For the third time, Richard Taylor shares some of his thoughts with our readers. Diagnosed 3 years ago with early-onset, early-stage Dementia of the Alzheimer's type, he started to write to himself in an effort to better understand what was going on inside of him. This is what one reader of his self-explorations wrote to him:
Have you ever had an “aha moment” when the light bulb goes on? Well, after reading your essay, I've had my moment and now I really feel stupid. How could I not have seen this?
I know that I'm a very strong personality. I'm usually in control and when I'm not in control, I'm definitely the co-pilot in life. I've been looking at my dad from my perspective and from society's perspective.
It never dawned on me to look at it from his perspective. I need to sit down and really talk with him on Sunday when I see him (I know that I haven't had many deep conversations with him in the last year). My mom mentioned that he knows he can't remember things and that he gets frustrated. I'm guessing he's downright scared. And the pushing that Ma and I have been doing probably hasn't made it any better and most probably made it worse. And my mom needs to stop hovering over him. Give him a little breathing room. I need to stop looking at him with society's eyes and the daughter's eyes of a man who did everything and anything—I just need to look at him with love.
Readers and carers are invited to share in more of Richard's thoughts and experiences and reflect on whether their interactions with persons with Alzheimer's disease matches/ignores/clashes with the needs that Richard finds within himself.
On this note, conversations that we would never think to entertain about various diseases occur every day in the households of individuals diagnosed with Dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Sometimes they take place in front of individuals with the disease! The following are some remarks that still ring in Richard's ears.