The Bitter Journey of Alzheimer's
Have you ever imagined a nightmare, the kind in which nothing makes sense, everything seems muddled, you do no know where you are, that you are late of running from something or late for something? The kind in which you know you have to write a test, but you don't know here you are or how to get to where you need to be, but you know you are late.
Nightmares are the closest things I can think of to describe how someone must feel when he or she has Alzheimer's. People who used to be familiar are no longer familiar. Alzheimer's people gradually forget spouses, children, family and friends. Just as in nightmare, they do not know where they are or how to get to share they want to go. They have problems expressing themselves. Everything is surreal and terrifying.
The difference between true nightmares and the state of someone with Alzheimer's is that we without Alzheimer's can wake up from the nightmares. The memory of a person with Alzheimer's may come and go especially at the beginning, but he cannot wake up from his nightmare. He lives with it every single day after the process begins.
This is exactly what happened to Lloyd Wilson when the dark shadow of Alzheimer's took hold of him and progressed until the end of his days when Alzheimer's took it's toll.
Lloyd's wife, Wanda lived her own nightmare much different than Lloyd's. Every day when the husband she knew and loved seemed to slip away, Wanda hoped she would just wake up and the whole thing would be a bad dream. But, that never happened.
Lloyd had good days and bad days. On good days, he seemed like the good old Lloyd, and Wanda's hopes would soar only to be dashed again and again.
Wanda keeps track of everything. So, true to her nature, she wrote a daily account of everything she went through with Lloyd.
When Wanda showed me her journals after Lloyd passed away, I got goose bumps. I asked her if I could transcribe her journals into a book. She did me that honor because she told me if she had read something like this it would have helped her with what she went through. She generously allowed me to share this treasure with you.