FOR GREGORY

Periodically I will add posts here if the sources provide additioanl informaiton on how to think about and deal with Dementia/ Alzheimer's Disease.

PLEASE NOTE:


SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT and BIBLIOGRAPHY from DAI WEBINAR 2/22-23/2017. You can also find this information on my website: www.horvich.com


Even though this blog is now dormant (see info below) there are many useful, insightful posts. Scroll back from the end or forward from the beginning. My guess is that you could spend a lot of time here and maybe learn or experience a thing or two about living with and loving someone with Dementia/Alzheimer's or maybe come away with the feeling that "you are not alone" in YOUR work with the same!


• • • • •


THIS WAS THE FINAL POST TO THIS SITE BEFORE IT WENT DORMANT.


Happy New Year 2016. With a new year comes new beginnings and sometimes endings. If I am personally progressing and if I am doing a good job in my grieving Gregory's death; if I have been able to learn my lessons in living and loving someone diagnosed with Dementia/ Alzheimer's; if I am to get on with my life ... I need to bring this Alzheimer's blog to an end since my writing has been dealing less with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and more with life after Dementia/ Alzheimer's.


Of course, I will always continue to work for and support fair treatment on behalf of people with Dementia/ Alzheimer's and may post here from time to time. Also, there are many wonderful posts here through which you may browse.


With this change, I will continue and reinvigorate my "michael a. horvich writes" blog which deals with grieving Gregory's death, life lessons, personal experiences, observations, memoirs, dreams, and humor in essay and poetry, as well as an attempt now and then at sharing a piece of fiction.


Please follow me there by clicking http://mhorvich.blogspot.com or click the link located on the right side of this page.


Finally, COMMENTS are always important to me and you can still comment on the posts on this blog! CLICK "Comments" and sign in or use "Anonymous." Leave your name or initials if you wish so I'll know it's you? Check the "Notify Me" box to see my reply to you.



Thursday, May 14, 2015

Seven Days or a Week

It has been seven days since I was with Gregory. Six days in California and one day regrouping at home in Evanston. I took the extra day not only to regroup, unpack, and chill but also I was aware of some avoidance going on.

I was afraid to see Gregory, wondering how I would feel and wondering how he would react. Would he have missed me? Would he remember me? Now that the documentary "hoop-la" was over, how would it feel returning to my day to day and my visits to Lieberman.

When I turned the corner of the hall towards Gregory's room, he and Manny were sitting in front of the balcony doors, looking outside and singing. I just stood there and didn't say anything. Manny notice me and moved away from Gregory. Gregory kept singing.

I moved more in front of Gregory, put my hand on his knee, and smiled big. I still hadn't said anything. Gregory kept singing.

Finally I said, "Hello my love!" Gregory looked at me with a blank look on his face. "I love you!" Gregory's face changed to his 'oh I have a visitor look.' "I am back and here to visit you. Did you miss me?" Gregory's face slowly, ever so slowly, began to register and process who I was.

"Oh my. It's you," he mumbled through tears and swelling emotion. He began to sob and I leaned in, hugged and held him. I slowly backed away but he held tight and said, "Stay, stay." And I did.

For the next fifteen minutes or so, as I talked and as he mumbled, he went back and forth between laughing, and delight, and tears, and being overwhelmed.

I agreed that it had been along time since I had visited and I apologized explaining where I had been and said I would try not to do that again. Perhaps my part of the conversation was more for my benefit than his.

At one point he leaned forward, very strongly and emphatically pointed out the window and said, "I want to go there!"

"You want to go outside?" I asked.

"Yes!"

"OK, we can go outside if you would like." In my heart I heard him saying, "I want to go home. I am inside and I want to be outside." But who knows how accurate my heart is when it comes to interpreting Alzheimer's Speak.

Finally he calmed down and we just had a good visit, with souvenirs and drinks of water and mouthfuls of chocolate.

I took my leave to go to a meeting with our lawyer, telling Gregory I'd be right back in ten minutes and he let me go without a problem. When I returned he was back in his usual mode of welcoming me for a visit and the trauma of my week's absence seemed over.

So what happened? As best as I can tell, and based on feedback from Manny, Gregory did not miss me while I was gone but realized and experienced the emptiness of my having been gone when I returned. It took him longer to process my face, who I was, what I meant to him and like a developing photograph, the negative image slowly became a positive image.

He was more overwhelmed by the memory of my absence triggered by my return than he was by the actual absence. Either way, we are both happy that I am home and I eagerly look forward to seeing him again today and visiting with the rest of my Lieberman Family as well.








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