Thursday, May 22, 2014

Changing Attitude

For at least a year now, Lyn's been adamant that she does NOT have dementia.  She would get mad if we said Alzheimer's and intimated it had anything to do with her.  She would have none of it and insisted "I am just me!"  Imagine Mom's surprise on Sunday when Lyn took a completely different approach.

They had gone to Mass at the church they had previously attended.  They occasionally go to Mass there when there's an event they don't want to attend such as the baptism of a large number of children.  Such an event extends the service and makes it hard on Lyn.

The church's priest is new to Albuquerque and Lyn wanted to greet him on their way out the door.  She struggled with her words and he looked at Mom for an explanation.  "She has early on-set Alzheimer's." His jaw dropped.  When he collected himself, he asked how long she's had it.  Before Mom could reply, Lyn became very animated and a big smile bloomed on her face.

"I don't mind if someone asks about this diagnosis, but some people don't ask.  So, you can."  Lyn stopped and waited for the conversation to continue.  Mom explained that she was diagnosed 3 years ago but has probably been symptomatic for 12 to 15 years prior.  He offered the usual "I'm so sorry."

Mom urged him to not feel that way.  "She is happy.  She has and has had a good life and isn't suffering."

As they turned to go, he said "I hope to see you both back here again."  Lyn stopped in her tracks and replied "We always come back."  Mom shrugged and followed Lyn to the car.

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