There's a disease that scares the living daylights out of me.
A few friends of mine have family members they are caring for that are suffering with this, amoung other disorsders that pop up when you get into your "golden" years.
My great-grandmothers figured rather strongly in my early years. Why, gentle reader, does this play into my comments this evening? Well, one, possibly both, lost their marbles due to that disease. It was horrible and painful to watch as these women, one of whome I absolutely adored, go from being themselves to this shell of a person. As I got older, I did help some in caring for them.
That was some of the hardest work I ever have done in my life thus far. It's making me dread not only when we go through that dance again but when I get into those years. I've been keeping a journal with the hope that when I am an old woman I have some vestiages of my memories around. A part of me wonders, will it hurt to have parts of my brain destroy themselves? will i know that I'm going crazy? Will i know that i'm tormenting my family. unable to control it? Or, will I not even realize it, thinking I'm fine?
It's scary, because it looks like the last possibility is the one that's going to happen. the more people with diseases like alzheimers that I see, the more I see that they don't think they have a problem. The malice that is apparent, it's just a fit. The violence, it's just the insanity.... The core of their being, the personality, is regressing back to a child. Flashes of lucidity and adulthood become increasingly rare until you have a toddler trapped in an adults body. In some situations, that body is frail. In others it possesses a wiry strength.
Sorrowfully, these people .. these poor tortured people have some sense that something is wrong. And they'll flail with dispair, rage at the people around them, or try to slink into the dark night. And we, the living, the ones who love them, are tormented with them. Because we watch them fade away before our eyes and are helpless to resist or help them to resist.
May God have mercy on us all.