Dear Mom It’s Me Karen: End Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

Dear Mom,
It’s me Karen but you already know that.  You may have forgotten a lot but you know me and I’m so very grateful for that.  So many people who have Alzheimer’s Disease don’t recognize or remember their loved ones.  

I know you don’t know how sick you are or maybe you do?  You keep telling me that you have to get your appetite back.  “You will”, I say, as you eat your oatmeal.  You still love your coffee only now it’s thickened coffee because Alzheimer’s has stolen your ability to swallow without choking.  It sure has stolen a lot, hasn’t it? 

How I miss our conversations!  We could talk!  I could tell you anything. You always listened and said what you thought and not always what I wanted to hear. You listened the way only a Mother can.

I remember the time we went to Busch Gardens, VA years ago.  Eight hours on Amtrak because you didn’t want to fly.  I was losing my mind…..eight hours on a train….and you were as patient as always just taking it in stride.  I know you didn’t want to take that trip.  You did it for me.  A Mother Daughter trip.  You, a homebody, were never into traveling except maybe the family cruise we took because you sure enjoyed the food and gained ten pounds!  You are a simple and humble down to earth woman.  You loved your family and especially your husband, my Dad.  You never wore fancy clothes, never ever gossiped, never complained and you had a lot to complain about.  Oh, how you loved a new pocketbook.  I sure miss our trips to the mall where you would take a minimum of two hours to choose a bag and then talk about the bag for a week.  I miss our weekly coffee dates where we would cover every topic.  I miss you enthusiastically running out for the ice cream man and the way you devoured a piece of pizza or cake. 

Oh, how you loved telling everyone the story of when I went into labor and you left work to catch the bus from Manhattan back to Staten Island and it wasn’t in service.  Too early.  You told the bus driver, “my daughter is having a baby” and he allowed you on.  You did have a voice Mom.  You used it for the things that mattered to  you. 

Selfishly, I wished you could have understood some things better.  I wish I could have told you I have Multiple Sclerosis and hear your words of wisdom and advice.  I tried when I was first diagnosed, however, it was obvious that Alzheimer’s had stolen your ability to process it.  It made me so angry and sad.  You were always my go to person for everything. Now I’m your go to person for everything and I’m not nearly as good at it as you were.  I’ve complained and I’ve been impatient.  

What I didn’t know when you were first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s is not only how brutal it is but that it’s a fatal disease.  I’m here for you until the end Mom just as you were always there for me. 

I love you Mom.

On March 13th 2020 my Mom, my best friend, was put on hospice at home. End stage Alzheimer’s Disease in addition to her heart condition.


9 thoughts on “Dear Mom It’s Me Karen: End Stage Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Linda Reply

    My daughterson-in-law just lost her mom to this awful disease. I have been following you for a few years I’ll be praying for both of you.💕

  2. Invisibly Me Reply

    Oh Karen, I’m so, so sorry. I’m very close with my mum so reading this made me cry. I don’t know what to say, nothing could possibly be enough and I can only imagine how hard it is seeing your mum like this and having to accept that she’s at end stage hospice. She sounds like a wonderful woman, and I love your photo with you both. Keep making those memories, and I’m sure she’s so glad to have you there by her side. Two wonder women, together until the end.  ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Caz xx

  3. Michelle Reply

    I’m so very sorry that you’re going through this. Our hearts can’t bear to see our parents like this and it’s not easy. We have the promise of seeing our loved ones again although it doesn’t make it any easier. Prayers for you and your family

  4. Kelli Reply

    I bet that was really hard to write. It read beautifully, and touched my heart. I hope to someday get the words down about my moms journey through Alzheimers as well. I can’t imagine how hard it’s been with your own diagnosis of MS on top.

  5. Jen Burris Reply

    You have such a beautiful relationship with your mother. It’s so sweet. I’m so glad you have each other. I can’t even imagine how scary it must be to suffer with Alzheimer’s, and I even more so I can’t imagine watching someone I love suffer with it. You are so amazing for taking care of your mother, along with caring for your furbabies and handling your MS. You are such an inspiration. She’s very blessed to have such a wonderful daughter.

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