It hit me this week that Alzheimer’s is a disease that we will never fully understand. Sure, scientists in many parts of the world are studying the biochemistry and anatomy of the brain but there is one thing they will never be able to understand. No one, no matter how intelligent, will ever be able to climb inside the head of a person who has Alzheimer’s and know what they know. The person with Alzheimer’s will never be able to convey to us what it looks like or feels like inside their mind. But don’t you wish they could?
Watching my Dad slip a little farther into the world of Alzheimer’s this week left me asking myself what it must feel like to be him. He can’t tell me. No test will reveal the answers. I want to know if Dad is scared or if the fog has become “normal” to him. I don’t want him to be scared. It would break my heart.
Accepting that I cannot understand what Alzheimer’s feels like to my Dad is hard but my thoughts this week leave me feeling more strongly than ever that we have to find a cure. We must help fund the research in whatever small way we can. We have to make our elected officials aware of the impact this disease will have on our economy as our population ages and the incidence of Alzheimer’s or dementia increases. We must become advocates for those that have Alzheimer’s and for those who inner light will be extinguished in the future. We must!