I don’t have Alzheimer’s but my mother has it; my grandmother had it. Therefore, I am thinking that I may have a good chance of getting it. I write this not as a morbid fact; but rather as a factor that I must consider. Similar to all the factors an aging man must consider like writing a will, obtaining life insurance and designating my final resting place.
So, while I don’t yet have Alzheimer’s, I think it would be fair to consider how I should live my best life in light of my family’s history.
Alzheimer’s is a disease that attacks the brain. I have seen firsthand, the decline in the mental ability that transformed a highly intelligent, independent and functional woman into a dependent shrill; mounting a daily all-out struggle, using all her sizable intelligence, grit, and faculties to retain a sense of herself. And it is in that daily struggle that my respect, adoration and love for my mother has grown each day.
So, it in her struggle, that I must consider how to live my best life with Alzheimer’s. Here are some principals of that life I have developed:
1. I will put my total trust in God’s will
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26)
As mental ability declines, people with Alzheimer’s become almost completely dependent on others. Clearly, I will have to depend on others, if I have Alzheimer’s. However; God is who I will depend on.
2. I will accept the suffering but not with an attitude of defeat
“Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.” (Job 42:17)
Despite his time of suffering, Job was restored by God and lived a fruitful life. I am under no allusions about the final outcome of my life; if I develop Alzheimer’s. However, I will not accept that God will allow the disease to defeat me. Instead, whenever that may be, He will allow me to die like Job after a “full life”.
3. I will learn the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and will tell others.
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus-the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” (Acts 20:24)
While the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s is about me; really, it is not about me. It is about spreading the word to others and working to find a cure. So I plan to use my voice, this blog space and other media to inform, educate and raise funds for a cure. As I seek to potentially live my best life with Alzheimer’s.
Marben Bland is a successful entrepreneur who brings his faith to his business life. Read more of his post on faith, business and life at www.marbenbland.com