A letter from a dementia doctor's family after dementia (Part 1)
Dr.Liu is a professional doctor in the research and treatment of dementia. Her second sister was diagnosed with dementia at the age of 70, and this doctor has penned a letter to all dementia patients and families. Much of what was mentioned in the letter is still invaluable to families dealing with dementia.
The following is the text of the letter:
I am writing this letter to tell you that I have dementia. But don't be alarmed, it is still in its mild stages, otherwise, I would not be able to write this letter. Of course, I can't remember some words, and many things are difficult to connect, and my thoughts are often interrupted. Therefore, my sister helped me to complete this letter. I am 70 years old this year, much older than many of you. I have had dinner, played ball, and traveled with you, getting to know each other well over the past 20 years. You have taken care of me, and for that, I am grateful.
My sister often chides me for being forgetful, asking repetitive questions, and forgetting important dates. Once, I forgot to turn off the faucet, and my sister took me to see a neurologist. After a thorough examination, the doctor diagnosed me with dementia, Alzheimer's disease caused by brain degeneration. The doctor prescribed medication to slow down the degeneration process.
From that day onwards, my sister no longer had a reproachful tone when I forgot something, or when I repeated myself, there were no strange looks. Instead, she whispered softly, saying, "It's okay," or "I'll remember it for you." It was then I realized I was really sick. My golf skills have always been poor, but in the past six months, I can't even remember how many shots I scored on each hole. Is it the second or third shot? My golfing buddies help me calculate the score or ask my caddy to do it for me. After playing a few holes that day, I suddenly asked, "Are we playing the first hole now?" Seeing the astonished looks of my golfing buddies, I knew it was time to confess to everyone that I was mentally impaired.
The doctor said that there is no shame in being sick, and that all organs of the body may become ill. However, I became very unconfident and easily panicked. I find it difficult to express myself, and the more urgent the situation, the more difficult it is to speak. I often feel out of breath, and I have to go to the bathroom several times after eating a meal in a restaurant. My son took me to the cardiology department and the urology department, and they said it was all right because of tension. I understand that my memory and other cognitive functions are like holding things in my hands, and they will fall off one by one as I walk, or even like quicksand on the beach. Maybe one day, the road I am familiar with will become unfamiliar, and I will not be able to recall your name, and I may not be able to eat or wash myself in the end. But for now, I am still in the mild stages of dementia. I can still enjoy swinging a golf club, the pleasure of seeing a white ball entering a hole, savoring delicious food, admiring beautiful scenery, understanding jokes, and feeling the love of everyone. Maybe I won't remember these things later, but for now, I am living in the moment.
To be continued...