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, February 19, 2015
Sad, Frightening, and Beautiful
First, the set up. Today at Lieberman we had an Oscar Previews Party. The staff wore formal gowns and heels. A few female residents wore beautiful hats with feathers or cabbage roses and a few male residents wore sport coats with a jaunty scarf tossed around the neck.. There was a red carpet to walk down and you could have your photograph taken by our volunteer photographer.
Slides of beautiful dresses, beautiful people, and previous Oscar winners over the years were shown, trailers from each film nominated for best movie were shown, all categories were discussed and residents could vote for whom they thought would win.
The first trailer was from Sharpshooter, biopic of Chris Kyle, the most-celebrated sniper in American military history. In the aftermath of 9/11, Kyle decides to serve his country by becoming a Navy SEAL.
Second, the sad and frightening. As we watched the trailer, Gregory began getting upset and his upset elevated fairly quickly. He got loudly verbal, anxiously shifted around in his wheel chair, and cried. The reaction was caused by the shooting and violence we were seeing in the trailer.
After ten or fifteen seconds of trying to calm him down, to no avail, I asked him if he would like to go out of the room. (I felt like a loving mother with a misbehaving child at the movies. Instead of expecting "self control," remove the child from the situation. )
He said, "Yes."
I repeated, "Do you want to leave the room?"
"Please," he said.
He continued to get more and more upset emotionally as I was turning his chair around to head for the door when he picked up "Peaceful the Bear" and threw him down on the floor with such never before seen force and anger saying, "There!"
Up until then Peaceful was always loved and loving. Comforting. Watching this was amazing.
Third, the wonderful. Gregory and I hugged and rocked and I cooed calming words. He calmed down once we were away from the shooting and violence on the screen. The situation and discomfort was over and Gregory was OK again. I put Peaceful back into his lap and said, "Peaceful loves you!"
The beauty in this is that Gregory still has emotions and is able to express them. Also, it is important to note that the emotions are not unreasonable or out of control. Life has its ups and downs. It is good that Gregory is still able to experience them!