You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.—PSALM 10:17 [NIV]
Panic gripped my heart as I dug through my purse, frantic over missing keys. “I’m behaving just like Mom,” I told my husband, Kevin, anxiously.
“No you aren’t, honey. Everyone loses things.” He reminded me of how much I had on my mind lately. Helping Mom. Serving as taxi driver for our three teenage grandkids while our daughter worked. Writing. Speaking. Oh, and my day job.
Yet nothing Kevin said convinced me I wasn’t exhibiting the same dementia symptoms I’d noticed in Mom eight years ago. Symptoms that had only worsened.
A few weeks later, our caregivers’ group leader scheduled a speaker from the Alzheimer’s Association. Before the meeting, I planned to ask the speaker if my forgetful moments, lost items and confusion were signs of early-onset dementia. But I never got the chance.
Near the end of her talk, she stated matter-of-factly, “It’s typical for those who care for Alzheimer’s patients to mirror their behaviors. You spend so much time with your loved one, you start acting like them.” She reassured us that it doesn’t mean we’re getting dementia. Only that we are trying to relate to our loved one during this scary time in their lives.
I smiled all the way home. Kev was kind enough not to say, “Told you so.”