I get the updates from the Foundation for Biomedical Research, a group that supports animal research in biomedicine. They sent a link to a recent post they had, which talked about "Still Alice", the book and movie. There is a quote from the movie (I believe) that just tore at me:
“They’ve been doing all these tests, and I’m really scared,” she said. “I know what I’m feeling. It feels like my brain is dying and everything I’ve worked for in my entire life is going. It’s all going.”
And that is the fear. The fear my mother had, the fear that I now have. We are scientists, and the thought of our brain dying is about the most scary thing, for us, that we can think of.
For my mother, and her working class origins, her brain and her hard work were her ticket out of poverty and illiteracy and the endless soul destroying labor of her parents. She could never admit her illness, never admit she was losing her brain.
Just those words! "losing your mind". They are loaded and painful and mean so much more than just Alzheimer's disease. I do not want to lose my mind. But now, it is something that is there, lurking in a corner of that mind I want to keep.