Friday, January 11, 2013

Physician, heal thyself

We all know that life is a wonderful but painful journey. Sometimes the bravest thing we ever have to do is accept a different answer to a wish, a dream, a hope, or a prayer than the one we were asking for, and trust that it is still going to work out okay in the end.

We are not meant to stay wounded. We are supposed to move through our tragedies and challenges and to help each other move through the many painful episodes of our lives. By remaining stuck in the power of our wounds, we block our own transformation. We overlook the greater gifts inherent in our wounds — the strength to overcome them and the lessons that we are meant to receive through them. Wounds are the means through which we enter the hearts of other people. They are meant to teach us to become compassionate and wise.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

This is the face of Alzheimer's

This is the face of Alzheimer's.

The holidays are over and I am feeling the renewal of hope and healing. Slowly my head rests against the chair's pillow. I can feel a floating sensation as I refrain from resisting gravity, shoulders dropping, muscles relaxing, breath in breath out....

The holidays. They bring many emotions to the surface. It's okay to feel exactly how you feel.

Feel joyful.
Feel angry.
Feel frustrated.
Feel grateful.
Feel disappointed.
Feel loved.
Feel lonely.
Feel lustful.
Feel sad.

There's nothing wrong with feeling how you're feeling. It's when you resist or deny your feelings that they tend to cause problems. Feel. Feel unapologetically. Like clouds in the sky, your feeling will pass and a new one will float in. Be with it, whatever it is. And know that, only through truly feeling your emotions can you be set free.

Traveling by myself with Bill is no longer safe, again. On Christmas Eve (exactly one year to the date of the beginning of our crisis and the beginning of his admissions to the nursing home) after spending the day with us at home, Bill attempted to get out of the car as we were moving 60 miles an hour down the road. He decided he wanted to drive. He wanted to show me that this idea that I have that he has Alzheimer's is wrong. I am wrong. The doctors are wrong. He used the words stigma, devastating...the verbiage present in the absence of logic and judgement. The fear of death absent and the need to drive pressing him to leap from a moving vehicle. It was only with the assistance of his social service director from the nursing home that I was able to continue to transport him back to his "prison." "You're taking me back to prison, aren't you?" he cries out as I drive and hand him the phone.

On December 19, I received an email from usagainstalzheimer' It featured the family of an USAgainstAlzheimer’s activist who was sharing her story about her husband Jeff, who suffers from early onset Alzheimer's. She took steps in becoming a part of a collective voice; a people who are fighting this fight every day – caring for a loved one, advocating for more research funding, and mobilizing her community to speak out and take action.I signed the petition and shared our story. In sincerity I plead. It is too late for Bill, but what about our son?
And what about his children? And their children?

Stand together. Speak loudly. Whatever your cause. Whatever your fight.

I received an email today from USAGAINSTALZHEIMER'S.ORG. They want to post our story. Thank you, God. It feels good to be heard. It feels good to help. Let this story make a difference for someone.
photos from 2010.