As the elevator door opens, I exit to the long hall I have traveled so often. In the day room, there are several residents watching television. As I progress down the hall , there are others enjoying an afternoon game of bingo.
I reminisce. I remember how just a couple of years ago these were mom's favorite activities. A familiar sound greets me as I approach Room 226. I open the door and see my mom in her wheelchair, scooting to various locations about the room. It has become increasingly difficult to visit, as she no longer recognizes me and her speech has been replaced by very bizarre utterances. My mom has Alzheimer's disease, and she is in it's final stage.
My dream at this time is a more effective treatment for Alzheimer's. A cure would be incredible, but I would settle for a better treatment. We have tried all of the new medications and have had her tested extensively. Recently, when her speech patterns changed, I had her evaluated by a speech and language pathologist. The therapist informed us that the sounds are a form of self-stimulation, similar to that shared by nonverbal children.
I guess I was hoping to hold on to the little that was left of "mom." Although her thoughts have not made sense for some time now, at least she could speak to me. On occasion, she would say something "almost familiar," and I would celebrate for the moment.