Friday, January 18, 2008

A Short History of Alzheimers in English. (Dementia and lying but fortunately no tractors.)

Let me tell you about Alzheimers.
Let me tell you about Alzheimers.
Let me tell you about Alzheimers.

Yep, you may have worked it out by now that people with Alzheimers tend to repeat themselves. This is something I never do.

UNLESS I’m drunk or I’ve forgotten what I’ve said and to whom. Unfortunately, as a mad, premenopausal woman close to insanity repeating myself is something that is becoming more frequent, is becoming more frequent. The worse case scenario is of course when I’m drunk AND I‘ve forgotten what I’ve said and to whom; my brain is then working on a level of stupidity comparable to Mr Bush’s; a potentially very dangerous and catastrophic situation indeed.

Anyway here’s a useful tip to avoid embarrassing fallout from such situations… Never Lie… or there is a distinct possibility you will be caught out.

On the whole lying is not good. Although there are times in life when a little white lie is acceptable. For example “I only had one piece of chocolate,” is an acceptable lie; it creates the illusion that you really are trying to diet in a rational kind of way when in fact you are alternatively secretly stuffing your face with pralines and starving yourself the next day. But generally lying is not a wise idea; even Mr Turley has realised that when I wear something new and he remarks upon it and I say “I bought it ages ago.” What I actually mean is one of the following;

a) “I bought it yesterday.”

b) “I bought it a long time ago but it’s been secretly stashed in the back of the wardrobe because it was hideously expensive.”

(Alongside a new pair of shoes and some size 10 underwear because by the end of the year I might have lost some weight AND the underwear was in the sales AND I felt good buying it at the counter next to the really fat woman… who of course turned out to be me because of that annoyingly placed mirror..)

c) “We may possibly have a slight overdraft.”

Fortunately, he hasn’t worked out yet that when I am wearing something that IS old and he doesn’t realise it and I say “Thankyou, Mr Turley” what I mean in fact is one of the following;

a) “You are getting Alzheimers because I’ve worn this dozens of times before.”
(But I don't because he might write me out of his will and I was planning to have a retirement of utter debauchery because he’ll have no idea who I am.)

b) “I must buy some new clothes because you obviously aren’t taking any notice of me.”
(Thereby making the purchase of new items morally justifiable.)

c) “Oh God he’s going crazy like the rest of his family.”
(Oh shit.)

Actually, before I get back on to the subject of Alzheimers let me say that I’m not really bothered about shopping or indeed clothes. Not enough people have food and water let alone clothes and so I can’t help feeling a little bit sick when I see people spending phenomenal amounts of money on clothes. I’d rather spend my money on books… at least you can learn something from them. The only thing I’ve learnt from clothes is that trying to squeeze myself into the size I was 20 years ago is;

1. Scientifically impossible; a large arse does not fit into jeans made for a small arse.

2. Demoralizing and depressing; hipster jeans are not made for women with guts. They are made for women who look like boys and boys that look like women.

3. Potentially damaging to the environment. Ever seen me get out of too tight jeans? No? Just as well - but you may feel the aftershocks anyway.

4. Bad for my language which becomes somewhat “blue.” Blue also being the operative colour as this is often the colour I am when I’ve managed to do the zips up.

On the plus side I have been contacted by the government who are manufacturing a replica of my arse as they believe they will able to use it to plug the hole in the ozone layer. Regrettably, I will not be paid heaps of cash but I understand I will have a wax works on show in Madame Tussauds alongside Kylie Minogue whose replica arse they plan to use to fill the gap between Madonna’s teeth.

Now where was I? Oh yes Alzheimers. Yep, it’s a miserable way to go. My father in law is 88 and is badly affected. It’s extremely sad for Mr Turley as his father alternately thinks hubby is an amorphous sibling, a soldier from his battalion during the War, an old school friend… in fact anyone else but his son. He is stuck in his long term memory and even that is confused. This once courageous man who served throughout the war, taught maths to generations of students, who raised his family with love and devotion, is reduced to a disorientated, demented shell.

It’s not much fun getting old; so here’s my advice. Live life to the full while you can; share some love and laughter along the way and if you have a full head of hair when you’re eighty and still in your right mind you’ll be a very lucky person indeed.

© Jane Turley 2008


  1. Thank you very much Oneida! Expresso and red wine sounds good. Let's leave out the frogs legs and snails though. I don't think I could manage them even if they were dipped in chocolate.

  2. Well, maybe I could join you too. 'cept Paris is a leetle to far off for me & i'm bad at inventing reasons:) btw this is sue over from facebook.

  3. I followed your trail from Onedia's blog . You are funny !

  4. Very funny post, and very true indeed. I recently lost a grandmother who was in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's, and my other grandmother is progressing in it as well. Therefore, I am genetically doomed. But one would hope they will have the cure within the next 45 years or so. However, my mom seems to have been suffering from symptoms since I was a mere tot, so maybe I don't have so long after all.

    Very enjoyable read....I love when a powerful message is conveyed in a humorous manner.

  5. Hi Sue, Eve, Oneida and The Blogger Exposed.( Real name? Can't see it on your sites...)
    Thank you for your comments.They are much appreciated.
    As a weary mum frankly Paris or Casablanca sound heavenly but these days merely getting out of the front door is a major achievement! If you've read my school run blog you'll know just why...and I haven't even written about our camping trip yet which was a hideous experience never to be repeated.
    Let's hope there are some major advancements in the treatment of Alzheimers. My husbands family have definite genetic traits... I suppose we see it more now because we are living longer and let's face it we were only designed to live so long. My husband's family also have a history of longevity which mine doesn't; so whilst he maybe mad when he is old I, however, will be dead.(Blast; I really fancied a toyboy!)

    Better get that trip planned soon...

  6. Glad I found your blog (through Onedia). I can see why she sent you a blessing. Enjoying your sense of humor.

    My mom had Alzheimers. My dad was mad. Not sure which is worse. But I'm enjoying today 'cause my frickin future is a bit uncertain. haha

  7. Moanna... you know what? I think life is just a little more frickin' exciting anyway when the future is uncertain! I look forward to the day when I don't have to do The School Run and I can say to myself "What shall I do this morning?" I've got three years to go before the last of my children can catch the bus and then I'm going to go yippee-do wild! That is if I've not already gone completely insane...


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