I talked to Peggy last night for the first time in a week.
It was a nice surprise to hear her voice.
Her husband called and asked if I would like to talk to Peggy. It only took a nano second to say, yes.
Her voice sounded small at first but as soon as I started talking about the baby that I was sending her and how much I had missed her, she got excited and tried to talk back.
When her husband came back on the phone he told me that Peggy was smiling the whole time that I was talking to her.
She doesn't remember my name or that we are sisters but she does still know that I am a familiar voice.
What a gift!
My sister remembers the sound of my voice.
I have often wondered what it would be like to have Alzheimer's disease. I think that I found a little of what it may be like in my daily life.
Have you ever been in a social situation and a person starts walking toward you, smiling? They get closer and you know that you should know who they are and have seen them somewhere but not sure where. Their name is lost somewhere in your brain and you cannot remember it as you smile back and shake their hand. The harder you try to recall their name, the deeper the name hides inside of you and it can be embarrasing as the person clasps your hand, smiles and says your name.
They remember who you are but you are searching your brain to remember their name and where you met them without making a total idiot of yourself.
So, you stand there smiling and pretending that you remember this person who obviously remembers who you are. All the time trying hard to put a name to the face. A name that never comes into your mind as you nod and talk.
One of the major thoughts that come to you as you continue to talk is to pray that this person will not utter these words....
You don't know who I am, do you?
I think this must be what it is like to have Alzheimer's disease and try to remember people's names even though are familiar to you.
The next time this situation happens to you...
Think of Peggy and other Alzheimer's patients and how hard it must be to try to remember who people are, how you are connected and their name.
Never ask an Alzheimer's patient this question....
Do you know who I am or You don't remember me, do you?
If they did...they would have called you by name when they saw you.
Never put an Alzheimer's patient in the embarrassing position of playing the name game.
If you do.. remember how embarrassed you have been at the times in your life when you were put on the spot. The spot of remembering a face but forgetting the name. The awful spot when that person says to you....
You don't remember me, do you? Or...Do you know who I am?
Alzheimer's takes away so much from a person. There are stages of the disease when the patient gets embarrassed by forgetting the names of people who know them.
Just try to be sensitive to the Alzheimer's patient and in your own life by not putting a person on the spot by playing the name game.
Thanks for the gift of remembering the sound of my voice, Peggy!
I don't really need a name anyway!
I Love You Today, Peggy!