Friday, September 14, 2007

Don't Forget Without a Fight

Finally, after all these years, I understand what it is that made my father's Alzheimer's disease so bad for me. I'd never, ever seen my father beaten by anything. He was a kid who fought his way out of inner city poverty, he was a WWII fighter pilot and he fought for what he believed in.

People with Alzheimer's disease deserve a fighting chance.

Other diseases, when you receive the diagnosis, you are given a way to fight. Chemo, surgery, medication, life-style changes. And you have hope that you might win. When you receive the diagnosis of Alzheimer's, your doctor has nothing in his bag of tricks for you. Nothing. You are cut loose and on your own. There is NOTHING you can do about it. There are no medical miracles.

A blog I have followed for years is exploding right now. This woman's father has been tied to a bed in an ER for the past 4 days. He is much like my dad was - unable to comprehend what was happening, unable to protect himself. She is a raw, powerful writer. Blue collar and not privileged. If you want a window into the madness that's coming, I urge you to follow this blog. It's horrifying and it's happening right now in Connecticut - and in millions of homes across the nation.

We are left to our own devices, to come up with our own course of action. We are expected to handle the victim, their actions, and all the ensuing insanity. With a diagnosis of Alzheimer's, we are equals - money and privilege can't buy a way out. There are no experts who can turn it around for you. Alzheimer's is a non-discriminatory one way ticket to hell.

If you don't think this is something you need to worry about, think again. Why do you eat right, and go to the gym, and stay healthy? So you can live longer? You may want to rethink that strategy until this disease is taken seriously enough to warrant adequate funding for a cure. That IS something money can buy.

If this disease continues unchecked, it will be tough in every state in the nation, but it will swamp Florida. So the question is, why is the state of Florida acting like none of this is happening? Who's not listening?


1 comment:

  1. Patty,

    Just came back from the grand opening of the Byrd Alzheimer's Center and Research Institute. The promise of the research there is a great contrast to the hell Bert is going through (and you went through). The planned cuts to their funding, along with the obvious need for better care,makes me wonder where our priorities are.