“In life we all have an unspeakable secret"

Ande Bliss

Ande Bliss
November 04
Essays, poetry, opinion and short stories. Free lance on line and in print. Favorite quote: "In life we all have an unspeakable secret, and irreversible regret, an unreachable dream, and an unforgettable love.” ― Diego Marchi Personal Website:


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JANUARY 17, 2013 6:58PM

Too Soon

Rate: 28 Flag
Over the past few years I have noticed subtle changes in my husband's memory, his lack of joie de vivre and ability to learn new skills. There is an absence of desire to travel, to discover and to participate. (He is a five years my senior) We have attributed some of this behavior to simple age related change.  However, we both had parents who had either dementia or Alzheimers. We are both acutely aware of the ramifications.
Depending on the diagnosis of his condition, some changes will be required. It might be a simple matter of medication or life style change.  Neither of us wants to be extricated from our home when or if the 'time' comes. And so we have decided to face this dilemma directly and begin the process of discovery in order to plan our way forward.

The doctor asked…. 

When did this start?

When did you first notice

 The change?

Was it an event?


The doctor said…

I’ll give you a little test…

Remember this:

 Orange, pencil, chair.

Who is the president?

 And the one before?

And the one before that? 


The doctor asked: 

What is this?

And this?

And this?

Who is the woman beside you?

What is her birth date?

The doctor took notes.

The doctor took notes.


The doctor asked: 

Can you remember the words?

orange? hmmm...


The doctor said:

I am setting up some more tests for you.

I think that this IS the beginning of something.

The preliminary tests indicate that.

We need to find out more.

Not urgent. 


It will require further evaluation.

You will need an MRI.

You will need an MRA.

You will need so see a neurologist.

You will need more blood work.

Then the doctor turned to me


And he said: 

You will need patience.

Lots of patience.  

Much understanding.


I answered:

I know. We both know.

My mother had it.

His father had it.

It might require more than patience.

Dear God.  

It came too soon.


No matter the name, whatever it is called, we will be ready. At the very least we can stop the guessing game. Once we have a diagnosis, we will make some plans. The best scenario is aging. A condition we can laugh about, and accommodate with some simple help.

The second is senile dementia. A condition that medication will help. It will not progress too much and living can be quite manageable with the reassignment of tasks.

The third and worse would be Alzheimers. And that would require extensive planning. Our family is supportive and they will aid and assist as required. 

Hoping for number one.











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Oh, I'm hoping for No 1 along with you both, Ande.

Best wishes ... much love.

I hope and pray for number one too.
Thank you Kate and David. What will be, we cannot change. But how we do it...that is another matter.
I'm sorry to hear you're going through this and hope the tests bring good news. Stay strong and don't stay away. There are always people here willing to listen and help in any way we can.
Maybe it's "mad cow" disease. That's what Denny Crane (William Shatner) called it every time he did something Alzheimer's-like on Boston Legal. Eventually his tests started showing evidence it was Alzheimer's. One of the most touching episodes in the best series ever on TV. I hope you guys come thru the tests with better news, Anne.
Bless you both, friend, and all-best.
All my best to you Anne! And enjoy all the good & better days! R
Hoping for number one as well. Feel for you.
Not sure what to say to you all. Except thanks. Such a warm feeling to know you are out there.
JL...Matt....Jon...Marilyn and Lea.
I'm here too. Full of support for a fine writer. You and hubby will be good no matter what happens. This getting older stuff isn't for sissies and you are both very brave and fun. Thanks for keeping your cyber family posted.
Best of luck to you both. Just take One day at a time.
Fingers crossed that you get the better option on the list.
Thanks will be a while until we know. Phyllis...we are going for that....and Trilogy...that is how it works. One day at a time. Most appreciated.
Alzheimers? No thank you.
Oh, sweetie, this has to be hard. I think a good part of me wouldn't want to know, wouldn't take the test. You are a brave soul.

Remember all your imaginary friends here at OS - because we got your back!
Hoping with you, Andi...
M'oh yes, Ande. No. 1, please, for both your sakes.
God Willing,

Keyn y'hi ratzon
I join those before me wishing you both the best of days. You deserve good things.
I cast my vote for #1 along with everyone else here and I pray majority rules.
Hoping for #1 with you.
Dear Ande,

I really hate offering something to folks as a possible "remedy" or as something that will alleviate the symptoms of a problem.

I would, however, strongly urge you to look into some of the research that is being done with all three of the things you mentioned. In particular, look into the things that have come to light when people force themselves to challenge their brain to work out puzzles, retain memories, etc.

I'm 71, and noticed serious enough symptoms that I established a set of self tests to keep me posted on how my mind was doing. I also began doing things that provided mental challenge to me - crossword puzzles was my main thing. I'm told that sudoku is as effective as well as chess, bridge, and other mentally challenging pursuits.

Keep in mind also that some of the research being done with controlled diet and with chemical supplements is reaching the "testing on humans" stage. Both these last two have shown fantastic results in testing on mice.

So keep yer fingers crossed - and your words! And keep us up to date with how things are going for you folks - you never know when a word from you will be of great value to others of us who are travelling the same road.

For Jack, Nilesite, Unbreakable,Boanerges1, Thoth, Skypixie0.

Aahh.It is good to have you back in my living room. Even though it is cold and windy today, your good wishes are just what my doctor ordered. Thank you.
As someone who is no stranger to Alzheimer's and dementia, I am so sorry. It must mean everything to him to have you at his side right now.
This is a beautiful but heartbreaking piece, Ande. I hope and pray for the best possible outcome. R
i am hoping for number one too, ande. and sending love and hugs to you and your husband. i am glad he has you.
Oh my. Such poignant writing. Hoping for #1 ~r
What everyone said.
Poignant to say the least.I hope the best for you and yours.
........(¯`v´¯) (¯`v´¯)
............... *•.¸.•* ♥⋆★•❥ Thanx & Smiles (ツ) & ♥ L☼√Ξ ☼ ♥
⋆───★•❥ ☼ .¸¸.•*`*•.♥ (ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★(ˆ◡ˆ) ♥⋯ ❤ ⋯ ★R
Green Heron, I guess that most of us will diminish mentally if we live long enough. It is clearly a growing problem.
Gerald, It was expected. We just kept hoping that we might escape.
daisyjane, Joan and Myriad, we are most anxious to have a diagnosis and of course we pray for number one. But I am afraid this is a bit more.
Algis, Thanx so much. :)