Alzheimer's runs in my mother's side of the family. She had it, two sisters had it, and one brother has it now. One brother had Parkinson's, which may or may not be related.
These don't make for good odds. Merrilee's funeral brought this all to the forefront. One of her early signs was severe anxiety, which was unusual for her. She went to therapy for help. I have been anxious all my life, but the last two years, my anxiety has been over the top. I went to therapy last year.
So Alzheimer's is a big fear.
My biggest fear is that Tom and I are getting it at the same time, and that we are going to leave our kids with a huge mess of care-taking that will exhaust them. They will forget that we were ever charming, humorous people.
Just as I wrote that, I heard one of my sons say, "When were you ever charming?"
You can look up the ten early signs of Alzheimer's yourself.
This is what I notice about Tom and me:
--We find it more difficult to organize and carry out plans. Both of us hate cooking anything.
--Mood changes. We have turned into different people than we once were.
--Inappropriate behavior. (Not that we've ever been the most appropriate people on earth--that was never the goal).
--Whatever was ditzy is now ditzier.
--Some loss of spatial and facial recognition.
--A serious disinterest in social engagement.
--Repeating stories ad infinitum. ( I find that a lot of older people have lost their whole sense of pacing when it comes to storytelling. Not quite the same thing, as repeating, but annoying none the less.)
--Paranoia where there was none before.
Still, we try to clobber each other each day at Parcheesi. I've made a wonderful indoor garden in one corner. He's painting and keeps up with friends on Facebook and Gmail. We still like each other.
A day at a time.