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Friday, August 11, 2017

GLEN CAMPBELL

With all the tributes for Glen Campbell coming forward since his passing, I went back and looked at what I wrote, after seeing the movie "I'll Be Me". 

If you don't know the film, it's the story of Glen Campbell's last concert tour. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's before it started, but they decided to let the show go on and document the progression of his symptoms as a way to bring attention to this crippling and widespread affliction. 

What was expected to last 5 weeks went on for a year and a half! 

Yes, I have a reason to watch, since Mom is going through her own set of memory issues. It seems everyone afflicted has their own path to follow in dealing with brain-related disease. Some folks run down that path, and others have a slow stroll. 

I was interested in Glen's journey because I figure he had the best of the best care. He had a family that was involved, doctors that were motivated, and a subject that had unique abilities. I was even more interested in Mom's reaction to the ongoing challenges that everyone experienced. 

I was glad that Mom didn't see MY reaction, as the family told of their experiences leading up to the movie. It was heartbreaking hearing folks going through much the same things and more than I was. 


Unlike Glen, Mom doesn't have as much short-term memory issues, but hers is more Swiss-cheesed. She doesn't know my name but knows I am her son. She doesn't remember her husband's names, but she recalls the marriages. Her vocabulary is also being limited more and more, making conversation a struggle. She also isn't able to think things through, so if I ask her to get me a spoon, she might bring me the milk. 

For a while, I had hoped she would show improvement, but sadly, that has also been forgotten. The sadness of that reality is offset by the fact that, at least for now, she is the happiest she has ever been. I wish I could explain WHY, but I have no clue. 

So what was her reaction to the movie? 

She can't relate at all. 

She felt sorry for the man and what he had to deal with. No tears or deep feeling came out of her like came out of ME. This despite the similarities in her own symptoms. What differs in Mom is that there isn't much confusion. Maybe it's because I don't want her to deal with that struggle. There is no hostility, as she is a laughing, compassionate, and outgoing young lady. There is not many surprises as she likes the days to be very similar. A routine I think, helps folks in her condition maintain their sense of independence, in spite of the fact they have none. 

It would be nice to have my old Mom back. The one that I grew up with. The one that could have a real conversation. The one who had a tough life and overcame all the challenges. 

That would be greedy though, since she THESE are her good old days.... 






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