Alzheimer's and I have come to an agreement.
Editor's Note: We are so grateful to Jim for sharing these words. Jim, we feel incredibly honoured to know you, support you and witness you find meaning and beauty in the every day.
I say the following with no bitterness but as a motivation to have as much control over my death as possible.
Orphanage and adoption life was not as pleasant as I might have hoped for. As I got older it became obvious to me that everyone else made decisions for me that never seemed to work out in a way that served me best. Hence my determination to control my life and my death.
With my diagnosis I am losing control again. The disease will do what it will, but it can not dictate at what stage I die unless I allow it to run its full course. I want to deprive the disease of having total control that I have fought for all my life. I had no control of my birth, but I sure want control of the ultimate decision, my death.
As a result of seeing others with dementia, I have decided that I will not put myself at the mercy of others to care for me as I wither into oblivion. I appreciate that others may not feel this way for their own reasons, but this decision is mine, and mine alone.
I have committed to donating my brain for research hoping it might assist in some small way to finding meaningful treatment of Alzheimer’s. It has given me some satisfaction that some good might come out of my situation.
MAID has provided me with the opportunity to decide at what point I shall say goodbye with the full support of my family, and I shall wear a tuxedo and top hat with my family and my dog on the bed with me.
I wish to die with dignity.
Alzheimer’s will not take that from me.
I am so grateful for all the wonderful people associated with MAID who have been so supportive, sensitive, and provided a spirit of rejoicing and thankfulness for a life well lived and the option of dying gracefully.
With gratefulness to MAID,