Need a good book?

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This morning I was working at the dining room table as Brad was making his lunch. As I worked, he organized his crackers and carrots and we proceeded to discuss a wide range of topics.

Yesterday was election day and as always, we voted. Another perk of our neighborhood is the fact we can walk to our polling station and it doubles as our public library. Jim, Brad and I had driven over so I could leave from there to go to work and they could walk home. I love walking in the Fall with all of the leaves on the ground and swirling in the air as they release themselves from the branches. But I digress….. Jim and Brad stayed for a bit at the library and Brad picked out a movie on the demise of the Indian Tigers and 4 books. One of the books, The Disease Book; A Kids’ Guide, I found very telling. Did Brad choose this book to learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease or is he all of a sudden interested in Schizophrenia and Tonsillitis? A small inkling of worry had crept into my mind last night when I had gotten home late and seen the book sitting on the table.  I had meant to take a quick peek inside the covers, but I started watching results from the election and never did.

Back to this morning. Brad tells me about this book and asks me to read the part about Alzheimer’s Disease. It is a short bit under “Disorders of the Nervous System”.  I start to read without proofreading first. Smart Karen,really smart. “Alzheimer’s disease has been called the cruelest disease that humans have ever faced, for it gradually destroys the brain. Simple bouts of forgetfulness may be the beginning, but the ending is always the same.”

I read the very first sentence and stopped. Suddenly, I had this terrible mommy moment; knot in my stomach, light headed and a small bout of queasiness. I quickly decided that we did not need to read anymore. Brad seemed a little confused on why I stopped.  All of a sudden we were running a late and he needed to finish his lunch and I needed to get my work done.

THIS IS A KIDS BOOK. Really?

I think I would have rather read the parts on STDs or PMS with him.

Sometimes I am just not sure I am ready for this. For all of this that we, as a family, are going to go through. Obviously, my 9 year old son is looking for information and answers. I am just not wanting to hear the answers myself, let alone speak them out loud to him.

posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comments (6)

6 Responses to “Need a good book?”

  1. Kelly says:

    There are better resources out there for kids and teens but this book is not one of them. Alz.org has videos for kids and teens that my family found helpful when trying to help kids understand the changes in their loved one. You are in my prayers.

  2. Marsha says:

    “Ready” is not a word you can say for Alzheimer’s for no one is ever ready. I am shocked this is a child’s book. When I read “The 36 Hour Day” I could scarcely finish it. I was sure these things would never happen – and they continue to go on. If I were you I would not talk to your children about anything but what is happening now, explain it as it goes along. They need not know what happens next, and then you will deal with it. You did the right thing by hurrying lunch & getting past that moment. You will do the right thing again. This path takes great strength, more than I thought I ever had – but I know by reading you posts that you have that strength as well. Take the book back to the library or better yet, keep it, eventually they will ask you to pay for the book. Pay for the book and make a nice fire in the fireplace with it or give it to the garbage gods! I go to the nursing home every day & spend hours with my husband but I always read your posts. Stay strong.

  3. Wendy says:

    Karen, I can’t imagine having this conversation with my 9yr old either…I can hardly discuss the outcome of this disease with my three grown daughters. Speaking it or reading it out loud seems to cause it to come into being…If I don’t say it, it won’t happen. I find myself in that mind set more often than I care to admit. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  4. Lee Ann says:

    Maybe a social worker or somebody at his school has a better book for him. He deserves to know what is happening. Not knowing is worse than knowing. You can imagine all of the things you did wrong, all of the horrible things that will happen. And blame yourself for them happening. And its always worse than reality. If he wants to know how things are going, he deserves to understand it. Who knows? Maybe he will be the doctor or scientist that finds the cure.

  5. Judi says:

    Karen, Maria Shriver wrote a book called ” What’s wrong with Grandpa?” This book is written for children. Also, I echo the previous suggestion – check in with your local ALZ ofc and the ALZ website for child- appropriate info and suggestions. Holding back, not discussing what is happening is far worse for kids than knowing what is really happening. In the end you are mom and you are best judge of what they can handle. Trust your instincts!

  6. Jaime Harrell says:

    Hi Karen. My kids were Brad’s age when when my husband psssed. They were very interested in information about what happened to their dad. I gave them as many details as I could in a “kid appropriate” way for two main reasons: 1. I wanted the information to come from a reliable source that I could control (me), and 2) I never wanted them to direct any anger at me later because I kept anything from them. It was a very difficult discussion, more for me than for the kids, but we talked and continue to talk every day.
    Hang in there!!!
    Kids are incredible, amazing, and intelligent…don’t you just wish “innocent” could be added to that list forever…

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