So I watched ‘Still Alice’ last night. Something I have been putting off for ages as I thought it would make me melt down, sob too much. So many had warned me off it…
It was a lovely portrayal of a young, brilliant professor who has early onset of Alzheimer’s at 50. It shows the slow, almost minor forgetfulness of names, words, places that could be just old age… it shows how the progression of Alzheimer’s speeds up, to forgetting people, well known places to incontinence and inability to recognize any one, walk or even speak in anything other than grunts. It shows the sadness of the immediate family members as they see the degradation of a beautiful mind within a still outwardly beautiful person.
It was a lovely portrayal. Isn’t that sad…. There, there Alzheimer’s… That’s not so bad, I could handle that…
It didn’t make me cry, sob like I hoped it would. I found it rather a dumbed down, watered down, rather beautiful betrayal of an incredibly cruel disease. I found it more frustrating rather than emotive.
Where are the furious tantrums, the slamming of doors, the throwing of pots, the lunatic shouting? The long silences while locked in a bathroom or bedroom? Where are the hours of searching for a missing loved one and finding them miles and miles away at an old friend’s house or side of a motorway? Where are the scenes of complete lack of recognition for a daughter, a husband? Where are the scenes of self preservation, knife attacks out of gut instinct that something is wrong… so incredibly wrong… but just not sure what?
I felt robbed when it ended. I wanted to know what happened next? How did their family deal with putting their beautiful mother in care, in a home? How did they deal with the grief? The guilt? Were they told they couldn’t visit? Did they ring daily to find out how she was? How did they cope with the frustration of not knowing anything? How did they knock down the brick wall that is the NHS mental care home system? Did they go and sit outside the very important Doctor’s door until he had time to respond to a father, husband’s desperate need for information?
My Mum is lost inside her head.
We are lost in the world outside it without her.
It’s 11.38 and the other half of my sandwich beckons… my head still fuzzy with cold, blocked ears making me dizzy but there is still so much to do!
I mustn’t forget to walk the dog.