As I have mentioned before, my mother has Alzheimer's. She has good days and bad days. She still lives at home with my sister and is alone all day while my sister works. It hasn't gotten so bad she needs full time care.
I'm an impatient person. I'm not sure I could be a primary caregiver like my sister but one never knows what they are capable of doing until it is required of them. However, in dealing with Alex I have learned very good life lessons about patience and acceptance.
I see at times similarities with Alzheimer's and addiction. Patience and acceptance are characteristics highly valued in dealing with either condition. In the past I could see myself not understanding the limits of a person, even with a disease. It just wasn't my nature. Fortunately I had enough time with Alex that I learned the necessity of patience and acceptance. I can't imagine how I would have handled it if something tragic would have happened to him before I got to that place.
Alex is getting better. I see him maturing and growing. I'm not saying that it is over and he is cured. I am just saying that progress can actually be observed in his life. Nothing like that comes without struggle and I am sure there are struggles for him I cannot imagine but that is his world and I try hard to stay out of that world so that he continues to grow.
With my mom, there will only be good days and bad days. There isn't long term recovery. But I see her doing all she can too. It would be easy to become impatient, answering the same question, telling her the same thing over and over but I have learned a great deal from my son, even as he was addicted.
Alzheimer's, just like addiction, you must accept what they have to give. These are diseases of the mind. Each disabling in a way I do not understand but must accept. Each person doing exactly what makes sense to them at that very moment, is that wrong what they do or is it just the way it is? The way it is must be accepted. There really isn't an alternative with either person. They are both doing the best they can.
Once again I need to work on myself. I need to find a way to use my time more wisely. The urgent must not overwhelm the important. The important is watching my son grow. The important is being a hero grandpa to a couple of little ones. The important is to see my mom smile when I visit because she still recognizes me. The urgent can wait, the garage can remain a mess another day and the grass may grow a little higher than I like.