FOR GREGORY. He was not a VICTIM of ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE, he was a HERO!
PLEASE NOTE: Even though this blog is now dormant there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. Also, check out my writer's blog. Periodically I will add posts here if they provide additional information about living well with Dementia / Alzheimer's Disease.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Money or Eats
Tricks with memory
Tricks with perception
Tricks with cognition
Tricks with learning
Tricks with behavior
Tricks with understanding
Tricks with problem solving
Trick or Treats
Money or Eats
Friday, October 29, 2010
I turn inward
An interaction gone astray
The tears arrive
Dropping from the sky
I look to the sky in fear
As I seek balance
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
All I Need To Know
By: Kenny Chesney
Sung By: Bette Middler
Monday, October 18, 2010
Enter new learning. With the help of artist Nancy Rosen (Link to Nancy Rosen's Art,) Gregory has begun oil painting and is quite good at it. He really enjoys the process and looks forward to working with Nancy in her studio as often as possible. He has said as much with, "Nancy has changed my life." He took to using oil sticks quite easily and has been very pleased with the results. In a brief period of time, he has created ten 9" x 11" and three 30" x 30" pieces. His work was part of a show of ten artists at our condo and he has sold two pieces.
Friday, October 15, 2010
First he just stared at the milk as if trying to remember what he was doing, or how to do it. He looked back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. I sat quietly and tried to become invisible so as not to distract him. This went on for about 30 seconds which in real time isn't so long … but in Alzheimer's time seems forever. Try sitting there doing nothing for 30 seconds and see how it feels.
He next began to return the milk to the refrigerator, stopped mid-move, and put it back down on the counter. FInally, after about 15 second more, he turned to me and said, "Can you help me?"
I pointed towards the mug and said, "You need to put some milk in the coffee." Didn't register. "Open the milk." Success. "Take it over to your mug (pointing.)" Success. "Pour some milk into the mug." Success. Then the connections returned. He put the mug in the microwave, closed the door, pressed "1 minute," and waited until the signal sounded. He took the mug out of the microwave and thanked me. Success.
Other times he forgets how to pour the coffee into the mug, where to warm it up, how to run the microwave. What is amazing is that I felt no negative emotions. I was able to help him in a neutral way, didn't get upset, didn't consider him "stupid" for not remembering, didn't raise my voice, didn't dwell on what the future holds. I guess I am getting better at this.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Who knows what any end brings
Why worry the present to the future
While the morning dove still sings.
As long as our daily path exists
We will walk it standing together
We will go carefully step by step
Even during the difficult weather
Holding on to our deep love
And being grateful for each other
We will live out each day of our life
As the wind ruffles the bird's feather
Saturday, October 9, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I find that I do not know how to answer or at least there is no easy answer. I am pleased that they care and I always tell Gregory, "So and So asked after you." It pleases him to know people said "Hi!"
But how to answer? I usually go into my "On a scale of horrible to horrible it is terrible … but we are doing well, adjusting, and enjoying life as much as we can. We have so much to be grateful for." I explain that Gregory is still pretty independent, goes for long walks, and swims. I give them a few examples of how the Alzheimer's plays out just so they do not think that our life is all wonderful.
Soon (fingers crossed) I'll be able to anwser by saying, "You'll have to read the book." Haven't heard from LaChance Publishers yet but then again the manuscript has only been with them for two months and that is no time at all in the publishing world. Have I mentioned my idea for the title? GYROSCOPE: An Alzheimer's Love Story. I selected the concept because a gyroscope can spin wildly out of control but keep its balance … and it is a love story. Will keep you posted.
Friday, October 1, 2010
For the most part Gregory continues to deal successfully with the slow loss of his mental abilities. The other day he mentioned that he missed playing the piano but was grateful for all the wonderful music we could listen to on our audio system. He gets a little frustrated when he cannot pull the words he needs to express an idea or ask a question but only a little. When asked how he is doing with the Alzheimer's, he will respond, "It is what it is."
John observed that Gregory has always been a problem solver. He does not get emotionally involved with the negativity or seeming impossibility of problems but instead always works optimistically, one piece at a time, not panicking, knowing that the difficult situation will be resolved.
He has always had confidence in himself and his ability to help himself, his loved ones, (and clients when the firm was still open) work through problems. Rather than spending any time placing blame or rehashing exactly why something has happened, he puts his energies and focus into doing what needs to be done to move forward towards a solution.
Perhaps his brain is on auto-pilot when it comes to dealing with his own difficulties and losses for he continues to enjoy his days, love the people around him, and do the best he can do with "what is."