My mother utters those words at least 20 times each day.
This morning right after she finished eating her oatmeal, and with the bowl still in front of her, my mother said, "I'm hungry, I'm starving".
Back during that difficult, very trying, first year, my mother would eat constantly. It was driving me crazy.
It honestly made me feel crazy and disconcerted.
Then one lucky day in the gym, I mentioned to two complete strangers how this was making me nuts. They had already gone the full round trip with Alzheimer's.
As I vented, they stood there listening, smile on their faces, head nodding up and down yes, and listened to me vent.
When I finished, they told me about their very similar experience(s). They gave me a great deal of encouragement. Even though I never saw them again, I think of them often.
They changed my life.
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It was later that day that the little light bulb in my head went on.
I realized -- I am not alone. There are millions of people, just like me, going through the same experiences, day in, day out. Millions all over the world.
I thought about the smiles on the faces of the two people I met in the gym. The encouragement and positive feedback they offered. Their kindness.
I decided, right then and right there, to learn as much as I could about Alzheimer's.
I decided that I would do everything possible to get control of the crazy situation I found myself living, day in, day out.
I decided that sooner or later, I would become a happy caregiver.
I made it.
The Alzheimer's Reading Room is all about changing the lives of Alzheimer's caregivers. For the better.
At the end of the day, I want each and every person that comes here to know -- they are not alone.
I want them to know that Alzheimer's is a sinister disease that will try to ruin their life. But, it doesn't have to be that way.
I want them to know, if it is up to me, that is not going to happen.
The collective brain of the Alzheimer's Reading Room is growing each and every day.
Each person that makes a comment, shares their words of wisdom, or offers advice on this website lets another Alzheimer's caregiver know -- they are not alone.
One by one, we help each other turn on the little light bulb in our head.
I'm happy to be a part of it.
Gotta go, "I'm hungry, I'm starving".
Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
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