Jun 27, 2012

I Have Not a Single Lament or Regret

They Love You More

By Bob DeMarco 
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I Have Not a Single Lament or Regret
After wracking my brain for years, and after thousands of stomach aches and heart aches, I finally made it into Dorothy's world -- now called Alzheimer's World.

Once I made it to Alzheimer's World I then asked myself, why didn't I make it here sooner?

Why?


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I made it to Alzheimer's World right after I decided that something had to change, and that something was me.

Shortly thereafter I stopped making it about me. I began to look at the world through Dotty's eyes. Once I did that, and it happened almost over night, all the things that seemed to be bothering me, no longer bothered me.

You could say I just decided to accept the way things were. And, to accept them from Dotty's point of view.
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One thing I never did was think about changing the past. You can't change the past. What I did do was think about how I was going to change the future. You can change the future.
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I often heard or read these words, this is not the person I knew. I shudder when I hear those words. The same thing happens every time. I wonder if its not the person you knew, who is it?

If you are thinking that thought I suggest you turn it around.

What if you were the person that was deeply forgetful, how would you feel if someone told anyone that would listen that you were not the person they knew?

Persons who are deeply forgetful are not dead, and they have feelings whether you can see them or not.

I suggest you start looking at the situation from the point of view of the person that is deeply forgetful. Why are they different? Is Alzheimer's about you? Or, is it about the person who is deeply forgetful?

You, the caregiver, are not the person with a neurocognitive brain disease. Your brain is fine. Start using it. Something has to change. You decide who needs to change.
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Another lament that bothers me. I can't take the person out because they eat with their hands. Say what? Ever heard of McDonald's? The hamburger? Fried chicken? Shrimp? Once again the person making this lament is making it all about themselves. Something has to change. You decide who needs to change.
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Recently an old friend asked me. If I knew it was going to be more than 8 years would I have put my mother, Dotty, in a nursing home? The answer is No. You can't change the past. I believe you can change the future. We did.
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Last week a friend told me about a man who's wife is in an early stage of dementia. The husband said in reference to his wife, "she doesn't love me anymore". Ouch. I can understand how he might be feeling this. If I get the chance I am going to disabuse him of this idea.

When a person is living with dementia they don't love you less, they love you more.

How else can you explain that when you go away, or get out of their sight, they can't stand it. They miss you more than most people can imagine. They love you more.

They Love You More.
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I don't have any regrets. I will admit I wish I knew more about Alzheimer's at the beginning, and I wish I learned what I learned sooner, faster.

There is something I can do to change the future. I fully intend to help people get on the path to Joy. I'll help them change their own future. Sooner, faster.

I won't forget to give Dotty half the credit.

Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,711 articles with more than 302,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room