Alzheimer's Is Not A Natural Part Of Aging

Alzheimer's Is Not A Natural Part Of Aging

Memories matter and nobody should have to go through this.
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Alzheimer's isn't a common word people will hear in their lives. Alzheimer's is a scary word because the results are the loss of loved ones who have also lost or are losing their memory. Many Alzheimer's disease support groups or charities work to inform the young people of today to be more aware of the effects of this disease that may affect them one day.

Alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States and is the only disease that does not have a way to slow the process or a cure.

Did you know women are more likely to get Alzheimer's than men?

My grandfather, unfortunately, lost his life about 13 years ago. He had a brain aneurysm that led to him having an awful form of dementia.

He forgot how to feed himself, he forgot how to use the restroom, but thank God for my grandma because she kept him going for so many years after his diagnosis.

My great-grandmother was also diagnosed with dementia, but not until her old age. My uncle, too, has Alzheimer's. He's about 67 and he doesn't know who I am, who my grandma is, and he forgot he was at his own wife's funeral. I remember he looked at me and said, "Have you seen Sondra Vores?" He had already forgotten we were just at her funeral. Bless my cousin Allison for making sure he has the right care to keep going.

My grandmother also has Dementia. She just turned 77 on February 6th and she's lived in a small town in Indiana her entire life. I remember my mom telling me how my grandma forgot how to get home in this town she was born and raised in. I am so grateful for my grandfather for taking such great care of her while my family and I are so far away in South Carolina.

I've named my relatives who are living or have died with dementia or ALZ and they're of an older age. Many people believe that this disease comes with an old age, but in reality, it does not. Alzheimer's is not a form of old aging.

I am so thankful for the sorority Sigma Kappa for having Alzheimer's Association as one of their philanthropies and the amount of support that goes towards Alzheimer's and towards a cure.

Knowing so many people that have been affected by Alzheimer's or dementia and knowing people with the same experience has lead to a future where I want to cure this disease because memories matter and nobody should have to go through this.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Russell

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Working Out Before Sunrise Changed My Life And My Attitude Toward Time

Whenever things aren't going my way in life, I wake up bright and early to kick life's ass.

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I used to religiously work out three to four times per week. Whether I was running, kickboxing, spinning or hitting the gym with a friend, I was on it.

Working out never felt like a chore to me, but it almost always put a dent in my plans for the day. It was as if I had to make sure that I had no other commitments that day in order to get a decently long workout in.

I'm a full-time student who prefers to take showers at night so that my curls can lay the way I want them to. So every time my schedule gets a little busier than usual, I begin my slow descent into hermit land.

Not working out had a direct correlation with my mental health, as it does with a lot of people. But I simply could not fit it into my schedule. After skipping out on my weekly exercise rituals, I became easily irritable and too tired to even think about slipping on my Nikes.

Eventually, I decided that I needed to just force myself to get up and move. I began walking to work and doing simple leg raises while watching Netflix. But the little things obviously could not replace a sweaty HIT.

Then one ordinary morning in my school parking lot, my friend rolled down the window to her black Honda and yelled out, "Me and Erin are going to spin tomorrow at 5:30. Come!" Instinctively, I thought she was insane. The only thought that crossed my mind was: You'll be too tired for school if you go. Don't be stupid.

But as the day went on, I realized that I was going to be tired even if I woke up at two in the afternoon and skipped out on school. Because "tired" had become my new mindset.

My workout used to be a time in which I would completely forget any negative thoughts and just focus on myself. The sweat, pain and last few hurdles during the end of the workouts would almost be a reset button for the attitude I had about life. I missed that.

Without giving myself the opportunity to feel like a slob any further, I registered myself in the class and set an extremely early alarm for the following day. Waking up, I felt like I was heading to the airport. My eyes were sore. Heck, my entire body was sore. All I wanted to do was kick myself in the face for even attempting to wake up this early, let alone to work out.

But miraculously, when I opened my blinds and doused myself in some early morning sun, I felt a sense of ease. The fact that I was awake and ready to exercise somehow no longer felt like a chore. I slipped on some comfy clothes and chugged a cold glass of water. Before I knew it, I was at the spinning studio, cackling at some joke my friend threw into our conversation.

For those of you who have never been to a spin class, the best way I can describe it is this: a rave on steroids on wheels.

The gist is, it's loud, hot and extremely difficult (for me, at least). This class was no different. But I had so much unknown energy that I was able to blast through the class. I was able to push myself harder than I had before.

Leaving that dark, loud room, I felt a sense of accomplishment and excitement for the day to come. By the time I arrived home, it was only 6:40 a.m. and the streets were still quiet. I sat there for a minute, taking it all in and watching the leaves sway.

It gave me a sense of comfort I had not experienced in a long time. It was similar to a very successful meditation session. I loved it. I took a shower, got myself ready for the day and had a big beautiful breakfast that I prepared. I still got to school before second bell.

And yes, my body was tired. But I wasn't, not mentally at least.

I felt like I had the power to take on new challenges for that day and all the days to come. I know it sounds cliché, but it's the truth.

Obviously, I don't wake up before the sun every single day, After all, I am a student who also has a part-time job.

But whenever I'm feeling like things aren't going my way in life, I wake up bright and early to kick life's ass.

Working out before the sunrise not only gave me a new perspective on the abundance of time we actually have in a day, but it gave me a new mindset of what I was capable of accomplishing.

Plus, air drying throughout the day actually did wonders for my curls. I would highly recommend!

Cover Image Credit:

Wikimedia Commons

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