Alzheimer’s: A Poem
Under the blue starry sky
Comes a moment of silence
As I gaze on the horizon, thinking of my yesterdays
Yester years long gone
Through eyes so dim
Combatting loss of memories,
Places, families, and friends
Forgetting who I am
Worried I am adrift in a sea of forgetfulness
I feel like I live my life underwater
in silence and confusion
Did you know that June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month? Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. You can learn more facts at the Go Purple for Alzheimer’s Association page.
We all know someone who has suffered with this terrible disease. My Great Aunt Janie suffered. She did not know her own daughter when her system shut down and she died. My grandmother also suffered before she died.
She forgot my daughter. Every time I took my then toddler to see her, she asked several times for her name.
I gently reminded her, “KR.” (Telling her full name).
A few minutes later, she looked at her with glistening eyes. “She is so pretty. What’s her name?”
My answer as my heart ached, “KR.” I smiled. Only five minutes later, she’d ask again.
I sometimes fear this may be my future fate. My doctor says my memory issues are normal for my age and my pain-related conditions; so, I try not to worry.
But, can you imagine forgetting who you are? Living life in a fog of confusion? Forgetting those you love? Forgetting their faces?
I found these facts at the Alzheimer’s Associations website:
“In 2015, an estimated 700,000 people in the United States age 65 and older will die with Alzheimer’s.
As the population of the United States ages, Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death. Although deaths from other major causes have decreased significantly, official records indicate that deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased significantly. Between 2000 and 2013, deaths attributed to Alzheimer’s disease increased 71 percent, while those attributed to the number one cause of death—heart disease—decreased 14 percent.
The most startling fact: “Alzheimer’s is the only disease among the top 10 causes of death in America that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.”
What can we do? Have compassion. Volunteer and act together.
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