Struggling in an Alzheimer's World
Last updated: April 2023
Struggling seems to be my new favorite word. When you have Alzheimer's, people ask, "How are you doing?" How do you respond? Do they really want to know, or are they just using it as a greeting like, "Hey there?"
But for the last 3 or 4 months, I have been struggling with a lot of things - some unrelated to my Alzheimer's diagnosis. The stress from these things, though, has managed to make my Alzheimer's symptoms worse, so in essence, it always circles back to my Alzheimer's.
Regardless, I have started using the words "struggling today" when someone asks me how I am doing on a particularly bad day. I don't want people to think everything is "ok" when you have Alzheimer's. All these little hidden things jump out at you when you are struggling and it can be hard to describe.
Your thoughts become more scrambled. It is harder to concentrate and harder to deal with everyday life.
I am beginning to think there are no such things as a normal day when living with dementia.
Trying to explain it to others
I am realizing that as this disease advances in me and my brain, it becomes more difficult to explain it to others. Many times I don't even try. It takes way too much energy, and I don't want anyone's pity. The best I can do in those situations is quietly head to isolation so I don't have to deal with it.
I try - I really do. But I have had to give in to it more than I would like to admit.
Who knew it would be a "struggle" to get organized enough to go out of the house? Who knew that a simple task would become overwhelming at the turn of a dime? Who knew that one little mishap in the morning would be enough to ruin your whole day? Who knew that your feelings could get hurt so badly when people say things to you? Who knew that when you are having these struggling times that it is virtually impossible to explain it to people? How can you then get the help you need when you can't verbalize it?
Why we struggle
The small things that trip you up are inconsequential to those not living with Alzheimer's. They don't realize how one little thing can become a full-blown issue for you.
When trying to explain to my spouse how something had upset me and therefore was affecting my thinking, his reaction was quite common in that it was a non-issue. He couldn't relate to why I was having a problem, and I was not in a position to explain it to him because it wasn't rational.
Things are not logical to those with Alzheimer's disease or any form of dementia. That is why we struggle.
Does caregiving change for you as the seasons change?
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