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, June 28, 2012


Every morning and every evening
I step into a whirlwind of despair
Only to arrive at the other side
Stronger, faster, and ready to begin again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Pill Box

My friend Pat send a humorous e-mail that read: 

"Hi. Have you ever verified what day of the week it is by the compartment on your vitamin box?

I just replied with something like: "Sounds like a fun series of silly questions!"

Actually didn't want to go into detail for her (eventually did) but the "daily pillbox" has a sad connotation for me. 

In the beginning, Gregory used to take his pills, then he started using a pillbox and would set four of them up at the beginning of the month (four for AM and four for PM.)

Eventually I had to make a list of what went into the AM's and what went into the PM's.

Then I realized, what he was putting in the pillboxes was not consistent so I took over filling them at the beginning of each month. 

Soon, every morning and every evening he was confirming, "Is today the 'W'?" You can imagine how confusing the "T" and "S" were. After a while of this I figured out that the association with "W" and "Wednesday" (and all the others as well) was gone.

The pillbox, if you can imagine, no longer had a reference or association or connection or purpose in relation to what day of the week it happened to be.

Now we have two bowls. I empty the night's pills out of the pillbox into the small bowl and put it next to the water on his nightstand. I put the next day's pills in another small bowl and put that bowl out by his breakfast area.

For now, at least, the bowls get back to the bathroom to be used the next day. I suspect at some point I will have to begin searching for the bowls.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Three Things to Remember

A few days ago after a "tiff," and after tears on both parts were dried, Gregory said, "There are three things we need to always remember. One: I love you. Two: You love me."

End of story.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Every Now and Then

Every now and then Gregory says something that tickles both of us. I was trying to direct him to reach up on the wall and take down a painting.

"The one with the white edge."

No good.

"The one I am pointing at."

No good.

In exasperation but in a good mood I asked, "What do you understand?"

"I understand some things and not others!" was his matter of fact reply. We were tickled and laughed tears.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Alzheimer's: Creative Non Fiction Menage a Trois

After over thirty five years their relationship was as strong as ever, their love continuing to grow, change, and adjust to the times. Uninvited, a third partner joined the relationship.
It was not fashionable when they first fell in love, let along acceptable for two people of the same sex to do so. But Alzheimer’s does not discriminate nor ask permission and so it became a ménage à trois.
Each one was very much unlike the other. He was tall and he was short. He was fair and he was dark. He was slender and he was bulky. He was a recovering Catholic. He was a recovering Jew. He was calm, thoughtful, and orderly. He was animated, impulsive, and random.
Often he described him as a “stick,” meaning hard, formed, and inflexible. In turn, he described him as a “sponge,” meaning soft, malleable, absorbing. Over time the stick became more sponge-like and the sponge became more stick-like.
Now one was becoming less and one was having to become more. Slowly while one was becoming the back partner in this ménage à trois and while one was becoming the front partner, Alzheimer’s was becoming the dominant partner.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A Quote

"One day at a time, even though you plan for tomorrow while remembering yesterday."     M.Horvich based on a concept by B. Dennis.

This would serve...

My nephew Mark introduced me to "Abraham." Visit the web site to find out more about it for yourself. Believe as much about Abraham as you wish, but I think  you might find the philosophical belief system a comforting one.

"Abraham has described themselves as "a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension" (which helps a lot!). They have also said, 'We are that which you are. You are the leading edge of that which we are. We are that which is at the heart of all religions.'"

Todays Daily Law of Attraction Quotation, which I receive via e-mail every day, rang home for me. If I could do this for Gregory, as a full grown man ... not a child ... wouldn't his life be wonderful?

"Relative to our children or any children with whom we would interact, our one dominant intention would be to give them a conscious understanding of how powerful and important and valuable and perfect they are. Every word that would come out of our mouths would be a word that would be offered with the desire to help this individual know that they are powerful. It would be a word of empowerment. We would set the Tone for upliftment and understand that everything will gravitate to that Tone if we would maintain it consistently."
--- Abraham

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Followup: Gregory Trying to Live in My World

Yesterday afternoon, my hand covered in potting soil, I asked Gregory to get me a garbage bag. He didn't know what to do. I got the bag myself. "This is a garbage bag," I said. "Oh, thank you," he said.

Last evening before going to see Camelot, we went out for a sandwich. I put an unwrapped sandwich in front of him and one in from of me. He pointed at his sandwich and asked, "Is this one for me?" "Yes." He thanked me.

Last night at the performance, Gregory forgot how to use the urinal. I tried to show him (in front of three other men at the other urinals and a long line behind us.) I finally took him into a stall, helped him lower his pants, made sure he was aiming correctly, and said, "Go." He thanked me.

Today getting dressed, Gregory forgot how to secure his belt. I showed him. He thanked me.

On our way out of the door to the car Gregory picked up his sunglasses. I explained, "You don't have to take those. You have a pair of sunglasses in the car." "Oh, OK." I turned off the lights and we left. Once in the car I noticed he still had the sunglasses that were in his hand. "We always keep a pair in the car for you," I reminded. He thanked me.

In the car I asked, "Are you hungry?" "Yes, very," was his answer. I handed him an energy bar and he replied, "I don't need that right now." He thanked me for bringing it.

This afternoon at a neighborhood carnival, Gregory forgot how to eat a Corn Dog. I explained, "Pick the dog up by the stick and bite the other end." He proceeded to pull the stick out of the hotdog. I put it back in and demonstrated how to eat a corn dog. He thanked me.

These are just a small percentage of the interactions gone awry over the last two days. There is one thing is am very grateful for. Can you guess? He thanked me.

Friday, June 8, 2012


How can I describe what it is like to live with someone who has Alzheimer's Disease or any dementia for that matter. I have tried many ways to talk about what I go through on a daily if not hourly basis. I have used metaphor, description, poetry, humor, and tears to try to share with you what it is like. Here is my latest attempt:

Living with and loving someone who has Alzheimer's
Is like orchestrating an improvisational dance with normalcy.
No music, no planned steps, no assigned leading partner.
Not being able to anticipate turns or circling or dips or bends.
Redefining normalcy by the moment.
For him not for me is the key but
My living in his world, makes no sense to either of us!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I don't know what's better...
When Gregory doesn't understand or
When he thinks he does.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Frame of Mind

Just finished searching for meaning with Gregory. For approximately 5 minutes his level of frustration continued to rise as did mine. Tempers and emotions were kept at bay. Luckily.

My frame of mind: I had just realized that Gregory hadn't had his usual toast before I make him breakfast. I had just assumed that he would take care of it but he didn't. I apologized and told him I would make his breakfast in just a few minutes. I tried to finish up the short task in which I was involved.

His frame of mind: He came into the bedroom and stood at the corner of my computer desk. "You know what we can do is go down there." Where? "Just down there and over and then around there." For what? "To do what people do." I had hoped to have a quiet day at home? "No. Just to go down there and get what people get. Flowers." For what? "To bring home." Why? "To put here and there and there." I am thinking flowers to plant in the ground? We do not have a garden. Help me understand? Flowers to put on the table in a vase? He went over the same story. I tried to refocus him on the fact that we hadn't had breakfast yet. We went to the front door and enacted bringing home an arm full of flowers. To put where? You mean you want to buy flowers for the table? No help.

This went on for a while. I won't keep you guessing. I finally figured out that he thought is would be nice to go to the Farmer's Market, which isn't too far from the condo, to get flowers, fruit, vegetables etc to bring home.

Once I got that far, things fell into place. I was thinking about an immediate breakfast and he was thinking about a Farmer's Market which isn't for another six days, next Saturday. Once explained all was well again.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" You don't have to be, we figured it out. Meanwhile I am mentally and emotionally exhausted!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ah Perfection

Just because a person smiles all the time, doesn't mean their life is perfect. That smile is a symbol of hope & strength.....
(From "Life Quotes" on Facebook as shared by my friend Latonya)