Here is a link to the article :
Here is a link to the article :
Early morning message to me.
“Dad has alzheimer’s. He always asked, even pleaded, that he not be moved to a senior care facility. Mom and dad are alfluent. My brother and I offered help constantly, to the point of moving him to one of our homes. Mom turned down the offers. Dad is in a facility now and mom seems to be having the time of her life.”
At this point, she thanked me for listening, said goodbye and hung up.
“Self pity is easily the most destructive of the non-pharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.” John Gardner
Since becoming a caregiver, I have let self pity set my mood on occasion. I don’t want that. Maybe putting it in the blog will serve as a reminder, not to. I would rather spend my time other ways, with other thoughts.
But wait a minute. I watched as alzheimer’s ravaged my dad and took him away twice. I have spoken with hundreds of caregivers and observed hundreds of patients. I should be out bungy jumping, riding bulls, climbing mountains and such, but I am a caregiver. Shouldn’t I be able to feel sorry for myself.
I want to fight those emotions and replace them with action that may help someone through a rough time. I want to keep my mom safe and let her enjoy time.
One more quote . . . . .
“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have—life itself.” ~Walter Anderson
For now, I like that quote and the feelings from it.
I’ve been doing that for 58 months, full time. (raising awareness)
Why? Probably no entity will spend lots of money and/or time solving a problem they either, don’t know about, or don’t know about the value involved. The value can be financial or emotional, or both.
No one can ever say which awareness raising broke the camels back, so to speak. With that in mind I know that what I do is as important as anything that is done. A lady in Knoxville, Tennessee taught me that. (it also tells you what you do is as important as anything anyone else does)
In the United States a lot of the money for research comes from the federal government. The lawmakers have to be informed, in every way, about the problem. The electorate must be informed also.
No part of the disease and it’s side affects can be left out. It doesn’t matter how “gross” it is.
Folks that raise awareness owe it to the patients, the caregivers, the electorate and the lawmakers to talk about it all. The connotation must be serious and reflect the realities. I reject the notion that people raising awareness must sound or look positive. I like the notion of being honest and reflecting that in body language, tonality and content of the spoken word.
I still run into many, many folks that believe alzheimer’s is only about forgetting. It’s about a lot more than that.
Google “alzheimer’s” and read.
That’s just to name a few problems associated with alzheimer’s.
Back to why. My dad died with alzheimer’s, along with millions of other folks. There’s no cure. There’s no proven way to prevent alzheimer’s. It is said that if large amounts of progress is not made soon, by 2050 alzheimer’s could bankrupt our system.
What matters most though is the suffering. Why are we suffering? What caused alzheimer’s? Why don’t we already know?
I’ve heard people say, the caregiver has no choice. I totally disagree. There is always a choice. People can walk away. They chose to not walk away. The caregiver made a choice. What an honor for me to have met so many that made that choice.
I vividly remember hundreds of conversations with caregivers that put their life on hold to keep another person safe. I remember hundreds of them telling me they can no longer afford to eat properly and purchase medication for themselves. This is real stuff.
This is not just about alzheimer’s caregivers. It can be the same for any caregiver.
The stories concerning alzheimer’s disease continue to be told and heard.
The word “stress” is mentioned often. Getting rest may be rare. Dreams take a back seat.
Recently, I had an awakening of sorts. I realized how really strong, patient and persistent these folks are. No matter what occurs, they keep going. Some lose everything while making sure another person stays safe. Caregivers are selfless.
Selfless – concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own.
P.S. These are my thoughts.