There are so many things I miss doing, not all of the time, just at certain times you know.
Like walking Scotty. I used to do it several times a day when I could, even when I didn’t feel like it I walked him at least a couple, especially in the evening or just as night fell so we could just wander peacefully and I would look at the stars and he would follow the scents of the day. I never had to worry too much about over doing it because he could sense when I needed to come home.
Then I broke my right ankle real bad and it took almost a year to heal and even then the doctor said the bone didn’t look strong enough for me to walk safely without a walker. And even then I wondered if I should be at all, but I did. In fact I did so, stupidly, without my walker. Broke both legs badly.
You are probably wondering why on earth I would do such a thing, just get up and walk without the walker. Well Alzheimer’s tends to make you forget things and walking was something I had told myself I would do for as long as I could because I knew the day would come when I couldn’t.
I have another condition I was born with and has been quite a problem, though I almost never talk about it, mostly because I tried to pretend as long as you can’t see anything wrong, then there wasn’t. I hated being treated differently and they made sure I was all through school. Unfortunately there are many people who thought this brittle bone disease was something they could catch from me. So when parents found out you had the pitying ones, whom I can’t stand either for very obvious reasons, then you had the stay away from her so you don’t catch anything. Then you had the ones who said, “Don’t play with her or touch her because if you hurt her, her parents might sue us and the school.”
No, they never said this to me, though I got some of it from their kids. Whether they said it to my parents I have no idea.
Why am I suddenly saying all of this now? Well I have had to live my whole life with Osteogenesis Imperfecta my whole life. Lots of broken bones, hurt feelings that I had to keep hidden, and a lot of other things that right now I really don’t want to talk about.
I am talking about it because walking has finally been taken from me. I had expected it for many years. Some doctors would be surprised I was walking for as long as I did. Fragile bones wasn’t the whole problem, my back is in pretty bad shape.
I’m talking about this now because I want all of you who can walk to enjoy it. Look around you really look at the things around you. I always did. I tried to appreciate every step I took. Like I do every breath I breathe.
People tend to live life and forget that there is more to life than simply going through the motions. I try to ask Ron and Trisha every time they come home, and Adrian when I see him after he gets off work, whether they had a good day. I honestly want to hear what their day was like- for them. Sometimes it helps them recall things they might have never thought about. Sometimes it helps in other ways too. People very seldom asked me how my day was when I was younger and now, being stuck in a bed all day, sleeping sometimes half the day I have little if anything to talk about.
I still try to appreciate things. Alzheimer’s has taken a lot from me. Almost more than the bone disease I was born with.
Anyone reading this, if you actually read this far, thank you. I have many things I am very grateful for. My family, friends, getting to watch the seasons change. Watch the animals play. Scotty really likes Trisha Rachel Sieck’s cat, Bojangles. I will put some photos up and I will try to get some of Bo and Scotty.
You see, Alzheimer’s hit me in my early 30’s it just didn’t get properly diagnosed until Ron moved me to WA State. We found a wonderful doctor who was bluntly honest. He kept up on things but admitted it didn’t look good. But he told me to try and keep writing and reading, listening to music, draw when I could not write. He threw me a lifeline and I have an app that shows me what to do each day.
My days mostly go like this: I wake usually around 8 to take my meds. Sometimes I fall back asleep, sometimes I stay up and try to do things. Read, write, crochet, whatever, and sometimes I just can’t make myself do much of anything.
Getting old stinks. There are so many things one wants to do. So many things one wishes they had done maybe even now, The most important thing is whether we learn anything living this too often rushed through life. What gems did we get out of the struggles we had what scars, seen or otherwise, did one receive while throwing themselves against a wall probably dozens of time before finally giving in. What would your story say to others if you let them read it.
What gifts has life given you up to this point?