Thursday, July 7, 2016



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.

Leszek Figurski

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