Lesson #37: You Just Never Know

My mother slipped last week into a hypo-active delirium; she decided to stop eating and drinking. It all happened rather suddenly, and her physician thought it might have been precipitated by the flu shot. At first, I was angry, wanting to know what had happened to cause this decline. Then I realized it didn’t matter. … More Lesson #37: You Just Never Know

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Lesson #36: Letting Go, Letting Love

We were standing at the cash paying for some fun purchases – fluffy blue slippers with sparkly pompoms, a snazzy blue and grey poncho for cool winter evenings, blue plaid pajamas, she likes plaid – Mom may not be able to tell me what she wants or needs, but we still enjoy shopping together. … More Lesson #36: Letting Go, Letting Love

Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Family is everything, and (as I’m now learning) family is everywhere. When I first started caregiving for my parents, I was like a baby bird who had toppled out of its nest, huddled in the cold rain at the base of the tree. Lonely. Vulnerable. Uncertain. Two amazing parents who had raised and cared for five children had become aging seniors, both afflicted with a cognitive disorder and in need of daily care themselves. What now?  … More Lesson #34: Learn How To Fly

Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

I’m not good in a crisis. In my dreams, I’m this incredibly courageous woman who leaps tall buildings, laughing and bubbling with confidence. In my fantasies, I am an orator of note; able to express myself elegantly with witty wisdoms that make everyone shake their head in awe and agreement. In reality, I’m neither. I crumble with anxiety at the merest whiff of uncertainty, I cringe before the specter of responsibility, and I become tongue-tied and dumb with despair when confronted with a conundrum. … More Lesson #33: Crisis? What Crisis?

Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t

It’s not easy to share our health woes; there’s so much stigma in our cynical society. If you whine too much, you’re a hypochondriac. If you have something incurable, it’s all in your head. If you have something really wrong with you, you shouldn’t be out in public. Stop coughing and sneezing on us! Stop blocking the aisles with your wheelchair! Stay home, why dontchya? … More Lesson #32: Damned If They Do, Damned If They Don’t

Lesson #30: Less Lies, More Love

Caregivers are on the front lines of the Alzheimer’s battle. And the battle isn’t about the disease, it’s about the stigma, negativity and fear surrounding it. If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s, it’s quite likely that you have come up against a lot of ignorance, misconceptions, dread and horror when talking to people about this condition.  … More Lesson #30: Less Lies, More Love