Feb 22, 2012

Dotty is Deeply Forgetful

I felt good because I just changed my mother, Dotty, back into a whole person.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

Dotty is Deeply Forgetful
Dotty, 95 years old
and Deeply Forgetful
We recently published an article from Stephen Post, Five Sources of Hope for the Deeply Forgetful, Dementia in the 21st Century.

The article is very deep reading, and as a result, it should be read slowly and carefully. Stephen's message is a message of hope and joy in my opinion.

After considerable thought, I decided to try an exercise on myself to see if these two words, deeply forgetful, would have any "naturally" beneficial affect on my outlook and feelings.

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I started my exercise by standing in front of a mirror. I took several deep breaths to relax myself, and clear the mechanism (my brain). Breath in deep and slowly, breath out slowly. Hesitate and then do it over and over five times. You should feel the stress coming out of your neck, and feel more relaxed.

Next, I looked into the mirror and said, my mother has Alzheimer's disease. I then assessed the look on my face and how I felt. Frankly, this made me feel sad, confused and worried.

I did a few more deep breaths, in and out.

I looked in the mirror and said, my mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease. Well, I don't believe my mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease, but this still made me feel sad.

I did a few more deep breaths, in and out.

Next, I went with the so called kinder, gentler, more sophisticated version -- my mother lives with Alzheimer's. It did make me feel more plugged in, but to be honest, it still made me feel sad.

I took some more deep breaths and thought about it. I could only come to one conclusion, I'm brainwashed. Alzheimer's is a sinister word in connotation and now meaning. we learn, if you have a diagnosis of Alzheimer's there is no hope, no one survives. Isn't this the message we are receiving? Isn't this what they are telling us? Teaching us? Preparing those who come next for the same sad, uncertain, miserable fate?

I could enter a few choice words here about the people that are fostering "fear", but I'll resist the temptation. For now.

Next, I looked in the mirror and took another series of deep breaths, in and out.

I looked myself right in the eye and said,

My mother is deeply forgetful.

I said it several times. Let's just skip to the bottom line. I felt relieved. I didn't feel sad, I felt happy.

I felt happy because I just turned my mother back into a

Whole person.

I made her whole again.

I changed my outlook by using two simple words and adding them in unison to my lexicon (my language). Two words.

Deeply forgetful.

To be honest and straightforward. I did not start doing this exercise in the last few days. I have been doing  this new exercise in deep breathing, and looking into the mirror for several weeks. So you could say, I am now benefiting from the cumulative effect.

You can say, I am rewiring my brain.

The exercise changed my view of my mother. My view of dementia. And, it changed my outlook in a real and positive way.

So from now on, when someone asks, or when I have to explain Dotty's condition I'll say she is deeply forgetful. Of course, I'll have to explain what deeply forgetful means.

This should make it much easier for me to then explain that, the deeply forgetful are capable of much more than most people could ever imagine. More there.

There will be an additional benefit for me, I'll be removing the stigma I have been attaching to my mother for years.

Shame on me.

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Bob DeMarco
Bob DeMarco is the Founder of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. The blog contains more than 3,361 articles with more than 397,100 links on the Internet. Bob lives in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room