Monday, March 22, 2010

The Best Medicine

Top 5 things I've noticed about Dementia and the Internet:

(1) The subject of Alzheimer's Disease is not funny, apparently. I've only been able to find a couple of sites that try for a wee bit of humour. Here's one such post. Notice it's written by a sufferer. I guess it's OK to gently poke fun at yourself, as long as you post an apology while doing so, as this person has.

(2)Although many people keep blogs about taking care of the demented, very, very few bloggers are actually suffering from Alzheimer's. Here's one of those.

(3)Many of the blogs I've read that deal with dementia seem to be written by people who actively practice a religion. I won't link to their blogs for fear they will find me and become insulted by my irreverence and obvious lack of church time.

(4)The care-giver blog writers I've come across seem very caring, tired, ultra respectful and prepared to do just about anything for their aging parent(s). They do not express my kind of angst. They just don't seem conflicted to any big degree, and I won't link to their sites either so they won't get a horrifying shock reading my rants.

(5) Even websites offering professional advice on coping with Alzheimer's Disease seem off in la-la-land, so positive and straight-forward is their tone. These sites advocate regular medical attention, give logical tips for handling the advancing disability and generally speak as if every elderly person out there is deleriously happy to (a) admit to having Alzheimer's and (b) cooperate in handing over the reins of power to their kids.

On cooperation, just read this. Scroll down, until you reach "The People." That Mr. Black, he's the man. Not only did he fight for his country, but he PROACTIVELY sought out medical attention, accepted the advice he was given, and even wants to participate in experimental drug research, presumably to help future generations, because it's a bit late for Mr. Black, I think.

Mr. Black is admirable. No doubt about that. I wish I knew someone like him. Anyone.

Let's review:

Anthony: "Mom, I've been asking you to see your doctor for several years now. You have memory problems. Here's a report from a team of specialists confirming its Alzheimer's Disease. You should move into care. I can't help you much longer."

Doris: "Pop goes the Weasel! It's a giant conspiracy! My, your wife looks good in white! Just like a bride...do you remember when I got married, son ? Back in the Labrador? Whoa...Delia has a nice bum too!" (I SWEAR the "bum" comment is true)

I guess what I'm trying to say is that not everyone is a model patient. And I'm not a model caregiver. To suggest otherwise would be disingenuous, to say the least.

I find the sentimentality dripping from many of the websites a bit artificial.

Here's an article I did like. No sentimentality there. My favorite sentence in it?

People with Alzheimer’s aren’t being stubborn or nasty on purpose; they can’t help it.

Fair's fair; neither can I. I see the humour in it, dark or not.

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