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.

Monday, May 12, 2014

An E-Mail Reply

From niece MB (daughter of Al, Greg's oldest brother:) 
I have been concerned about you since Gregory has moved into his new home. I know they are taking care of him. That will give you time to make adjustments to your life.

Thanks for the kind words. I am doing well. We have been struggling with this for over ten years and the major difference, now that Gregory is in the advanced stages of the disease, is that the concerns, needs, and ability to define new normalcies have been narrowed. 

For the most part the routines and normalcies for Gregory are now predictable whereas during the early parts of his disease, it was a baseball game without rules!

As for my living alone, our relationship was always one of parallel growth. We both had the same interests and friends but maintained our individual interests and friends, and of course the two overlapped at points. So while I have to redefine my new life living alone, I do not have to redefine my life or identity entirely. 

I have had to learn to live in the present moment, as Gregory does, and to see life through his eyes. When I am able to do that, I am happy and content. When I begin to see his life through my eyes, I have more difficulties avoiding crying and grief.

Not sure if there will be a price in the future, but for now I have been separating myself into two parts. When I am by myself and at home I try not to think of Gregory and our past 39 years and when I am with him I try not to think about home and my life and our past 39 years. 

Some Buddhist monks spend a lifetime learning how to live in the here and now, without living in the past or the future. Both Gregory and I have been able to do that. He because of the Alzheimer's me because of my great love for him.

At home I'll keep busy with friends, keeping the condo up, writing, etc but when I am with Gregory, sometimes we just sit and hold hands and that is paradise and enough.

In the beginning it was difficult learning how to let go and become the Secondary Care Giver with The Lieberman Center (and their trained, knowledgable staff) being the Primary Care Giver. 

I am still Gregory's advocate but have begun to know how to choose my "battles." The staff at Lieberman actually listen to and hear what I say, try to accommodate my suggestions and Gregory's needs, but also help educate me when I am out of order or unrealistic in my goals for him.

Gregory's CONDITION is much worse and continues to worsen but his SITUATION is so much better ... so my heart is light.

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