Our family began the journey to the “new norm” a few years ago.
It started with little things, things that go unnoticed to most people, but raises the eyebrows to those that are close. Someone who has no experience with Alzheimer’s might assume a diagnosis is quick and simple, but it’s actually a long, emotionally exhausting journey.
Dad was diagnosed at Mayo Clinic in Rochester on Christmas Eve with Posterior Cortical Atrophy (PCA), an atypical form of Alzheimer’s. It impacts vision in three ways: ocular apraxia (inability to shift the gaze from one object to another), optic ataxia (inability to use visual information as a guide for hands when reaching for objects), and simultanagnosia (inability to comprehend multiple objects in the field of vision at one time).
The diagnosis gave answers to many of the questions we had. It caused grief, as well as relief in finally understanding. We are forever grateful for the work and diligence of the physicians at Mayo Clinic.
When a loved one has Alzheimer’s, you grieve the life they once had but, more importantly, learn how to adapt to the new normal.
One thing we can be certain of in all of this uncertainty, it’s that life is always changing for all of us. Today will not be the same as tomorrow. Each day is a gift in its own way. If we are mindful of that, we will find joy.
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