Life is really quite unpredictable as Yuvraj Singh found out recently and as I did a few years back. So often has a person spent the happiest phase of his life only to realize that his life is shorter than he was actually banking upon. Another intriguing human tendency is that we often get into the delusion that ‘life-threatening’ diseases and accidents are things that can happen only to others and, preferably, to a high-profile celebrity or a wealthy not-so-near relative. But……
My story is not a different cry….How green was my valley till fate showed its true cards. I have been battling some severe chronic diseases for the past few years and the damage has been so severe and, unfortunately, presented itself so silently, that it’s hard to state how & where it all started. Though, there is an army of ailments t troubling my body at the moment, the most dreadful of them is Alzheimer’s disease. You may have vaguely heard of it as a silent killer that robs mind & memory but, trust me, it is the modus operandi of this lethal disease which can be really frustrating.
Firstly, Alzheimer’s loves to play hide-n-seek with you. One moment you feel quite good, cheerful & full of grey cells (your thoughts flow clearly) and within minutes, your mind just gets foggy & muddled up. Thoughts do not flow easily and words are hard to recall. I can clearly remember incidents of my childhood or the names of my old classmates & teachers. But I find it almost impossible to recall the names of some of my ‘facebook’ friends or even those of some of the newer breed of celebrities. What is most frustrating is that I’m always at a loss to recollect passwords of some of my e-accounts! Though, I have cultivated the habit of maintaining one single password for all my IDs & profiles, at times, they ask to set new passwords (for security purpose) and that’s when I cringe in fear as I struggle to think of something that would not get lost in the recesses of my fading mind. But having lost confidence in my mental abilities, I recently wrote down in a diary all my important profile usernames & passwords (just in case, things get too difficult).
Secondly, Alzheimer’s has sort of blinded me to the happenings around me. Quite often, when the mind is in a numb state, I lose all sense of time & reality. Things do not register themselves in my mind that easily. For instance, an hour back, I just trotted out of my 1st floor flat to take a walk in the neighbourhood for 10-15 minutes. However, the brain was so unclear that it was finding it impossible to keep pace with reality. I seemed to be walking on streets without realizing what I’m doing. I could see everything clearly and I was aware of my whereabouts but mind seemed to have gone for a holiday. You can compare it to a person who is sleep-walking. He is alert & sound but unable to recall his actions later on! I’m not sure how to put this feeling through words….It’s just a feeling and one of those rare things that are, really inexplicable.
And what about my dreams, my future, my ambitions? Hmmm….it’s a sensitive issue. Things are looking bleak. Dreams are shrinking along with grey cells….Future is a far-away thing, even the present is uncertain……And then, I am the only child of my parents. But hey, even an Alzheimer’s patient is entitled to hope. Things may be slipping away, memories may let go of me, thoughts may bid me adieu….But there’s a fantastic message that I had once received in the form of a forwarded text SMS. I can’t recall the initial line but the concluding line was something like this, “To meet and part is the way of life….but to part and meet is the hope of life…..”