We were sitting at the dinner table, just finishing up our evening meal when John looked at me and said, “I’m really sad.”
I stopped fussing with the plates and gave him my full attention. “Why are you sad?”
“I’m sad because I’m leaving you. Alzheimer’s is making me leave you. I’m dying.”
I got up to hug my husband. Although I tried to comfort him by saying that none of us really knew where and when they would die. In my heart I knew that John believed what he was saying. He was actually fading away.
Perhaps it was because one of the drugs he takes is known to have a lifespan of 24 months or so of optimum cognitive assistance. He has now been taking it for 31 months.
Maybe he felt isolated from family and friends. His interaction with them was mostly instigated and managed through me. While I’m at work, Tobey (our dog) and his imagined visitors were sometimes his only companions. I have tried to involve people, but John has always been solitary without a large circle of friends outside of work. Work is gone so clients and friends are gone.
I thought that age would bring freedom. In our retirement, John and I had planned to travel, volunteer and take up a hobby together. Today I realize that our lives no longer belong to us. We belong to Alzheimer’s.
It makes us both sad.