Jan 10, 2012

Can Dotty Make it Two Days Without Me?

Can Dotty make it two days without me? Can I make it two days without her?

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

For the first time since I started writing seriously on the Alzheimer's Reading Room, I made a commitment to attend a private two day conference on Alzheimer's disease. It is by invitation only. I will write about the conference next week.

This will be the first time that Dotty and I will be separated, for any extended period of time, in over eight years.

I did have a very good plan in place to deal with this situation, but, an illness has wrecked havoc on those plans.

Can Dotty make it two days without me? Can I make it two days without her?

Subscribe to the Alzheimer's Reading Room

The original plan was for my sister to come to Delray Beach and stay with my mother while I was away. Unfortunately, Joanne was diagnosed with pneumonia and can't travel.

Uh oh.

The back up plan is a bit more complex and daunting. Dotty will be staying with our good friends and neighbors, Jim and Ruth.

Getting worried?

I am certainly having some feelings of trepidation. Worried? I'll let you know exactly how I felt on Sunday.

This time around it is time for me to take some of my own advice. I'll also write about this.

My advice. Get out in front of the problem before I leave.

I started discussing this two day conference with Dotty yesterday and I intend to discuss it with her several times each day until I leave.

I start by telling Dotty briefly that I am going away for two days, and the importance of the conference (we might change the world).

I tell her how much I am going to miss her.

I then tell her she will be staying with Jim and Ruth for two days. Of course, Dotty informs me that she has always taken care of herself and she will be just fine staying right where she is.

At this point, I explain to Dotty how worried I would be if she were here all by herself. I explain that I will be worried all the time, and I won't be able to concentrate or work. I then discuss each of my worries.

Then I tell Dotty how much fun she is going to have with Jim and Ruth. So much fun that she won't want to come back home.

I layer on a lot of positive and positive reinforcement as I go.

Now I know when the time comes to move down to Jim and Ruth's, Dotty is going to say NO at first. I am not overly worried about dealing with that problem.

The bottom line, I am doing a lot of planning before the fact. Get out in front, set the stage, make a plan, then hope and pray for the best possible outcome.

There is a lot of good news. The conference is in Miami because there are participants coming from far away places. Miami is a good international destination, especially in winter.

Now to the best part. Both Jim and Ruth have the big heart. I am always looking for people with the big heart and in this case they happen to be our neighbor.

On top of that, Ruth has lots of experience. Her mother lived to be 104 years old. Ruth really understands the life we live. I guess she will get an even better understanding. Hey, this might make for a good video. We shall see.

I want everyone to know, I am confident. That said, I understand that everything could go haywire, or go haywire while I am gone. If I have to come back home, I will come back home.

Say a prayer for Dotty.

If this works out the way I envision, I am going to be one happy camper.

I am going to be busy day and night at this conference. However, there is one big thing on my mind.

How much am I going to miss Dotty?

To find out what happened go here -- Can Dotty Make it Two Days Without Me? The Answer

More Insight and Advice for Caregivers
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,261 articles with more than 402,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room