Friday, March 27, 2009

If I get Alzheimer's Disease

1.  Give me a buzz cut.  I hate that neglected matted hair look.  Then let me wear gold hoops in my ears, the size of nickels.  It's a good look for a demented woman.

2. Buy me an identity bracelet that says, "Memory loss with my address and phone number on it.  Do this BEFORE I go wandering off.

3. Take me for walks and rides.  I will still like that.  I may need a cane for balance.

4. When I can't follow books anymore, try movies.  When I can't follow movies try cartoons or Animal Planet.  Make me a video of each member of the family talking about him/herself as in, "Hi Grandma, it's Maxwell your favorite grandson.  I'm the one who likes to draw maps of made-up worlds."  Have me do one too.  I'll watch it over and over.


6.  Take me to the dermatologist once in awhile to have me scraped and have ugly skin tags removed.  I have good insurance.  It will cost nothing.

7. Could I have my eyebrows waxed sometimes.  It's $8 bucks at Supercuts.

8. Clip my fingernails short and don't paint them.  Let a professional do the toenails.

9.  I need two footpads in my right shoe.  (That leg is shorter than the other).  Don't bother with anything but athletic shoes.  (Red hightops?)

10. Remember I won't be able to follow a conversation if there's a lot of distractions around.

11.  Don't quiz me or test me all the time as if my cognitive skills will improve.  They won't.

12.  If I'm loud and foul:  sedate me.

13.  Don't let them treat me for pneumonia.  Let me die.

14.  Don't allow strangers to overwhelm me.

15.  Let me sleep in.  What does it matter?

16.  Please don't leave me in a wheelchair all day.  I like to put my feet up.

17.  Don't forget to treat my anxiety, sleeplessness and pain.

18.  I want my bed next to a window.

19.  Let me hold a baby.

20. Don't forget to hug me.

21. Remember I wear reading glasses.  Clean them once in awhile.

22. Don't feel guilty.  I mean it.  Do what you can and forget it.  Sell everything and put me in a home.  Don't feel guilty.  It's completely useless.  Don't feel guilty.  I loved you when I was in my right mind; I'll love you when I am in my right mind again.  Don't feel guilty when you can hardly stand the sight of me.  It happens.


dede said...

This is beautiful

Sarah said...

Beautiful, yes. And sad. Try not to get Alzheimer's, OK?

Louise Plummer said...

You both need to read STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova. That's what got me thinking about this.

Kristen said...

This is insightful. I worry about this, as I can't even remember the movie I watched last week or the book I read last summer. So thank you for sharing a beautiful and practical list.

P.S. My little sister found your blog and shared it with me. I love love love your books! Especially "Thoughts of a Grasshopper". I too, am a grasshopper.

Linda said...

The earrings, definitely. Thank goodness I have permanent makeup (tattoo) eyeliner, brows, and lips. I'm counting on my being the most stunning looker in the rest home to get me preferential treatment. If not, the administrators will have to answer to my "bossy" daughters.

ann cannon said...

This is an important piece, Louise. It needs broad distribution.

Miss Magpie said...

What to say? I can handle the hair cuts, the brow wax, the fingernails. I'll take you to get your toes done. I can read Willows or Winnie the Poo. The movies--fine, easy. The skin tags--Sarah can take that one.

Robin said...

I am glad you posted this. My FIL is in a nursing home 15 minutes away from my house. I feel constant guilt.

He is sharp and smart but needs intensive physical care. I am going to use a few of your ideas for him. Especially the nice pedicure and I will find a beautiful woman to do it.

Katy said...

I can't get enough of your blog. You're hilarious! I'm not one to comment...more of a blog lurker. I loved reading Still Alice, but I love your Alzheimer's Disease list even better. It's frame worthy!

Anne said...

Can I dress you up like a goth one day?

ann cannon said...

This one is for Anne. Yes. Dress her up like a Goth.

Bob DeMarco said...

I am interested in putting your post, "If I get Alzheimer's Disease" on the Alzheimer's Reading Room (.com).

Can I get your permission?

alzheimersread at gmail dot com

Wonderful article.

Louise Plummer said...

Yes, Bob, you can post it.

Yes, Anne, black lipstick, studs, leather, the whole nine yards.

Welcome lurkers.

Sarah said...

Hmm. Skin tags. No, thank you. I will be there to help Anne anytime she wants to whip out the black lipstick. Then we can watch Funny Games together and snack on boiled eggs. And I will make sure to use much voice-inflection. I wouldn't want you to think I WASN'T EXCITED about BEING with YOU!

Louise Plummer said...

You guys, you don't need to remove the skin tags yourselves. You just need to take me to the doctor. If you leave them, you won't be able to stand to look at me.

I love being your voice coach, Sarah

Mandy said...

I found your blog from "The Apron Stage" and stumbled (or lurked) my way on over here. This post touched my heart. It sounds like even in a home you would be a hoot :)

In other randomness, I just read your "Thoughts of a Grasshopper" book had been lost since college. I am definitely a grasshopper too. Thank you for writing that book, I feel more validated in my grasshopper ways.

Richardson's B.L.A.H.S. said...

Oh, Louise... I love you!
I'll take you on walks! I did that with Grandma and mom. It was fun to watch her enjoy the outdoors!
Don't get Alzheimer's okay.

C. C. Fawson said...

If being "loud and foul" deserves a prescription...I should have been medicated years ago!

Louise Plummer said...

Fawson, your friends haven't wanted to mention it.

whirligigdaisy said...

You are still the funniest lady ever. This needs to be a book. Really, it does.

Marcia said...

maybe it will send you a notice that i've commented. maybe not. I've spent some time in a nursing home lately and it's had me thinking. A lot. Sarah mentioned you had written this so I went looking back through your blog to find it. I hope if I get dementia when I'm old, I'll be one of the funny/happy people, like the little Mexican woman who used to be an English teacher but has since lost all of her English and now goes around calling all of the CNA's "bonita," muttering in Spanish and even proposed marriage to a friend of mine.

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