Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wear Purple And Kick The Devil Out of Alzheimer's

The call came yesterday.

"Your dad's wheelchair is ready."

I never thought I'd be picking something like this up for my dad.  Here's the qualifier, he wouldn't need one if he didn't have Alzheimer's.  I mentioned in an earlier post that he'd broken his hip.  Now he can't seem to remember how to lift himself up.  It's the first step he needs, if he is ever to walk again.  And with muscles atrophying daily, whether or not he will, that remains to be seen.  But that's the reality of Alzheimer's - it brings you down and eventually, it doesn't let you back up. 

101 failed research drugs lay strewn on pharmaceutical floors and after years of research few have made it to market and none change the outcome.  Alzheimers is a tough disease, tough on patients, tough on families, tough to find a cure.  But the fight doesn't end.  People like my dad and all those that made the march before him and those that are now beside him - they are the pioneers, the beacons that remind us that something must be done.

So what can we do?

Raise awareness for one.  And one of the best ways is remembering that this disease has a face and it has feelings - it's about people.  Acknowledge them - like the hospital volunteer that took the time to stop by my dad and talk to him, give him a big smile and a wave and then repeat the whole procedure not once, but three times until she got an answering smile.  And you know, that and a coke - I think pretty much made Dad's day.

This month is World Alzheimer's Month and Friday, September 21 is Alzheimer's Action Day.  Tomorrow is a day to draw notice to this disease and to do that, you can donate to the cause in any number of ways but for most of us it's as easy as doing one thing - wearing purple and telling at least one person why you're doing it.  Even if it's a dibble of purple.  Dig out those hideous purple socks or even a pair of purple underwear if you really have nothing else.  It's the thought that counts although I don't know if you want to mention about the underwear, you know, to strangers.  And no, I don't want to know about the lace trimmed, thong beauties you wore when... enough!!  No more, please... I'm covering my ears.

Friday, Sept. 21 - Purple for Alzheimer's.


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