Jan 15, 2013

Dotty's Says, I'm Not Dead Yet

Persons living with Alzheimer's don't want your pity, they want your help, understanding, and love.

By Dotty DeMarco
+Alzheimer's Reading Room

My name is Dorothy DeMarco. You can call me Dot. I'm 95 years old and according to my son Bobby, I have Alzheimer's disease.

I'm not suffering from Alzheimer's disease, I have Alzheimer's disease.

Before we get started, do you see that picture on the left? Bobby says we have to use that picture in this article because I will be giving all of you some insight and advice about persons living with Alzheimer's.

Bobby calls the picture, Dotty Einstein. He claims that calling me Einstein is a compliment. Bobby's mind does work in mysterious ways. Here is what I think about the picture. Kiss my butt Bobby.

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Now for the insight and advice. Please read this carefully.

I'm not dead.

You can't catch Alzheimer's from a person living with Alzheimer's.

And, we want to be treated like we are living, breathing, human beings.

Please read those words every day until they sink in.

For some reason when people find out I have Alzheimer's, they assume I'm dying. Well according to Bobby I was diagnosed more than seven years ago. I'm not dead yet.

Here is something you should understand. We are all dying. Some people die young, some people die old. Do you live your life while thinking, I'm gonna die?

I'm not dead yet.

Just this week I am munching away on some delicious chocolate covered potato chips. Carole Larkin sent those to us. Thank you Carole. Carole must know that I am still alive.

On New Years Eve, Bobby is talking me downtown to see the fireworks at midnight. I must still be alive because we are going.

I don't want to be treated like I am dying. I want to be treated the same way everyone is treated.

Sure, my brain is sick so you have to adjust. I would adjust if I could but I can't. So I am relying on you to adjust.

Persons living with Alzheimer's don't want your pity, they want your help, understanding, and love.

You should understand that persons living with Alzheimer's are a bit more fragile then they were before their brain became ill.

We tend to get confused more easily, and when we get confused we might get mean. Do you ever get confused and then get angry? Does this mean you are dying. I don't think so.

Please try and understand that we, the persons living with dementia, get more easily confused than you do. Don't get angry, please try and keep us out of situations where we might get confused.

No, I didn't say take our lives away from us so we won't get confused.

We want to live. So, find a way to allow us to live along with everyone but try to keep in mind that we sometimes have special needs.

Dementia is dementia. So when a person is living with dementia there are symptoms of the illness. Read that word carefully, symptoms. We are not nuts.

Like Bobby says, our brains are a bit "fracted", fragmented so to speak. Some of the parts are broken. Learn which parts are broken, and please learn which parts are not broken. You might be surprised that many parts of our brain are still working just fine.

I do have a pet peeve.

You know all those articles that include tips on how to deal with someone living with dementia? Does anyone ever think to look at these situations from the perspective of the person living with dementia? You might do better if you try looking at these situation from our point of view.

Give that some thought.

In closing. Some bad man said, "there are no survivors of Alzheimer's". That dips**** should come down here to Delray Beach and talk to me. Its crap like that that gets people all confused.

We are not dead. Sure, we will die someday and so will you.

In the meantime, lets start living our lives.

I want a cheese steak.

Dotty went to Heaven on May 25, 2012

Dorothy DeMarcois a contributing writer and frequently portrayed character on the Alzheimer's Reading Room. Dotty resided in Delray Beach, FL. To read or subscribe to Dotty's blog go here.

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Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room