Have you heard of the almost catcall phrase “He (or she) isn’t hard on the eyes”? Maybe that is a generational, sexist pig statement (although it could be said about either gender), but the idea is that it is an odd form of complement by saying the person is pleasing on the eyes, not difficult to look at. I am a little hard on the eyes in my current weight and over all appearance, but I am working on it. 😉 The idea goes back a handful of thousand of years at the least. The story of Rachel and Leah from Genesis 29 is an interesting example. Rachel was beautiful, by the standard of the day, and had well favored. Leah, on the flip side, was “fair-eyed”, “weak-eyed” or “tender-eyed” (KJV). While this may get play by overzealous interpreters/Sunday School leaders, don’t picture Rachel as a beauty queen compared to Leah as Shrek’s wife. The eyes, in that day, appear to be the focal point of beauty and Rachel’s were striking whereas Leah’s probably handled the sand poorly or had a condition that rendered them less “easy on the eyes” of others.
My point? (Perhaps you ask that often?) Patients with end-stage Alzheimer’s, like my mom, can be “hard on the eyes” to look at. Yesterday was just such a day with mom. We removed her top denture plate for good this week and she seemed to age 10 year before our eyes. Gone is her smile, replaced with a drawn in mouth. I will likely not be posting new pictures anytime soon because I have now entered the realm where I feel like mom wouldn’t approve. I am still praying about that, though. She is an advocate at heart and has always loved to help. I just wonder if it would help or not to show her that way. What are your thoughts? I value your opinion more than you know.
Regardless whether eyes looking out or in is the issue, we get the point. Some things are……. easier to look at….. than…. others. (Click these two links to see what I mean on YouTube.) Things in an Alzheimer’s patient’s world are hard to gaze upon because we know things are not as they should be. And…it is hard. Should it keep you from visiting your loved one? No. However, I understand how hard it is. I truly do.
Update: Other than her new looks, which didn’t bother me but may others, mom was OK yesterday. She wasn’t as smiley as normal and was super tired. Her doc told me it is just the progression of the illness, but I am always looking at all possible causes. I am just trying to stall as long as I can as we all hope and pray for a cure to this hot mess. Some sweet day, all will be easy on the eyes and sin and death will be no more.
Bonus thoughts after a day of reflection:
First, watch these two videos: Link Link
I hate to be the one pushing people to move beyond being afraid to look at someone in peril like these folks are, but I may have to be a little. I think, after thinking about it for a day and praying, that mom would be ok with it as long as I am respectful…which I will be. We have to accept the sensory challenges of visiting folks in nursing homes…they need us. Badly….
Mom is a perfect pearl in the second video I had you look at. There is still much more wonder and joy to see even with her shell…
4 thoughts on “Hard on the Eyes”
I had felt the same as you in the past. But as time goes by, my feelings have changed. I think people need to see the awful truth about Alzheimer’s, missing teeth and all. Your mother wouldn’t have wanted to be seen like that, in her right mind, but we aren’t here talking about her because she’s in her right mind, neither was mine. That’s why I have a picture of mine with no makeup and messed up hair in a nursing home bed with a sign beside her reminding her that she had broken her hip. You may not agree, I’m sure many don’t, but the truth about Alzheimer’s needs to be told AND seen. Just my opinion. 😉
Very valid points. The discussion reminds me of a really nice young man on youtube. Here is the link to one of his pages: Link
Why are we shocked when we see folks dramatically different than we are? Can this be fixed? They are made in the image of God…it seems like we can find a way.
I totally get what your mean my your Moms new “look”, bless her heart! I too struggled with it’s the dignity issue with Mom but hers was from falling & bruising her face. 😢
But as a dental professional, I do feel your Mom will be more comfortable without her denture for various reasons. Pray about pictures & whatever you all decide will be the right decision!
This is really where the rubber hits the road in her advocating vicariously through me. She has always been super supportive of me and how I do this kind of thing and has always been a huge fan of the underdog. Thank you Stacey.
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