Alzheimer’s Daughter introduces the reader to my healthy parents, Ed and Ibby, years before their diagnosis, then recounts painful details as our roles reversed and I became my parents’ parent.
Their disease started as translucent, confused thoughts and ended in a locked memory care unit after a near decade of descent into the opaque world of Alzheimer's.
I began writing Alzheimer’s Daughter one week after my mother's death––when I was stunned, realizing Dad had no memory of her or their 66-year marriage.
I write to pay tribute to the undying spirit at Ed and Ibby's core, and with the hope that the story of their parallel decline might be helpful to others.
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Blogging is difficult for me.
When I began this blog I posted excerpts of chapters of Alzheimer's Daughter, which was then a work in progress. Beyond that, coming up with blogposts was time consuming. I wanted to spend my time writing my book, not blogging. Sometimes a great blog topic would come to me and I'd even begin a draft blogpost, but by the time I returned to the draft the central idea had faded.
Most of those blogposts were prompted by an image, often old family photos or more recent photos I'd taken.
Even though I was frustrated by blogging, I found I loved Twitter.
Twitter allows me to connect with like-minded people all over the world who write or share an interest in Alzheimer's or dementia.
The problem with Twitter is that each tweet is limited to 140 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Most of the time, I want to say more.
Another downside to Twitter is that the feed zips by so fast with mostly text, hashtags, @s, and links.
So Twitter was too short and blogging required too much length, but I hit the jackpot when I recently found an app called Canva (free from Canva.com). Look it up. Try it out. Using Canva, I can add text, overlays, and special effects to my own pictures. These pictures are colorful in a Twitter feed, standing out from the plain text and links of most tweets.
As I tweet pictures created using Canva, I find there is always a little more I want to say to explain the picture.
My tweets are always Alzheimer's related, so I'm going to try posting them on this blog too, with just a little more explanation.
This picture of the dense layer of fog reminds me that Mom and Dad often seemed to be foggy in the early stages of the disease. They just couldn't quite retrieve the word they wanted to use, or they couldn't stick with a concept long enough to complete a task.
The movie, Still Alice, conveyed this idea well. When Alice was lost, whether it was in a familiar place, or lost in a task, the camera blurred. It matched what I imagined my parents must have felt.
I'm tinged with fear whenever I can't recall a word. I haven't resorted to replacing the lost word with "thing-a-ma-jig" or "what-ja-ma-call-it" yet. I guess when I do that, I'll really worry.
If you love Twitter too, follow me at JeanLee18. If you haven't yet given it a try, join and observe for a while, then send me your first tweet.