Apr 20, 2014

The Knot in My Stomach

I was experiencing what can best be described as dread. The knot in my stomach was growing bigger and bigger each day.

Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I'm sitting here this morning thinking back to the period of greatest burden. The great period of Alzheimer's caregiving burden when I really didn't know what to do, or how to do it.

The Knot in My Stomach Alzheimer's and dementia
I remember each morning sitting here on my computer and thinking, I hope Dotty doesn't wake up early today. In those days she usually did.

I was experiencing what can best be described as dread.

The knot in my stomach was growing bigger and bigger each day.

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During that time, I dreaded the thought of Dotty waking up, and what our day would be like.

During that time frame, early on in my caregiver journey, Dotty would have a dull, nowhere, look on her face in the morning. Somewhat zombie like, but different.

What would today bring?

The sour puss, not there look on Dotty's face? Probably.

The complete and total negativity? Probably.

How many times would Dotty tell me today -

Get out, I Don't Need You, I Can Take Care of Myself

I started to conjure up all kinds of images of myself during this period.

I envisioned myself as a hamster running on a hamster wheel. I closed my eyes and

there I was, Me, not a hamster, running around a giant hamster wheel.

It was exhausting envisioning it in my mind. Worse in real life. Stop it hamster.

I felt like I was constantly banging my head against the wall; and, I actually wrote an article about it. Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall.

It was very easy to complain over and over to anyone that would listen about Dotty and her sour puss, mean spirited behavior.

Complaining over and over is not the same as the proactive form of emotional release known as venting. You keep complaining about the same thing over and over and people are going to stop listening. Shut you out.

The problem with complaining, you are not listening to yourself. If you were listening to yourself you would get sick and tired of hearing yourself. I did.

In order to communicate effectively with a person who is deeply forgetful you must adapt and change. Of course, you can complain about the same thing over and over, and continue to cast the blame on to the person who is deeply forgetful.

The Knot in My Stomach Bang Head Here

If you have a printer, print the image above out. Tape it to the wall. Follow the direction in the circle. I did.

Thanks goodness after my epiphany on May 7, 2005 I finally realized

Something had to Change.
And That Something was Me.

Once I reached Alzheimer's World the complaining stopped. I stopped banging my head against the wall.

I became kinder and gentler, more understanding, and more accepting. And, Dotty followed right along with me.

I'll recommend the following articles.

The Alzheimer's Hamster Within YOU

Alzheimer's World Bang Your Head Against the Wall

Alzheimer's Care, the Importance of the Early Morning Wake Up Routine

How Bright Light and Our Daily Routine Improved Dotty's Behavior and Vision

Keeping Dotty Active Works Miracles

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