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Your Alzheimer Story

Michelle Robbins, mother passed away from Alzheimer’s at age 56

At age 52 my mother was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. I was so angry, but at the same time didn’t really understand everything about the disease. At the time, my 2 boys were very little. I became my mom’s caregiver. There was no second to question if I would do it. She’s my mother, PERIOD. It all started happening so fast. I remember I dressed her, I helped her in the bathroom, I bathed her, I fed her…I did EVERYTHING. It upset me because I have a twin sister and a brother that lived a block away and wouldn’t even come spend time with her… My boys would hold her hand, walk her into the game room, sit her down and put a game controller in her hand, telling her to play games with them. She would just sit there with the controller in hand but you could see a light in her eyes and she looked so happy. Her grandkids meant everything to her. Within 3 years, it had gotten so bad that I had to take her back to North Carolina where our family lives and we got her in a place that knew how to take care of her. I was devastated. I had to go back to Vegas where I live so I could take care of my kids. Every day I would talk to her. Within 2 months I got the call… It had gotten really bad. I flew down and as soon as I walked in, I see my mom sitting in a chair with a tray strapped on front so she couldn’t get out or hurt herself and just doing a moaning/screaming type thing. I dropped my bag and tried to hold back my tears and just kept saying, “mama it’s me, Michelle. I’m here. Mama, I’m here.” I never left her side. They gave me a blanket and I slept n a chair next to her. I remember when the doctor came to tell us that it’s the end and to get everybody here. They will make sure and give her everything to make her comfortable, he said. That moment my mom looked up at me and pointed and mumbled out “MY MICHELLE”… I looked at her and said “That’s right, I’m your Michelle!!” Don’t EVER think they don’t know what’s going on– my mom showed me that. I will always be grateful she said that… At the very end she passed away in my arms. My cheek against her cheek. I felt her last breath… I wouldn’t leave her side until they forced me… My mom gave herself to science to make sure they got all the information they could from her brain. And no matter what, when something happens to me I will do the same thing. If there’s one tiny clue from our brains that could help, I will do whatever I have to do to help even just one person not go thru everything I have. My mom passed away 1 month after turning 56. It affects me every single day…