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How Alzheimer's Has Changed My Life
Myriam
Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 8:26 PM
Joined: 12/6/2011
Posts: 3326


From Alzheimer's Daily News:


(Source: Globe and Mail) - Robin Leckie reflects upon the impact that Alzheimer's has had upon his life. But more importantly, how his life has changed, for the worse and for the better. He recalls one day: I had just returned from a doctor's appointment and now what I had expected for some time, was diagnosed - I had Alzheimer's. The good part was that now I could do something to slow the process.

Instead of phoning my four children with the news of my diagnosis, I decided to write to each of them, to let it sink in when they were alone. We have also told our friends. Most people who meet me are surprised to learn of my dementia. For some, Alzheimer's progresses very rapidly. For others, like myself, the progress has been slow moving - possibly because of early detection and thus, early treatment.

I celebrated my 80th birthday last year and still have plans for the future. Alzheimer's is not a death sentence. We all live finite lives - I am now on a different kind of journey.

I no longer socialize much, preferring quiet times on my own, and since I now prefer familiar sights. I begin my day with the Ken-Ken and Sudoku from my daily paper. I read every page of The Economist. I walk for an hour most days alongside the lake and through our country-like parks. I am able to contribute in our book club although I must write down a list of the characters as I read. I can still occasionally beat my wife at Scrabble.

Even the healthiest amongst us, every day, dies a little with some loss or pain, but every day we can grow a little too. I read a recent obituary of someone who died at 95 and he wanted his tombstone to read "Still curious."

I see my life as a movie, in slow motion where the camera lingers on what is important and often a bright light illuminates a scene. In the amazing mystery of how our brains work, I may not remember what I had for lunch yesterday, but all my early adventures are still within me. I have written many little stories from my life, for my grandchildren.

Alzheimer's is a process, a constant companion, a conjoined twin. While medication has helped, I know of no diet or drugs or surgery that will suddenly cure me. I tire easily but I accept this - I am growing physically old too. I become easily confused, am often dizzy, and increasingly have nightmares, but feel lucky to be in no pain.

I sometimes think this is my sunset time. The bright light of day is passing and darkness lies ahead. I do not know what the dawn will bring. But right now, in this moment, I am thankful my life is full.

Go to full story: http://www.theglobeandmail.com


bela
Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 11:50 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


thanks for sharing.  beautifully written.  I am a caregiver to my mother 84 years old.  Her alz is more advanced.  she knows her maiden name; can't say my name of answer when I ask her what is my name.  What I hold onto is that she recognizes me when I walk in the room and she smiles.  One night she was asleep and I was watching her.  Her eyes opened and i said hi mommy.  It was dark in the room except for a dim light coming from the hallway.  I put my arms around her neck and she whispered I love you several times.  My heart melted.  Does she really know that I am someone dear to her?
bela
Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 11:57 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


Please share more with those of us who are caregivers so we can better understand the loved ones that we care for.  I value whatever knowledge you have.
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 2:41 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18342


Visit us often, bela.  We welcome care partners. 

 

Iris L. 


Willow
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 6:14 AM
Joined: 1/20/2012
Posts: 43


Oh Myriam, what a beautiful story and thanks so much for sharing! 
Iris L.
Posted: Friday, April 6, 2012 2:54 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18342


I discovered something very interesting that could apply to me.  One of the commenters to this article, rovingdoc, wrote that the author's sleep disorder could be REM sleep disorder, which is associated with Lewy Body dementia.   

 

This brings to mind that I have a sleep disorder and I had parkinsonian symptoms in the past. Lewy Bodies dementia responds to the anti-cholinesterase medications.  I'll have to look into this further and discuss with the neurologist. 

 

Thanks for this article, Myriam. 

 

Iris L. 


bela
Posted: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 12:15 AM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 4122


I am thankful to have my mom with me at age 84.  She is limited but she is still mobile; can still say she loves me, can still laugh and eat, she is used to being helped to eat by me and the staff at the facility.  More than once, she has gotten food on a spoon and tried to feed me; the other day i gave her a banana and she tried to feed me so of that...she is so cute and so loved by me.
 
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