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, February 8, 2015
Insight or Intuition? Real or Imagined? PART I
Then he stopped me by grasping my arm and tried to tell me something. Did I have insight into what he was trying to say through his broken comments or was it intuition. Was it imagined or based on my 40 years of knowing him? Based on that experience came this poem:
I don't want to stay, to stay.
I want to see, to see, to see.
A brief flicker of sadness in him
Then his notice of sadness in me
Followed by an apology: I am sorry. I am sorry.
Then my giving permission: Say what you have to.
After the exchange I tried to distract by asking about the good things in our life. Perhaps his positive answers are real or perhaps they are cause/effect of my positive voice or perhaps they are my appropriately forcing the correct answers.
"You really like it here, don't you?" "Yes."
"The people are really nice, aren't they?" "Yes."
"The food is so good, isn't it?" "Yes."
"Manny takes really good care of your, doesn't he?" "Yes."
"Do you feel safe here?" "Oh Yes" (Said with a little added emphasis.)
So insight or intuition? Insight would mean closer to knowing with proof. Intuition would be understanding with heart. Either way I have had to give the experience a lot of thought.
It appears that Gregory is content in his narrow, limited, focused community and life at Lieberman. Up until now I have avoided talking about the past or even saying "I am going home" when I leave. I do not talk about "home" or "the condo" since it is no longer part of his life. I just say, "I am leaving now."
Insight or intuition? Is it fair to keep memories of the past away from Gregory, might he enjoy re-visiting them with my help, or will doing so prove to be too upsetting to him?
Reliving the past is still too upsetting to me when I compare it to the present but perhaps revisiting discrete experiences, like our time in Mexico or a trip to Paris or a party we attended, will be less painful.
Maybe it is time to help Gregory recreate his lost memories. I'll let you know what happens.