May 14, 2014

The Long and Winding Road -- Alzheimer's Disease

The Long and Winding Road or the highway? You get to choose.

The Long and Winding Road -- Alzheimer's Disease
Bob De Marco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Life is a long and winding road. Most of us can remember coming to a crossroad in life -- which way to go? Fork in the road -- which way?

Along the road of life some of us become Alzheimer's caregivers. None of us chooses to take this road. It is thrust on us.

Once confronted with the situation we do get to make choices -- which way to go?

The Alzheimer's road is rough, has many hills, mountains, and valleys. The storms are fierce. The weather changes. Emotions run high and low on Alzheimer's road. The Alzheimer's road is treacherous.

If you are not careful you can drown on the Alzheimer's road.

The trip on Alzheimer's road reminds me of a drive I once took through the mountains of Switzerland from Geneva to Interlacken. Incredible beauty as you ride along Lake Lausanne to Vevey - Montreux. A thirty foot high topiary of a peacock at Nestle near Vevey.

Le Grand Hotel on the lake at Montreux.

Le Grand Hotel on the lake at Montreux

And then the first big decision, which way from Aigle to Interlacken? Right or left? This is the road into the mountains.

The drive into the mountains is both beautiful and treacherous. Cows standing on the sides of steep mountains -- how do they do that? Cows with bells around their necks. Why? Do you know why?

Along the way I see tiny little towns. Beautiful farm houses. Make hairpin turns where you have to look into giant mirrors to see if anyone is coming in the other direction.

Up the mountain, down the mountain and into the valley. Interlacken, Switzerland. Surprisingly, along the way I don't see many people.

Time to get ready for the trip up the Jungfrau. The Jungfrau is about 14,000 feet above sea level. Magnificent.

In Grindelwald, at the base of the mountain, I get my picture taken with a 205 pound Saint Bernard dog. Incredible.

I could have taken the highway from Geneva through Bern and into Interlacken. The faster, safer way to travel. Had I done that, I would never had seen the peacock, the lake, the hotel, the cows, the farmhouses, the tiny towns, or experienced the thrill of all those hairpin turns.

On Alzheimer's road you might want to slow down and take the scenic route. Take some time to stop and look. What do you see?

You might wonder why the cows are wearing bells around their necks, or how they are able to stand on the side of a steep mountain.

Look in the mirror before you go around the hairpin curve. Anything coming your way? Safe to go?

You might take a trip up to the top of the mountain. Look out. What do you see?

The Long and Winding Road or the highway? You get to choose.

*Note - I first published this article in March, 2010. At the time I was still on the long and winding road. A trip that proved to be both wondrous and joyful

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 4,700 articles with more than 352,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room