Friday, July 24, 2015

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Today Mother went out for her bi-weekly field trip, escorted by her private caregiver, Donna. The plan was for a quiet ride to enjoy summer foliage and an ice cream treat at Graeters. "What flavor would you like Joan? You can have any one of the flavors shown in the cases here." "I'll have chocolate," she replied. So a bowl of rich chocolate ice cream it was. Like a school-girl, Mother enjoyed her iced dessert. Loud and soft 'mmmms' could be heard in-between forced lip smacks. A lovely treat, for a lovely lady, on a beautiful summer's day.

On the trip away from Graeters, Mother began to recognize landmarks and streets that she had traveled before. Bethel Rd. was one of the paths she drove in her beloved Saturn Ion only three or four years prior. Mother's mood noticeably began to change. She asked when she was going home. She said that if she had a car, she could drive and buy her own ice cream. Donna could not give her the answers Mother wanted to hear, so she crossed her arms in angered silence as her caregiver continued to drive her back to her now permanent home at Darby Glenn.

Oh, the mood swings that Alzheimer's brings along with all of its other ugly aspects. In 90 short minutes Mother's mood had gone from content, to happy, to anger, to confusion. "No one told me that I can never go home again. Someone should have told me." Silence followed the rest of her time on the road, her jaw set. "We're here," said her caregiver, to which Mother replied, "You mean I have to live HERE the rest of my life?!" "Yes, Joan you do," her caregiver firmly, but sweetly explained to her.

Walking into Mother's facility, the sound of music clearly rang out from the Activities Center. "I like that music," Mother said, as she swayed down the hall toward the strumming of the guitar. Mother's caregiver helped her find a seat at the mini-concert, gave her a quick peck on the cheek, and walked back to her vehicle, putting the raps on yet another Friday field trip.

Like melting ice cream, Alzheimer's patients, caregivers, family members, researchers, and the medical professionals shiver at the prospects of the future around this fatal disease. Right now, there is no cure, there is no way to prevent Alzheimer's, and there's no effective treatment. So we all continue to wait out in the cold, looking at all of the flavors of questions standing before us, case by case, by case waiting for someone to take our order.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Cindy, this is beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your heart and becoming so transparant with the rest of us.