Having worked for decades helping Big Pharma market drugs to physicians, I was privy to extensive strategic documents outlining a drug’s “path to success.” And given the number of Confidentiality Agreements I signed, I’m not about to share any secrets. I’m just establishing some credibility for the rest of this post, which I hope serves as a warning to the general public. … More Lesson #27: Be Aware, Be Wary
My mother is angry and I don’t blame her. If you were to wake up every day not remembering anything from the day before, if your home of 40 years suddenly looked unfamiliar, if there was a continuous parade of strangers hovering over you and asking you to do things, and if you couldn’t remember simple things like how to swallow a pill… well, most of us would be royally pissed off. … More Lesson #26: No Apologies Necessary
When the geriatrician said my mother had entered the “late-stage” phase of Alzheimer’s last year, I was alarmed. Late stage already? I took it to mean that the end was near, and I began doing more research, feeling the need to understand better. … More Lesson #25: Stages, On Stage and Scottish Accents
A decade ago, I had no idea what meditation was – beyond the ability to sit cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed. That in itself is a challenge for some people. And I admit that, even after practising meditation for almost three years (daily for about one year), I still don’t know what I’m doing. But I have come to realize the benefits of this activity, despite my ineptitude. … More Lesson #24: Sit Still, Be Quiet!
I’m putting myself right out there with other family caregivers today, and admitting that I’ve been fiercely protecting my “me-time” this month… those oh-so-valuable hours when I can push away my worrying, do something positive, take time to recharge, and shrug off the heavy emotions that weigh me down daily. … More Lesson #23: Guilt, Grieving and Giving In
I became interested in Zach Anner, an up-and-coming YouTube celebrity, because of my friend Christine. She, too, lives life from a wheelchair, diagnosed with cerebral palsy at birth. Currently working on her autobiography, Christine’s memoir opens with “It was lonely being a child in a wheelchair. I was bullied.” In an online interview with Oprah, when asked to identify his biggest challenge, Zach makes a touching admission: “Figuring out that I’m worth this experience, because it’s hard for me to accept that I might deserve this.” … More Lesson #22: The Stink of Stigma
As Joseph Campbell† and countless sages have pointed out, all human fears circle endlessly around the topic of death. Fear of anything is, ultimately, a fear of dying. Whether triggered by spiders, poverty, speaking in public or being alone, it all comes back to a basic fear of being separated from those whom you love and/or that which is most familiar to you, which is life. … More Lesson #21: Death Be Not Shy
We think of love as an emotion. And it can certainly provoke a wide range of emotions, from the all-encompassing rosy glow of romance to the bitter burn of jealousy. But as the pioneering scientist Dr. Masaru Emoto tried to prove (still controversial, but amazing nonetheless), emotions are actually energy, produced in the form of vibrations. … More Lesson #20: Love is a Virus
Heightened awareness can be a bitch.
You know that feeling, right? A topic starts trending, everyone is talking about it, and before long, it’s “top of mind” in your own little world. … More Lesson #19: You Are What You Eat
The deep mystery of the brain becomes the unfathomable fog of guesswork surrounding treatment and care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia. We are learning in leaps and bounds, thanks to the advent of and advances in brain imaging technology. But in reality we know very little, and all existing treatments are a best-guess scenario. … More Lesson #18: We Do Not Know