Yesterday I was talking to someone about Alzheimer's disease. After a while the woman said to me, I have never heard any Alzheimer's caregiver use the word "we" all the time like you do....
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
I asked, what do you mean?
For example I said, this is how we solved this problem. Her point being that I solved the problem but I still said "we" solved the problem. Well it seems to me that when Dotty was peeing all over herself -- we had a problem. And, it seems to me that we solved this problem together. Granted, I identified the solution.
My point here. Dotty would have identified the solution on her own if she could have. She couldn't. So we did it. I guess you could say I lent her my brain. Or maybe, we shared one brain.
I know that my major operant philosophy when it comes to caring for Dotty is simple and straight forward
We live our life the way we always had.
For example, I don't think it would be a good idea to take Dotty up to the top of the Jungfrau. But, I know we could do it if it made sense. Or, if I thought we could benefit greatly from the experience we would do it
Weird. Now I am thinking, maybe we should do it.
Yesterday in the late afternoon I was feeling in a state of angst. Why? Because I hadn't taken Dotty out into the bright light on Monday, and it was going to get dark soon. I didn't want to go two days without bright light. This explains why I was feeling a sense of urgency.
I guess you could say "we" reached the point where bright light is an important part of each day. You could go further and say, "we" now need the bright light -- both of us.
I guess I am now just realizing how very different things become when you make it to Alzheimer's World. When you make it there you put the "we" back in "You" and "I".
It seems obvious to me that Alzheimer's caregiving is a "we" experience. We have to do things together -- Dotty and me. If we didn't, I don't think Dotty would do much of anything.
When it comes to our daily life "we" do lots of things to make the day better. If "we" don't I can promise you this -- it is going to be one crappy day.
It seems to me that Dotty and I are in this together. She is still Dotty, but she is a bit different. I am still me.
I go into Alzheimer's World and I guess you could say, I am a bit different.
When you get use to the difference, and accept the difference, things seem normal instead of different. Odd, I know.
How do you put the "we" into Alzheimer's caregiving? By coming to the understanding that the person you always knew is still here -- they are just a bit different (each day).
But, they are still made of flesh and blood just like you and me.
Are you going to go out into the bright light today? Are you going to read the newspaper together? Get some exercise together? Share a banana?
We are. We are going to do a bunch of things together today.
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Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 2,260 articles with more than 282,100 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room