Source: quokkapox's slashdot comment
You know what's great about Alzheimer's?
You make new friends every day!
Haha, "New friends every day." Get it?! LOL.
It's not so funny when it happens to you or your family. Wait until someone you know gets it. You won't be laughing anymore.
Haha, that guy has a limp. Haha, that woman is blind. Haha, that kid is retarded. Hahaha. Fucking hilarious.
Whatever you do, don't get Alzheimer's disease. It sucks.
My grandmother just turned 94 and has advanced Alzheimer's disease. She can barely walk anymore. I devote a few hours of my life every single day to caregiving. If you've never known someone like this, you really have no idea what's involved. Yeah, we could put her in a home. We could watch her die sooner that way, wearing diapers and ceaselessly, hopelessly calling out for someone to please take her home. As it is now, she wears diapers, but at least we always change them. In nursing homes, they don't.
Have you ever had someone you know and love, who helped raise you and even changed *your* diapers and then helped teach you how to count and how to read and how to do puzzles and math and typing and how to play games, who taught you the names of the plants that grow out in the back yard? And now she can smile and say "Hello", and tell you to get the hell out because she don't know who you are a moment later?
That's Alzheimer's. You can be helping to manage her most intimate financial affairs completely honestly, you can be doing her laundry and getting her medicine and bringing her groceries and cooking her meals and washing her dishes and vacuuming her floors and helping her get to the doctor and even wiping her ass, when she cannot do it herself anymore, and yet she'll still tell you she loves you one night, and the next morning she wants you to go away, go to hell, or just please, please take her home. Because she doesn't know what home means anymore. She's already at home, and she doesn't know who you are anymore.
She knows what she knew in 1920 or 1930 sometimes, funny stories she can still tell sometimes, but she mixes up everyone's names; she doesn't know who is who anymore. She used to speak three languages, English, German, and French. But now she often speaks gibberish, a weird combination of whatever words she still can recall. She can't always understand simple sentences. She's like a kid who cannot learn.
Alzheimer's sucks; nursing homes suck. Go visit one someday if you doubt me. My grandmother's genes and her circumstances allowed her to outlive two of her children. She never got cancer, but that's what killed her elder son at 50. She had a heart attack thirty years ago, but she didn't die of heart disease. That's what killed her elder daughter at 60. Yet my grandmother lives on, as her mind slowly disintegrates.
She still likes to watch children playing, or to meet a drooling baby, maybe a child of someone who helps care for her, brought over to visit. She still likes to pet her cats and smile and watch them roll on the floor with catnip at her feet, she still can interface with her two grandchildren, she still has a sense of humor that we all can understand and sometimes laugh about together.
She doesn't know what year it is or what day it is, and sometimes she can't remember how to properly hold a spoon (or she'll try drinking from it like a straw). But she especially likes bananas and squash and sweet potatoes and chocolate chip cookies. I know this because I'm there sometimes to remind her to take another bite. She says "This is good, thank you!"
And sometimes when you help lift her into bed at night, she'll tell you she loves you. I guess that helps make it all worthwhile.
Anyway, this is what will happen to you if you don't die of anything else or get hit by a bus before your brain starts to degrade. I suppose it hasn't been all bad, I have learned a lot caring for my grandmother. But she is no longer able to offer her opinion.