Thrust Into Life Without A Life Preserver

I wrote this the other day, about the time I was a caregiver. Maybe this will help someone, maybe this will make you think about supporting a caregiver. Adopt A Caregiver, and give the gift that lasts forever, and costs nothing. Tell them your friend Helene sent you.

“Thrust into life without a life peserver. Coping, adjusting, denying, scared, knowing that he knows what is happening to him. He knows he is losing chunks of his memory, and I’m losing chunks of my self.

Watching his memory disintergrate, worrying about my alone time, going to Bar Mitzvah’s or weddings, going over names, the effects it will have on our family. Keeping it a secret is hard.

One second and your whole life changes forever and you are thrust into life without a life presever.

Suddenly you have to cope with denial, and readjusting your life. You’re are scared; he’s scared. Keeping this diagnosis a secret is hard, thank God for my journal.

But there was in the midst of all this pain one redeeming factor, and that was the time we spent together, special time, time to be alone, talking, holding hands, making love, kissing, touching, smiles just for each other, especially at his humor. That kept me smiling.”

Thank God, the diagnosis changed, but think about all the caregivers who are going through these hard, scary times and they are alone with their thoughts and emotions. Please help them.

Adopt A Caregiver, and tell them you friend Helene sent you.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Journal Writing: A Reflection

The longer I wait to write the more the ‘old news’ is devoid of feeling, like news print that is rubbed out and hard to read. The once powerful emotions are now like words coming out of a printer that is running out of ink, flat and blurred.

So why do I wait? Because I do not want to face myself on the page. Because I am happy each day is not a reminder of what may be coming. I can face today–tomorrow I’m not so sure. I’m always afraid that today’s smiles will turn into tomorrow’s emptiness.

My family is my life-line. The pull me up when I am sinking, and they reel me in when I get too far out. I know I will need them in my life while my life goes where it will, and I have to follow the path to see where I am headed. The uncharted territory is without a map. So it’s one day, one hour at a time.

This was written while I was still a caregiver, before they changed the diagnosis from Alzheimer’s Disease to AAMI (Age Associated Memory Impairment).

It is so important for the caregiver to vent feelings; his/hers doesn’t matter. It’s hard to get the feelings out, but some day you will be glad you did. As you look back on what you wrote, (and please do date everything), you will know what is was to feel deeply. It’s hard for caregivers to balance their lives. Writing in a journal is one of the biggest and best support systems I know. It works. My secret journal became my book, Behind The Mask, which is every new caregivers story.

I want to change the caregivers world. I want to take away the stigma of Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementia’s.  I want my Adopt A Caregiver program to be everywhere. Every community has caregivers, be courageous, be compassionate. Adopt A Caregiver.

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene

Keep love and kisses in your life. Helene