Sunday, May 1, 2011

Alzheimer's Special on CNN

I cried today watching the Larry King CNN special on Alzheimer's. My sister and I deal with this disease every day, and yet, sometimes I feel like I am learning about the severity and seriousness of this disease for the very first time.

I cried because the day when my Dad looks at me blankly and asks me who I am, is coming soon. We're getting close because Dad looked at Megan the other day and asked, "Are you looking for your Dad?" He hasn't welcomed me with a huge smile and hug for a while. It's not until I say - Hi Dad - that he responds. And when we leave, he doesn't really seem to care or notice. (I guess we should be thankful for that last one, but I almost feel like a parent with a child who doesn't need me anymore.)

One speaker on the CNN special said, "stay as close as you can to that individual." I'm afraid our reduced visits are erasing us from his mind much faster.

I also cried when Actress Angie Dickenson shared her story of her sister's battle with Alzheimer's. Usually I think about my own possibility of getting the disease, but today started thinking about my sister, and that put me over the edge. I really don't think I can bare the thought of either of us going through that some day as either care-taker for the 2nd time, or as the victim. Or then the joking part of my mind says, "we can just both get the disease and be crazy together!!!" Then of course, I don't even want to think about my Mom being afflicted with it... these are scary thoughts.

I am thankful that this special is being presented to the American public, and I am especially happy that Actor Seth Rogan and his Fiance, who are around my age, are putting a younger face to the disease. It really is a disease that is affecting our generation more and more every day... and not just with grandparents, but to our actual parents. We all have a good chance of being affected at some point... either with the disease or the challenge of being a care-giver. Obviously Megan and I know firsthand.

In a few months we will start fund-raising for the Alzheimer's Walk again and I hope to have a much bigger group of walkers this year!!! I'm getting fired up!