The disappearing

Have you watched the movie Notebook? No, it’s not the romance I have in my head right now, it’s a condition the movie depicts… loss of memory… otherwise known as ‘dementia’.

The last few weeks learning about various life conditions has been quite a realization and reaffirmation on the fact that one should live each day like the last one…We were focusing on conditions of physical and mental disabilities and the social aspects around it. It’s very easy to stand on the other side and empathize with such conditions but to live that life, only they know what they go through and some are rendered too confuse to know … The care givers often get frustrated as they ruin their social life and often want to get back to their so called normalcy, which is understandable. It’s torturing to imagine your loved one is crippled or progressive getting crippled.

What caught my attention was Dementia.  We got to see many videos on it and I couldn’t stop my tears flowing down. There was this whole feeling of how dear memories are and the thought of losing them forever is scary.Here is wiki definition for the ones who don’t have an understanding of dementia. Dementia is a broad category of brain diseases that cause long term loss of the ability to think and reason clearly that is severe enough to affect a person’s daily functioning. For the diagnosis to be present it must be a change from how the person was previously.The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease (75%). Except for a few treatable types in most cases there is no cure.

Waking up each day and trying to remember your name, your existence is terrible. The purpose of life itself is lost, it’s an unimaginable state. Imagine wandering around looking for something which you know is very pertinent. But then, you can’t remember what you are looking for…once the idea is lost, everything is lost and you have to wander around trying to figure out what it was that was so important earlier. Everything including yourself seems like disappearing.

As I said earlier, the one who is left with the affected is all the more in pain. A part of note in one of the books says caregiver must supervise over the degeneration of someone he or she loves very much and may do this for years and years with the news always getting worse. It may not get not better anytime… they must every few months learn to compensate for new shortcomings with makeshift remedies; must negotiate impossible requests and fantastic observations; must put up sometimes with deranged but at the same time very personal insults; and must somehow learn to smile through it all. Caregivers must be able to diagnose a wide variety of ordinary ailments under extraordinary circumstances. Imagine the person you love the most suddenly upset about something but completely unable to communicate the problem or even to understand it himself.

Just as death affects the people around and not the dead, dementia too does something similar.

Note: I picked up a few movies to watch to understand a little more about the condition apart from all that reading which I was doing and ended up with a list which I am glad to share. You may watch them, if interested:

  1. The Savages (2007)
  2. Aurora Borealis (2006)
  3. The Notebook (2004)
  4. A Song For Martin (2001)
  5. Away From Her (2007)
  6. Iris: A Memoir of Iris Murdoch (2001)
  7. Firefly Dreams (2001)
  8. Age Old Friends (1989)





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