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I am fully aware of how deep in the Land of Alzheimer’s Disease I live, but two incidents occurred this week that jolted my awareness of that reality.

The first occurred when two of my Support Group friends and I were discussing fundraising ideas for our Alzheimer Chapter’s Memory Walk to be held in April. One of the women said – “Be sure to call all of your friends and ask them to join the Walk and to contribute.” That is when the realization hit. I said, “I don’t have any friends except you guys and the rest of those I have made from our Support Group.”  Another woman said, “You know, me either. We used to get together with people from our church, but we don’t anymore. Our Alzheimer friends are our friends. We are comfortable with one another, can say anything, and we understand each other.”

I am not unhappy with that situation. I am grateful that we have such warm, caring, supportive friends, with whom we can and do socialize. But it was still an odd sensation to verbalize that I have no friends outside of my Alzheimer’s Group. When we moved to Florida 3 ½ years ago, Sid had just been diagnosed, and was going through some difficult, angry, unpredictable behaviors. We tried to make friends, but I never felt comfortable with anyone until we met the people in the Support Group. Of course, as in all situations, not everyone is friends with everyone, but we do have a large group who get along well and have become close.

The second incident occurred when I overheard another Alzheimer spouse talking about a travel group. Many of you are aware of how much I detest driving, and am looking for bus trips to various attractions around Florida that Sid can still enjoy. When she mentioned the travel group, I had the oddest sensation – something akin to a tiny electric shock to my body. I shuddered for a second, and thought – “Oh, but how would that work?” He is still able to pull off appearing normal in public, but he gets anxious in new situations with new people. He worries that he will forget their names, and everything they say to him (which he does). Do I really feel like having to explain for him, watch out for what he will say or do every second? How much fun can a trip be if we are both stressedabout what he will say, what he will forget, how confused he may become?

These incidents were a mere few moments in time – insignificant in the long run of my life, but significant enough to me at those moments to give me a strong shove of Alzheimer’s Reality – a spotlight on my life as it is, and will be for the foreseeable future.

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©Copyright 2010 Joan Gershman 
The Alzheimer Spouse LLC
2009 All Rights Reserved       



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The Alzheimer Spouse LLC 2009 All Rights Reserved          












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