“Five million people in America have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and one in three seniors will die because of this disease of another form of dementia” ( Lawrence Robinson). Alzheimer’s is a disease that gradually worsens with time, and is incurable. This horrible disease is also hereditary and can cause a family much pain.
I’ve experienced Alzheimer’s first hand. My grandfather was diagnosed in April of 2007 and passed away April of 2012. It was a long a winding journey and I remember all the stages of his illness really well. The first sign of Alzheimer’s is memory loss, especially forgetting recently learned information. I remember like it was yesterday. The first time my grandpa did something strange that raised a red flag.
Me and my brother were staying with our grandparents one weekend I was 11 and my brother 15. One night me maw told us guys (me, my brother and granddad) to get some food she had ordered from a place called Abe’s that we were oh so familiar with. We got in the truck and headed down the road, carrying on conversation we didn’t even realize that we had passed our destination. The truck stopped at Poppies, puzzled I asked what we are doing here. My grandpa looked back at me and explained that we were picking up dinner. I laughed and said we are supposed to go to Abe’s. He gave me a real dumbfounded look and said lets go inside. He proceeded to go to the counter and asked for our order that me maw had placed we begged him to get in the car we looked so stupid. Finally my brother got my grandmother on the phone and handed it to him.
She chewed him out, like a dog with his tail between his legs he walked out we followed suite. At that time in my life I had not the slightest clue of any mental illness such Alzheimer’s but I’m pretty sure my brother did. He stared out the window, not saying a word the whole way back as me and grandpa laughed and giggled about the incident.
Throughout my research I have found that “Alzheimer’s is hereditary and in some studies say it skips a generation”( Mayo Clinic staff). In my case could be me that inherits this disease. Knowing what I know now I’ll have check-ups annually, not because I’m scared of dying but for the quality of life I may live. “Alzheimer’s attacks four of the 23 chromosomes in a human’s body. It is similar to Down syndrome just happening in a later age”( Jon Glass). In the play we are talking about, in my opinion Willy has this disease and can be important because one of his sons could inherit it. I find it strange that no one in Willy’s family is concerned or wants to take him to a doctor to find out what’s going on.
Alzheimer’s disease is a very cruel illness and I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. I’ve seen the things that monster of a thing can do to the sick, and the loved ones caring for the victim. I’ve learned the best thing to do is to get help, be patient and love the ill unconditionally.