This I Believe

Debi - Kalamazoo, Michigan
Entered on April 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, illness

Never say Never

I believe you should never say never. This is a lesson I have had to learn it the hard way . My grandma was the funniest, sweetest and most loving person I knew. She lived right next door to us I would get to see her every day it just became a part of my routine. In 1997 I was 14 years old when my mom told me my grandma had something called dementia which I later found out was a form of Alzheimer’s. At the time I didn’t know what it meant. My grandma was still just my grandma and nothing seemed to change. After a few years went by I started to see a change in her. One day my mom and I had to go looking for my grandma because she was not home and the car was in the driveway. We found her just down the road she said she was going for a walk and couldn’t remember how to get back. This is when I realized something was wrong. My grandma had lived in that neighborhood from the time she was born and now she didn’t know how to get around, this worried me.

In 2001 she started to get really bad. Not only had she lived in the same neighborhood all her life she also lived in the same house as well. She was forgetting where the bathroom was and would leave the gas on. One day she left the water running all day in the sink and flooded the kitchen. It had gotten to the point that she was not safe alone. We as a family made the hardest decision we ever had to make, we decided she needed long term care. My mom was devastated she had always said she would never put her mom in a nursing home but deep down knew it was the only opition.

Three months later I started to work at the nursing home where she was and it was really good to still see her everyday even though it was hard to see her decline so much. What really got to me was people I worked with would say to me “I would never put my family member in a nursing home”. I thought to my self that’s what I had always said to. It’s an incredibly hard decision and one not to be taken lightly but sometimes you have to do what is best for your loved one not what would make you feel less guilty. I would encourage anyone to never say never because you never know when never will happen.