I was able to get through my visit back home to New York to check on my mother and I really appreciate everyone's support during this tough time. Since much of my information about Mom's condition and progression of Alzheimer's Disease is second and third hand, I figured I needed to make a quick trip and see for myself.
Things were as bad as I had heard and then again, not as bad and could be worse. I think what has really struck people is the sudden decline since October and another turn in December 2007. She is definitely entering the late stages where the effects are beginning to show physically: she won't eat (because she can't focus on the act of eating); and she walks but only if she can look down at her feet and even then she rocks side to side when doing so.
So, we gathered up her remaining sisters and made a great visit on Sunday. While her state was sad to see, and we all knew she wouldn't remember the visit an hour later, it was well worth it. Every so often, these "rays of recognition," as I called them peaked through: she would remember someone sitting at the table and then something that took place 30 years ago. But just as soon as that happened, she wouldn't know that same person or scenario five minutes later. While she knew me the minute I walked in, at the end of the visit when one of the nurses asked Mom, "Is that your son?" while pointing to me, she said, "No. That's not him."
As much as you prepare for that point of progression in the disease, nothing can take away the pain you feel. You are just glad that you have friends, family, and fellow colleagues like my genea-bloggers to get you through it. I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers - they really do work.
So, I will be here the next two days catching up on my blog reader, making comments on some great posts, fulfilling some carnival and meme deadlines, updating my McEntee information, and then taking off for a scheduled mini-vacation on Thursday.