I wonder what Peggy thinks about every day? I wonder if she thinks at all.
I asked her today if she ever thinks about Mother and Daddy and she said, yes.
I asked her if she ever thinks about when we were little and she said, yes.
I asked her if she thinks about Betty Jean, Barbara and Johnny and she said, yes.
I asked if she knew who Mary Louise was and she said, yes.
Everything was a yes.
I was not sure if she understood what I was asking or what she was saying yes too, so I said, Do you think about the ground?
Her answer was......Yes.
I would like to understand what a day is like inside of Peggy's mind.
What does she see when she looks out of her eyes?
Is she able to think and process her thoughts?
I wonder if everything she sees is a mystery to her. I wonder if she can put a name to the objects around her. Objects like a book, a lamp, a blanket or a flower. I wonder if she knows what food is when she eats?
I wonder if her mind has become a blank sheet of paper or are some of her memories still written there?
What do her thought processes write on her mind as she sees her world? What does she think when she watches television or hears music on the radio?
When I visited with her, she would watch the television screen but I couldn't tell if she knew what she was seeing. One of the major things that I noticed was that she would never look me in the face. She would never make eye contact with me. Her face had a blank look but it also had a serene look. A look like nothing bothered her, nothing frightened her and also like nothing meant anything to her.
She just was.......
I wonder what it would be like to....disremember every single part of your life?
I think of our minds as a chalkboard and we write on it from the time of our birth. When we reach adulthood, we have written many thoughts and memories on the chalkboard of our mind.
I think of Alzheimer's disease as a giant chalkboard eraser. It enters a mind and starts the process of erasing the memories, feelings and information that is stored there.
It wipes the chalkboard of our mind clean of all that has been written there. It continues to erase until there are only faint marks left on a person's mind. A mind that is still alive but cannot read, recall or function as a adult.
Alzheimer's disease takes an intelligent, competent adult back in time to the existence of a baby. It erases thoughts, memories and the ability to do even minor tasks that we all take for granted.
Tasks like combing your hair, brushing your teeth, putting on your clothes or going to the bathroom. It takes your mind back to the time when you were totally dependent. Totally dependent on those who love you to take care of you.
Alzheimer's disease erases your mind until it has made you a tiny baby in a adult body.
The disease will progress to a time when Peggy will forget how to chew and swallow and then finally.....forget how to breathe.
There was a time in the beginning of the disease that Peggy was afraid. She would talk with me and I could hear the fear in her voice. She didn't know what was wrong with her and neither did her doctors.
I am thankful that Alzheimer's has erased the fear that I heard in her voice in the beginning. I am angry that it has also erased who she was and who she could be.
Now, Peggy just sits and waits with a calm demeanor for Alzheimer's to finish the job of erasing her mind. She waits for it to finish what it started in her mind 4 years ago.
Peggy will continue to sit and wait for the final swipe of the eraser. The final swipe when she will be erased from this world forever.
Alzheimer's disease will erase her from....... herself.
But Peggy will never be erased from the hearts of those who love her!
I Love You Today, Peggy!