Do I have to YELL?

Bradley's 2nd Birthday.  I love this picture of us.

Bradley’s 2nd Birthday. I love this picture of us.

Today was our son Brad’s 9th birthday. It is AMAZING how children change your life.  You go through this world concerned about tons of things.  Most of them revolve around you. I believe it is called self-centeredness.  Then you have this little, breathing creature that you are responsible for.  This beautiful, warm, fragile being that looks at you with the most loving eyes that say “thank you for having me” as you hold them in your arms.

Brad loves sports.  He loves being outside.  He loves being active and has a great sense of humor.  He makes me proud, frustrated, entertained and worried all in the same beat.

I have asked every neurologist that might have an answer the same question: “What can we do now to help prevent the kids from getting Alzheimer’s when they are older?”

Since it seems to run in Jim’s family, this is a huge concern.  Wait, it is more than a huge concern.  It is with me every waking moment of my life. Sometimes, the thought of the 50/50 odds my two children have takes every ounce of breath out of my lungs. With two kids having  50/50 odds, my odds of missing that bandwagon are very, very slim. It is one of the driving forces behind my desire to start this blog, raise awareness and raise money for research.

Back to how we can prevent this or maybe lessen the odds; no boxing, no football, no soccer and no hitting their heads.  What does Brad want to play?  Football and soccer. But that is another blog post. As luck (which I seem to have used up when I married Jim) would have it, Brad finds a way to hit his head EVERY week.  Without fail.  At school, at a friends’ home, playing in the yard, playing in his room, it doesn’t matter.  Stitches, bruises, scratches, bumps and lumps. We’ve seen them all. Each time it is as if I have hit my own head but a hundred times worse.

Tonight, he was jumping around the living room excited about his birthday. He jumped onto the couch and wacked his head on the arm of the couch.  Ice on it.  Bump coming up.  Tears on my sleeve. Worry in my heart.

Last week, when he somehow managed to almost give himself a concussion on my knee, I snapped.  As his tears were welling, I was yelling.  “Brad, STOP hitting your head!!!  Please! STOP HITTING YOUR HEAD!!” What mother in her right mind yells at her child for hitting his head when he is obviously in pain and hurting?  First, I don’t think I am in my right mind.  Second, a mother that is aiming to protect her child from something that may or may not be in the stars. Yet there is a feeling of a meteor that is constantly orbiting around our universe. Will it fall and hit us?

Brad's 3rd Birthday.

Brad’s 3rd Birthday.

When Brad was in first grade, there were two poles in the middle of his classroom.  Sure enough, he hit one, not once, but twice. Each time he ended up with a huge bump.  It was so frustrating knowing I need to keep him from hitting his head, speaking with the school to remedy two large metal poles in the middle of his classroom; but not seeing any action until months later when another parent complained and came up with a solution. At the time, I wasn’t ready to speak out loud that the more he hits his head, the greater his chances are of….  OF…

I still knot up trying to put it all into a sentence.

I remember not only the frustration, but the insane desire to just yell.  Yell that his father has Alzheimer’s Disease and my beautiful baby boy that is so smart and so fun and full of life might one day follow in his father’s footsteps and they needed to fix the damn poles!

Why shouldn’t the school immediately put foam around poles in a first grade classroom without me having to explain to them “our situation” ? It isn’t just the school dealing with the poles.  It is society in general expecting passivity, while I feel the tremendous pull of a mother’s love guiding me in a completely different direction. The path of standing up and being heard and making people listen and understand.

When I still let him play soccer....

When I still let him play soccer….

In the meantime,  he is out on the playground, smashing into another kid and going to get stitches.

posted by Karen in Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized and have No Comments

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