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PBS: You're Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don't
Waiting for a cure
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:08 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

Myriam posted about this and I wanted to copy it over here and maybe if anyone wants to discuss it....

From Alzheimer's Daily News:


(Source: PBS) - In Danville, CA, the Traditions Alzheimer's Care Unit houses 20 residents - for most life is routine. But for Lee Gorewitz, life is an odyssey.

From the moment she wakes up, Lee is on a quest for something that she can neither articulate nor comprehend. Confined by the limits of her physical boundaries, she scavenges for reminders of her old identity in the outside world.

A total immersion into the fragmented day-to-day experience of Alzheimer's disease, You're Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don't is the first documentary filmed exclusively in an Alzheimer's care unit, told from the perspective of someone suffering from the disease.

Scheduled to air on PBS at 10 pm on March 29th, but you should check your local listings.

Go to full story and view clips:

Waiting for a cure
Posted: Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:19 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 295

Right now, I'm still feeling anger sometimes but these past few days, I find myself processing memories and ideas regarding my mom's last 2 or so years.  Three years ago today, she was still driving, we were going to be taking her upstate to visit a dear college friend of hers, and I was thinking about how I would convince her that she needed help.  I'd been helping her almost daily for more than two years, and she was already on Aricept.  Two years ago today, I was moving her to a different ALF because I'd found one that let her feel more independent and do things she liked longer, and had more people with similar interests.  One year ago today, I was asking that second ALF how she was doing, and discussing a recent development, nighttime agitation and change in temperament.  She was also being verbally harassed by another resident. A year ago April, I moved her to her third and last ALF, on her doctor's recommendation.  It was a great move.  


I look at photos of her 3, 2, 1 year ago.  Studying her face shows me that changes I noticed weren't as sudden as they seemed at the time.  The photos also bring back memories of how she was.  What confused her, what she still had a grasp on reality about.  


The trailer and clips on the PBS website....they remind me of decoding my mom's sentences just six months ago.  She was in a whispering stage for a while.  She struggled with finding the right words, but I knew her heart, and could gather from context what she wanted to say, often but not always.


Today I took my boys to eat lunch at the place we used to go with my mom and her caregivers after her doctor appts.  I intentionally went there for be where we'd been with her.  The boys brought it up first....we took Nana here.  It was comforting in an odd way.   The videos on the website help me remember both sad and comforting thoughts.  Not that I'm down on myself for what I did or didn't do....but I, her only daughter, went through this journey with her, each in our own way.


My friend told me today....we went on this journey together, but I had to get off when she died.  I do not yet get to experience the joyful heaven.  

She's experiencing joy again, but I'm stuck with the painful part for now.



SadInHeart, I thought of you regarding this too.  Your mom and dad are reunited, again on a joyful time....and you're stuck here with the painful part, because you had to get off the journey at the point of your dad's death, then your mom's.

Your analogy to the electric walkway reminded me of something too....I've talked to long-time widows who've been without their husbands for quite a while.  One of my clients was widowed 35 years when I met her.  I think eventually they stay on the walkway and say "I'm alone" and feel pain, but they keep going.  I think us here, on this forum, will eventually feel the pain, acknowledge our loss and keep going.  People keep telling me the grieving time is different for each person, there's no deadline ....good thing.  I know I'll never be the same, and part of me acknowledges that real life is tugging at me (mostly my 2 little boys are tugging at me) but I'm going to stay off the electric walkway for a while, and take it slow, walking down the carpet on the side.