge and you mumble incoherent sentences which mean very little to the rest of the world. You can still think and understand what is being said to you. You try to respond, to utter an intelligent thought; but you can’t make others see what you are trying to say. Frustration sets in and the more you try to make yourself understood the more it steals your ability to communicate with others. The more you struggle, the more it wins.
Movement is harder now. You grip furniture as you walk or hold on to a walker to move about the room; no longer trusting your own body. It steals what coordination you have left. You can’t figure out how to put on your clothes or get the spoon from the plate to your mouth. Standing up takes longer and you can no longer trust yourself not to fall over as you straighten up. Falling becomes a habit, and getting up is near impossible.
Soon all you can manage is sitting in one spot and watch as everything around you goes on. Someone comes and helps you change, but you know they do most of the work. You try to engage them in a conversation but they simply smile and nod their head. You keep trying and soon give up when you realize they can’t understand you. Food is placed in front of you. Someone is there holding the spoon you once were able to operate by yourself. There is nothing left you can do for yourself. Hobbies are gone, no more work, leisure, or play can be engaged in. Life has been stolen from you little by little. It has finally won.
The only thing left for you to do is remember the good times when you were independent and free. Soon the past and present blur and you don’t know what day it is or time. Faces don’t match up any longer and you don’t recognize your children and grandchildren. In your world, they are still the children you care for. The faces before you belong to people who have their own lives and don’t need your care anymore. No these can’t be your children and grandchildren. Impossible.
It has finally won, you wither away in a chair somewhere. People take care of you with no regard for what you want. They talk around you as if you aren’t there or worse as if you can’t understand what they are saying. You understand, hear, and comprehend. It has just made it impossible to join in the world any longer. It has slowly, ever so slowly destroyed your very existence. What is it?
It is slow death. It is Alzheimer.
- 10 years, 11 months, 1 day ago
- 10 years, 11 months, 21 days ago
Maggie and Milly and Molly and May by E. E. Cummings
maggie and milly and molly and may went down to the beach (to play one day)
and maggie discovered a shell that sang so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and
milly befriended a stranded star whose rays five languid fingers were;
and molly was chased by a horrible thing which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and
may came home with a smooth round stone as small as a world and as large as alone.
For whatever we lose (like a you or a me) it's always ourselves we find in the sea
- 10 years, 12 months, 1 day ago
Eldorado By Edgar Allan Poe
Gaily bedight, A gallant knight, In sunshine and in shadow, Had journeyed long, Singing a song, In search of Eldorado.
But he grew old- This knight so bold- And o'er his heart a shadow Fell as he found No spot of ground That looked like Eldorado.
And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow- "Shadow," said he, "Where can it be- This land of Eldorado?"
"Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride," The shade replied- "If you seek for Eldorado!" Plain JaneContent
- 10 years, 12 months, 1 day ago
THE DONKEY G.K. Chesterton
When fishes flew and forests walked And figs grew upon thorn, Some moment when the moon was blood Then surely I was born;
With monstrous head and sickening cry And ears like errant wings, The devil's walking parody On all four-footed things.
The tattered outlaw of the earth, Of ancient crooked will; Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb, I keep my secret still.
Fools! For I also had my hour; One far fierce hour and sweet: There was a shout about my ears, And palms before my feet.
- 10 years, 12 months, 1 day ago