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What I'd Rather Say When People Ask If My Mom With Alzheimer's 'Still Knows Who I Am'

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When I tell someone my mom has Alzheimer’s disease, the first thing they usually ask is, “Does she know who you are?” There was a time when I could confidently answer, “Yes, she does.” People always seemed so relieved to hear that. “Oh, that’s good!” While it was good that my mom still knew who I was, I wanted to add, “Yeah, but she gets lost in her own house.” Or, “True, but she can’t remember how to put on a shirt.” As the years went by, that question became harder for me to answer.

There were days my mom would look right at me and not know who I was. Or, she would look at a picture of me and not be able to tell me who was in the picture.

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