"She live a life so completely contrary to the common expectation conjured by the word Alzheimer's." ~ Pamela R. Kelley
By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room
I'm bringing up the video below of my mother because I think its important. I'll explain that below.
My mother and I lived with Alzheimer's. Yes, we lived and I mean - lived our life.
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And now to the video.
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Here is what my mother looked like in 2005.
And, here is what she looked like in 2011 on her 95th birthday.
Go figure, huh?
In 2003 and up until May 7, 2005 I admit I bought into the stigma attached to Alzheimer's disease. I honestly thought in 2004 that by 2006 my mother wouldn't know me. For me, this was the scariest thought of them all.
It frightened me. My heart hurt.
But then miraculously, together we decided to start living our life. And, from that time forward Dotty taught me over and over and over that a person living with dementia is
capable of more then we can imagine.
Yes, we the caregivers are constrained by our own brains. Ironic, isn't it?
My mother was thoroughly tested for Alzheimer's as part of the Dimebon clinical trial in December of 2009. In 2010, she scored a 14 on the MMSE. This indicates moderate to severe Alzheimer's.
So how do you explain how and what she did on March 26, 2012? This was two months before she went to Heaven.
The video below is 3 minutes and 5 seconds long. If you watch to the end you will be surprised. If you are like others you will laugh and maybe even clap. If you are like me you will laugh, clap, and cry. The video mesmerizes me every time.
But more than anything it shows there is Hope. And, Joy.
In the video:
My mother selects two color coordinated pencils and starts coloring a butterfly. Yes, I was shocked.
How did she do it?
- I was surprised by the strength in her voice; and her focus while talking to me. Yes, the arts really do work with persons living with dementia.
- Look closely at Dotty's face when I ask her is she wants to sell her art. Where did that come from?
- When Dotty signs her name I am surprised. But not as surprised by her expression of emotions - "I'm nervous" she said. Emotions?
- At the end Dotty says goodbye to her fans.
- She went to Heaven two months later.
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR). Bob is a recognized writer, speaker, and influencer in the Alzheimer's and Dementia Community worldwide.
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