Shridhar's Story

My mother: a compassionate, kind hearted, and remarkably loving woman. A woman who I loved and will always love dearly. We were very close and she was always there to support me in my endeavors. She was my hero.

 

The First Signs

My mother was always an upbeat and active person. She used to go for walks and was very close with her family and neighbors. The shift in her vibrant personality was subtle yet striking at the same time. She began to lose interest in activities she previously enjoyed including reading and cooking and started spending more time by herself. She wasn’t as keen on attending social gatherings as she used to be. My father and her went to live with my sister for a couple of months and she seemed to be getting better. However, she soon grew restless and returned home. She began to lose weight as result of a poor diet and the difference in her started becoming noticeably visible to everyone around her. She visited multiple doctors who claimed she had diet issues or just “simple memory problems”, no one was able to find out the root cause of the condition. All the various types of medications my mother was taking proved futile.

 

Her memory slowly yet surely spiraled downward. It started by her forgetting the names of her extended family members and developed into forgetting how to read the newspaper. She became extremely quiet, kept mostly to herself and didn’t seem to be able to perform some simple functions such as locking the door and using a spoon.


Dementia Diagnosis

That summer my family visited my parents and I noticed the  significant change in my mother. We kept visiting numerous doctors until we finally found an answer for her condition. She was diagnosed with speculated Alzheimer’s. The doctor gave us a detailed description of what the condition was and how there was no cure developed for it. This was really hard for my family and I to hear because we had seen how much my mother had suffered.


Love and Loss

Our family life completely changed after the diagnosis. We found my mom a home caregiver who would stay with her and help her with daily functions and monitor her medications. Everyday we saw her condition getting worse, as one day she would remember how to open the closet and the next day she wouldn’t. Once, she fell down while she was sitting, so we had to rush her to the hospital. That was the day she was bedridden. Over time, my mother’s memory loss extended to our immediate family as well. She forgot who everyone was, including my father, sister, and me. The only thing she was able to recognize and respond to was the sound of my father’s voice.One day, I received a phone call from my dad who informed me that we had lost my mother. I am sure she is at peace now!

 

A lot of factors contributed to my mother developing the condition. It didn’t just happen overnight, it was a series of events. The main reasons behind this were my family’s lack of knowledge, lack of a cure, and lack of her own self-awareness.I hope that families dealing with the same situation as I did understand that they are never alone, and there are always resources available to help them as they go through this journey with their loved one.

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