ALZHEIMER: REFLECTIONS ON HUMAN CONDITION, SUFFERING , AND DYING.
Before going into the concrete problems and analysis of Alzheimer’s disease it seems to be in place to calmly reflect the human condition in general and the fragility of human existence in this world. Although we pride ourselves of our accomplishments in many areas of human life, thanks to technology and modern science, although we acquired a deep insight into the subatomic structure of matter, although we travelled to the Moon, developed the atomic bomb and are prepared to land on Mars , our essential human condition is fragile, limited, sentenced to illness and the mystery of death did not change in any very serious way. We still have very different views on who we are, why we are here and whether there is any enduring sense to our existence. We are creatures of time and transitoriness and time carries us into the mysterious unknown. We know that aging and connected with it sicknesses and disabilities ending in undignified death are inevitable. Such reflections are usually on sideline of our consciousness in our everyday existence. But someday a serious disease as for example Alzheimer strikes ourselves or our loved one. The way you handle this difficult and painful situation is a severe test of who you are. What you really believe depends on you what you think about the very value of a human being. Of course ,this is nothing new because we know that what you truly, deeply, honestly believe will determine your way of acting. From the viewpoint of the patient himself it if terrifying realization which at the very beginning the person will simply deny thinking something like this:
“ No, it is impossible, it is not me, I am not sick at all it must be a mistake in the diagnosis”
This denial gradually will melt into final accepting of the situation . The person finally realizes that she/ he is entering into a gradual disorientation of his/her situation of life. A situation characterized by tragic loneliness. Sometimes he/ she feels being rejected by the closest persons even in the family. To this, we have to add the awareness of being a burden to others and steady merging into the darkness of sickness and complete dependence in everything on others. At the very beginning at some lucid moments of awareness the sick person will accept although with terrible pain his/her condition but only if there is a strong belief in some Divine presence and God’s will. For example, a Christian will remember the rejection, humiliation. and suffering Christ.
For a skeptic or unbelieving, materialist the only thing remaining is resignation because nothing else is left and all he believed to be meaningful and valuable in his life, all his desires, plans and ambitious accomplishments will be soon simply no more than nothingness including himself. Here lies the great divide between believers in some sort of Divinity and radical materialists, who don’t acknowledge anything else but only matter in movement and blind nature.