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.
Thursday, July 28, 2011
The inability to cope,
With his disease.
An almost smashed cabinet door.
An almost smashed coffee cup.
At least inanimate objects.
At least almost.
They say when at the bottom,
Lessons can be learned.
Is rage the bottom?
When will I learn?
FLASH POETRY VERSION (10 words:)
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
- "What is your name?“
- "Family name?“
- "What is your husband's name?“ - she hesitates, finally answers:
- "I believe ... Auguste.“
- "Your husband?“
- "Oh, so!“
- "How old are you?“
- "Where do you live?“
- "Oh, you have been to our place“
- "Are you married?“
- "Oh, I am so confused.“
- "Where are you right now?“
- "Here and everywhere, here and now, you must not think badly of me.“
- "Where are you at the moment?“
- "This is where I will live.“
- "Where is your bed?“
- "Where should it be?“
- "What are you eating?“
- "Spinach.“ (She was chewing meat.)
- "What are you eating now?“
- "First I eat potatoes and then horseradish.“
- "Write a '5'."
- She writes: "A woman"
- "Write an '8'."
- She writes: "Auguste" (While she is writing she again says, "It's like I have lost myself.")
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Monday, July 11, 2011
Did I say I? Well with Gregory's Alzheimer's I realized that I could not depend on him in an emergency. If I need help, unless I am really far gone, I could probably be able to crawl to the station in the bedroom, TV room, or kitchen and push the button for help. If I can not tell the responder what the problem is they will automatically send an ambulance and paramedic.
Then they will notify several people on our emergency list to inform them of what is going on. Our friends can not get to the condo quickly enough to help but they can get here to help Gregory until I return or until other arrangements are made.
So today the system had a test. A fierce storm ripped through Chicago, including Evanston, and over 600,00 people were without power for most of the day. The power went out at 8:00 am, we left the condo at about 10:00 am and by 1:00 pm we received a call first from Jan, and next from Roger, the two first responders on our emergency list.
The Alert 1 unit has a battery back up for short power outages but our outage had spent the battery and the Alert 1 people got a "bad battery" message. They tried calling us but not only were we away from the condo, when the power is out our telephone system doesn't work. So Alert 1 followed through and called the first responders to check up on us.
I called the company back and let them know we were OK. I also added my cell phone number to their information bank with the explanation that our land line does not work when the power is out. While the exercise seemed full of "Strum and Dram" it was good to know that the system worked well.
I called Jan and Roger back and said, "We have not fallen and if we had, we were able to get up!"
Saturday, July 9, 2011
He talks to the cat with no problem. Often he talks to me with no problem: "Do you want music with dinner?" No problem. ""Time for lunch." "I would like a frozen yogurt from Red Mango downstairs." "Bedtime already?" Spontaneous ... no advanced purpose ... no problem.
Formulating a thought ... problem! Yesterday we were on Navy Pier, in the beer garden, enjoying live music. Earlier, when we were having coffee and sharing a cookie, he was trying to tell me about something, some building on the Pier. He couldn't get any further so we let it drop.
Usually I sit and attend quietly with eye contact for as long as he needs while he works out his thoughts. This time he announced, "Oh I can't get there. We'll have to ask Roger." This didn't make much sense either at the time but I let it drop.
On our way to the Beer Garden, he even looked at a map of the Pier but to no avail. While in the Garden he was back on the topic of the "building on Navy Pier." I guessed a little: "Michael's Museum?" No. "The Ball Room?" No. "The Winter Garden?" No. Etc.
Finally he said, "You know ... the garden." "Winter Garden?" I repeated. No. "At our condo?" No. "The Shakespeare Garden at Northwestern?" Y E S!
I was then able to put the pieces together. There is a Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier. We have been to a few shows and they are always great. He was thinking that he would like to see one this summer. Apparently Roger had mentioned that he saw the review of the current Shakespeare play in the newspaper. Puzzle solved ... this time.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
"...often deep, always poignant, frequently woven with threads of grief and loss as well as starlight. And always, always, so achingly human, which is why love is her subject over and again."
Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again by Roger Housden. P 33. 2007.
Sunday, July 3, 2011
"Change happens in every moment. Not just the events of our lives, but the cells in our bodies, our memories, even our sense of who we are, all shift in a moment, often imperceptibly. We, on the other hand, tend to nurture a fixed idea of who we are and where we are going. We harbor notions of what is good for us and what is not, and try to organize and strategize accordingly. Yet life does what it does with scant concern for our preferences, so the poet is urging us to look beyond the parade of circumstances and events to the fundamental fact of change itself. In wanting the change, we are aligning ourselves with truth, with what is already happening anyway. We flow, rather than self-consciously make our own way. And in that flow sense of who we are and where we are going becomes more malleable and fluid, more responsive to conditions around us instead of bound by fixed beliefs and agendas. In the flow of change, self-forgetting happens, and a deeper remembrance can emerge, the remembrance of being always and ever joined to a greater life - not as another idea or elegant concept, but as a lived experience in the moment."
Ten Poems to Change Your Life Again and Again by Roger Housden. P 21. 2007.
Saturday, July 2, 2011
I have found great delight as well as comfort in poetry as a way of understanding and dealing with my emotional and intellectual reactions to the daily interactions with Gregory's diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease.
Very often, when I sit down to write about them, my words express themselves poetically. I read somewhere, wish I could acknowledge where, that poetry is as close to truth as one can get. The poet works painstakingly hard to select just the correct words and just the correct number of words to paint, yes paint, a picture of what he wants to express.
As a writer, I too lovingly struggle with this. If you have been following this blog and my writer's blog, you have seem some of my poetry and you might have found also some of my 6, 10, or 25 word stories. Telling a story in so few words, while called "Hint Fiction," is so close to writing poetry.
As a writer, I have become so obviously aware that other writers have written words in ways with which I could do no better. So I find that "quotations" from others are important to me. I mark them with a Post-it while reading then process them in writing (with citations.)
In the next few posts, it looks like I am combining all of this: quotations about poetry from others. Let me know what you think.