Monday, February 23, 2004

THE ALZHEIMER'S FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Have you ever been in a place where the noise level is so high that you cannot communicate with the person that you are with? Or in a place where a foreign language is being spoken and you cannot understand what is being said?


When this happens, I find myself speaking louder and slowing my words. Thinking that louder, slower words with hand and face gestures will get my point across. Even with all of that work, the other person looks at you with perplexed facial expressions. They use their hands to say, What? What?


Conversations with a person who has Alzheimer's can feel like that. One word answers to questions that may or may not make sense. Communication by words is not possible.


Peggy tries so hard when I talk with her. I can feel her working to sound normal. I try not to ask many questions because I don't want to put her in an uncomfortable place. We didn't talk long this morning because I ran out of things to say. I ran out of witty conversation and I didn't have the energy to get through the wall of Alzheimer's to where she is..Then, I thought of the song " To Where You Are."


"Who's to say for certain, maybe your still here. I feel you all around me, your memory's so clear. Deep in the stillness, I can hear you speak. Your still an inspiration, can it be.  Are you gently sleeping here inside my dream? And isn't faith believing all power can't be seen. As my heart holds you, just one beat away...I Cherish All You Gave Me Every Day"!


 Peggy and I do not speak the same language any longer. We cannot understand each other now when we talk. All  that we can still understand is the familiar sound of our voices. That is all we have left... but at Least we have that!


I miss Peggy! I miss her wit and humor. I miss her advice and her care. I miss her jokes and her concern. There is so much to miss about Peggy as she disappears but at least... for now, I can still hear her familiar voice. That was a comfort during my call this morning.


I Love You Today, Peggy!


Mary Louise

3 comments:

wildflower121764 said...

Again thank you for educating us about this disheartening disease. My grandmother had it and she didn't know me in the last of her days.

barbpinion said...

My heart hurts so much for you. I have three sisters and can't imagine how terrible this will be. But Peggy, dear one, is always going to be with you. Perhaps not in the same way, but all the things you say you miss--you're remembering. That part of Peggy, will live for ever. Wish my arms were longer.
Barb- http://journals.aol.com/barbpinion/FROMSOLITUDE-FROMSILENCE/

rrveh1 said...

Your and yours are in my prayers-God Bless all!
I have been in the health care field-also have seen a loved one "disappear"-
It is amazing how well you articulate this mysterious malady that befalls
loved ones!
You are Brave and Courageous to share this story!!