Alzheimer's Support Network

Caregiver Spotlight

We encourage you to Share Your Story with your fellow caregivers.

The challenges you face, the burdens you bare, the humor you find can all be a tremendous reservoir of strength for others.

  This is true for caregivers and for those who are facing memory problems themselves.

If you wish to contribute, you can send your story, video and photos to
clarke@azlsupport.org  We will post your story here.


MARY AND JIM

 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

My Angel With Amnesia

"This is Mary three years ago before the onset
of memory loss. Bright, aware and loaded with talent"

I have been blessed to be part of Mary's life for many years. Before she left the planet with memory issues and today as her caregiver.

It is difficult to believe how quickly her memory loss developed. Perhaps there were clues but for the life of me I never noticed. She tends to isolate anyway, and was very happy to just work in her business, and enjoy our time together.

One day she was active and aware. A few weeks later she could not name more than three animals when asked by the doctor. Today, much of her memory is gone. She doesn't know the names of people, places and things. Part of her spirit is still here within the earth dream. The other part is dancing in the light of love ... in the Borderland just outside Heaven's Gate.

On the bright side she is able to function and take care of herself with a little help. She is so eager to please and so loving. When she walks through Walmart, it's like she is running for congress. Walking up to total strangers, telling them how beautiful they are and moving right along to the next person she sees.  Many caregivers face more difficult issues.  Our challenges don't even hold a candle to some.
Here's Mary, today, about three years
from the onset of her memory loss

Mary and I have our lighter moments. 
Once the manager of a supermarket tried to kick us out of the store. "Your wife is making inappropriate remarks to our customers. After you get your grocery's don't come back into this store again". Mary was telling all the girls they look good, and putting her hands against her chest telling them they looked better there than she did. (Smile)

When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, we tried the two drugs on the market that are said to have "some" benefit to at least hold the memory issues at bay. Both of these drugs knocked Mary, right off her feet. One was a pill, the other a patch. Mary, is a whopping 92 pounds and even with the patch cut in half the stuff made her very sick. 
I search all the time for new information about this insidious disease. Friends hear this or that and pass it on. I follow up. At present we are taking coconut oil. Started about three months ago. I will say that I think it is helping her hold her own. Sometimes it dawns of me that denial isn't a river in Egypt but I really think it helps a little.  On this blog I'll keep you updated if you check back in.

There are all kinds of things that can and do happen to our minds and bodies. As long as I are aware that our spirit remains as radiant as a star, as pure as light and as innocent as love itself,  I'm able to deal with the challenges.  No one of us are where we are by accident and chance plays no part in The Creators, plan. 

Mary is teaching me, a little at a time, that to be born again is to simply let the past go and look with love on the present.  She truly is living in the now.  The Course In Miracles shares   "Now is the closest approximation of eternity that the world offers It is in the reality of now, without past or future, that the beginning of the appreciation of eternity lies."

While Mary's mind has lost a few connections, her spirit dances in the sunlight of love. I hear her at night repeating the Lords prayer very softly. Then, in a little while, drifting off to sleep. It is an amazing experience. She remembers every word. 
Mary always takes some cash
with her to the meetings to drop
a buck or two in the basket .. she
seldom forgets ...

It is important to me to have a support group. We, Mary and I, follow the Twelve Steps. I still take her to meetings and when it's her turn to speak she says ... "My name is Mary, and my brain is gone. I don't do much anymore. All the girls here are so beautiful and some of the boys are too. (smile) I work around the house and this is my boyfriend Jim, and I like him a lot."

In the rooms of the Twelve Steps, they pass the basket and most drop in a dollar. That's Mary job. She gets her purse, making sure she has two bucks, and takes it with us when we leave the condo to go to a meeting.  She never forgets.

Let me suggest caregivers find a support group.  Meeting makers ... make it better. Find an Alzheimer's support group, church group, whatever it takes to have a place to share your experience, strength and hope, as well as the group members doing the same.   I look forward to my meetings.  It moves me away from isolation and I can't recall a meeting where I didn't come out of the meeting feeling better than I went in..

I am learning what we perceive in others we are strengthening in ourselves. There are two choices we have as caregivers. We may elect to treat ourselves and those in our care based on ego. Or we may elect to teach love. While self esteem is a good thing, the ego, on the other hand, is a tiny, mad idea at which we have forgotten to laugh.

Love comes from our reality Spirit. Changeless, formless and forever within God's grace.  Mary's reality is Spirit.  She is safe forever within God's grace.

Miracles are a lot different than I thought.  They do not necessarily heal the sick and raise the dead.  From the miracle we learn in an instant what may have taken years.  When we share a miracle it may land of someones doorstep we don't even know.  With the miracle we realize  the body is a learning module for our Spirit.  When we awaken, once again in eternity, all we will recall are the loving thoughts we had on earth.  Mary, is already there. 

At some point we may need to place one in our care in a professional setting.  Making decisions that are wise contain this element of spiritual awareness that I use when willing:  "A wise decision is where everyone is treated fairly, even ourselves".  Nothing more, nothing less.  I just don't concern myself with it at this point in time.  I'm not in control of it, and our job, Mary's and mine, is to share Gods Will of Love.

Each day has it's own challenges.  We may feel uneasy, afraid, alone.  For me I have to remember peace of mind is clearly an internal matter; It must begin with my own thoughts and the extend outward.  Is is from our peace of mind that a peaceful perception of the world arises.  Those in our care can and do sometimes test our willingness.  It's not easy but it is possible when I'm willing to turn to Love.  Some days I ask for direction many, many, many time.  I find myself slipping back to ego often.  (smile)

We have a friend with a thirty five year old son with the mental capacity of a three year old.  They have to do everything for him we would do for a newborn baby.  When people come to their home he becomes afraid and cries out wanting them to leave. One day I asked his mother how she is able to do take care of him in such a loving way.  She said "He is another of God's Children.  Those of us who temporally have more, share with those that temporally have less.  Every experience we have with our son is a learning partnership.  You would be surprised how much of a joy he is to our family".  I said, "Your a Saint".  She said, "No I'm not, I'm blessed."  Wow!


To see more and topost comments on Mary and Jim's Story,
Please go to:  
http://forthecaregiver.blogspot.com/