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, November 28, 2010
What does it mean to not have words, especially when one still has intelligence and clarity inside? How hard it must be to lose them. Can we still think without words? Or perhaps, how does our thinking change without them? Our words define us, create us, demonstrate ourselves to the world. They are manifestations of our personalities, of our dreams. Without them, we are without specifics and nuance; without them we can only respond in broad strokes and simplifications. But maybe that is the point. Maybe lacking words forces us to pull from deeper places inside, from those places that have no words to explain them anyway.
I would add that perhaps lacking words forces us to slowly pull away from life as we face that place where we will have no need for words. Is that not nirvana? Is that not enlightenment? Is that not peace? Is that not death?
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Monday, November 22, 2010
Most often, the day's reading is exactly what I needed. I have to be honest, I am not sure that I believe in GOD in the religious sense of the concept but think there may be some form of a Spiritual God and therefore Unity has always "spoken" to me. When reading a day's passage I am apt to skim over the references to Jesus, God, etc but the strong message always comes through. See for yourself!
Today is Monday, November 22, 2010. The reading in Daily Word is called: "I choose joy." I have recreated it here with a few changes (mainly omitting references to God.) It was meaningful to me this morning especially after a series of extremely difficult exchanges with Gregory right before bedtime. My loss of patience affected me so that I could not apologize, ignore, or sleep well. I just had to get through the night, which I did. This morning I am back to "normal" or as I like to call it "even" since "normal" will probably never be part of my life again!
"The greatest joy of an abundant life may simply be the ability to choose my responses and create a life of fullness regardless of any outward appearance or situation. In the midst of any circumstance, I can choose to be happy and joyful even as I respond to the needs of the moment.
"I choose to rejoice in the good in my life, giving thanks for a world of plenty. Looking beyond seeming lack and limitation, I recognize the spiritual abundance that is present.
"I choose to express generosity and gratitude towards others, and life becomes more precious and abundant. I choose the joy of living in the fullness of good right now.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
If you do this THEN that will happen.
Make a choice of EITHER this, OR that.
If you push this button it will CAUSE the microwave will run for 1 minute.
You can cook the leftovers for EITHER one OR two minutes.
If you click the mouse, it will CAUSE the e-mail will be sent.
After you read the e-mail, you can EITHER save it OR delete it.
When it is cold outside it CAUSES you to wear a heavier coat.
You can wear EITHER the leather coat OR the down coat.
I always wonder if it is easier for me to make the decision OR to try to CAUSE him to understand what needs to be done. But I do not want to CAUSE him to feel bad OR be upset. Go figure.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
He is so often "normal" that when the ALZ "flairs up" I forget and respond as I "normally" would based on the expectations of pre-ALZ days. Or I misinterpret the situation and react inappropriately and with frustration. Then I feel bad at making him feel bad. One of my major goals is to allow him to feel whole as much as possible and during these difficult episodes I am not at my best.
On the days he is successful in most of what he attempts, most of what I request him to do, and most of our interactions, I feel like it has been a "good day." On a "bad day" I try not to beat myself up too much but rather work harder at being patient and supportive and aware of his needs and his "state of the moment."
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This response, from our friend Jan, so moved me and so sums up Gregory's relationship and interactions with Nancy Rosen, artist and friend, who has inspired and coached Gregory in the use of oil paints as an art form. She truly is an "Art Angel."
And I judge my success at "Well Holding" Gregory by the measure of how happy, content, involved in life, and safe he feels. Life is good.
Friday, November 12, 2010
So I decided that you can never have enough jeans and we would buy a few pair. Meanwhile I was in charge of remembering what size G wears in waist and length. He remembered that he prefers solid jeans and not the washed out/faded type. He tried a pair on, good in length but too baggy in waist. The clerk offered to get a size smaller.
The store didn't have a size smaller so she brought jeans that were two sizes smaller. While it seemed to fit, two sizes smaller made me nervous so I had to make an executive call and say "NO." Hard to tell from looking if the pants fit, if he understood my questioning, or if he will let me know in a few weeks that the pants are uncomfortable. He sat, twisted, and put his hands in the pocket but was not able to convince me that the pants were a good fit. So no jeans.
We did buy three flannel shirts, I was convinced that they fit well because they were not too loose and not too tight and his arms didn't poke out like sticks (he is tall remember.) He didn't have to make any decisions but did confirm that he liked the colors.
As we were leaving the store, paid goods in a shopping bag in hand, I realized he didn't have his coat. We checked the dressing room and it was no where to be found. The clerks helped us search and found the coat on a pile of "return clothes" behind the counter where he had left it while I was paying the bill. Relief. The clerks in the store know our situation so we are comfortable in acting overtly gay, overtly lovers, and overtly "mother and child."
Next stop, new shoes. Oy!
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Don't forget I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.
Sunday, November 7, 2010