Aug 5, 2014

I Made My Own Bed and I Learned How to Sleep In It

At one point I realized that all I was doing was banging my head against the wall.

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

I Made My Own Bed, and I learned hwo to sleep in it
When I was 17 years old I decided to attend a University that was lower in quality and cheaper (Penn State) than a more expensive Ivy League school with a big reputation.

Everyone was aghast and they were trying to get my father to force me to change my decision. My father calmly replied,

He'll make his own bed and sleep in it.

He stood by me all the way. By all the way, I mean throughout my entire life. The same would be true of my mother, Dotty, who lived with Alzheimer's.

During my life as a caregiver I developed many sayings and images in my head that described my own caregiving experience at the time.

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At one point I realized that all I was doing was banging my head against the wall. I wrote about this several times here on the Alzheimer's Reading Room, and at one point I made a simple suggest to caregivers that seemed to be complaining about the same problems over and over.

Bang Your Head Against the Wall

I wrote, "When you experience the same problem over and over, each and every day, you have to try and figure out a solution. If all you can do is complain or vent about the same thing over and over -- go bang your head against the wall. Ten or eleven times should be sufficient".

If you are banging your head against the wall, reading this article might help.


It all started when I started thinking of myself as a hamster. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't stop communicating in a way with my mother that only made matters worse. When I made matters worse, my mother would go into her room and curl up into a ball in bed. I would go out in the living room, and I took my stomach ache with me. I would just sit there and feel worse and worse.

Unlike in the real world, where you might be able to apologize or reason with a person and dismiss the bad feelings, this rarely works in Alzheimer's World.

This is how I got myself off the Alzheimer's Hamster wheel.

The Alzheimer's Hamster Within YOU


I finally started reminding myself that the hard to comprehend behaviors being expressed by a person living with Alzheimer's are part of the disease, and are not a deliberate bad act on the their part.

I encapsulated my thoughts and feelings in the article.

I'll Take Care of You

To my father, Frank, I could then say.

Daddy, I Made My Own Bed and I learned How to Sleep In It

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Bob DeMarco

The Alzheimer's Reading Room (ARR) offers a searchable Knowledge Base that contains over 4,800 articles. Those article, as well as our featured articles, are offered free of charge to the entire Alzheimer's community via the ARR website.