Get Away From Me, Alzheimer! Don’t You Come Any Closer!

It’s enough that you have taken some of my friends from me and are casting your eyes on others; don’t you even think about laying your spiny fingers on me! I’d rather have the Grim Reaper touch me, scythe and all, instead of you!

This has to be the fervent thought of many older folks as they watch friend or neighbor slowly disappearing into a fog, asking the same questions over and over again, in the grip of the slow insidious disease that enters your brain unseen and spreads its suffocating cobwebs over everything.

Alzheimer has no rules and has no favorites. Anyone from the mightiest to the lowliest on the social scale is a potential victim. I listened to Ronald Reagan’s last public speech a few weeks ago on a TV program and it sent shivers down my spine. “I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life.”

For the victim, the life that continues after the disease has settled in is quite meaningless. He or she is in a nothingness, a world devoid of all meaning, emotion and understanding. For those around the victim, the disease will turn their lives into an ongoing nightmare of living and caring for an empty body, a loved one who is there beside one but not there at all.

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