What is Alzheimer’s, Buni?

I knew it would happen, I just didn’t expect it to happen so soon. My 9 year old grandson found out I had Alzheimer’s by reading my blogs on Facebook. That is not what I wanted. I wanted to sit him down and hold his hand and explain in my own words what was happening to me. But everything happens for a reason and now the avenues of communication are wide open.

We talked about it one morning when we were alone. He asked me how I felt and what would happen to me. He knew there was no cure and wanted to know how I felt, why I couldn’t remember things….and most importantly,  when things would change with me.  He was most concerned about me not knowing him when he was older. Honestly that part of this disease is not something I’m looking forward to. I hope my progression is slow, very slow.

With tears in my eyes, I told him that I would NEVER forget him!!  That I will not forget his sweet face, but that as he got older I might not recognize him as an adult. That my brain would only remember him now, or at least how he looks now. That was a hard conversation for both of us, but I promised to talk to him about it and to answer any questions he has. I don’t want him to worry or be scared. I’m not scared, so I hope he will get some of his strength from me.

That conversation was a few weeks ago. I saw him again last Friday. When he saw me he ran to hug me, but then the first thing he said was ‘how’s your disease Buni?’ ( Buni is short for Bunica which is Romanian for Grandma – their dad is Romanian).  Wow, I guess this little guy has been thinking about our conversation.  I told him I was fine, no changes since we talked a few weeks ago. Talking openly is all I can do, and to involve him in our walks and fund raising. And to comfort him when he’s scared.

At the Part the Cloud event I met two of the women who founded Rivet Revolution, Carol Palmer and Susan Evans. They were so gracious and generous and gave me some bracelets to wear and to share with my family. My daughter gave one of them to Ryan too. And he wears it every day! He wears it to support me which is really overwhelming. My husband wears them too, and my kids. And last night I gave a Rivet Revolution necklace to my girlfriend. These small little things seem to help me feel closer to my friends and family, and also to know that I am not alone. This jewelry is special and they donate $10 from each of the bracelets to Alzheimer’s research and caregiver support through Part The Cloud & Hilarity for Charity.  Take a look! I think you might want to wear them too 😄 rivetrevolution.com.

Sharing my journey is important and now I have a 9 year old advocate who I love so very much ❤ Maybe my strength will help him when he faces challenges in his life!  Sending blessings and strength to all of you today too.

A Note from the Rivet Revolution co-founders. Pam Montana was diagnosed with Early Stage Early Onset Alzheimer’s on July 20, 2016. She is an incredibly brave and amazing woman who is sharing her journey with Alzheimer’s disease through her blog My Journey with Alzheimer’s – we are honored to have her as Revolutionary.