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Tag: alzheimers

My Mother’s Keeper

It is a mitzvah to take care of your parents: “Honor thy father and thy mother.” And caring for people comes naturally to me. I’m a physician; this is what I do.

But when my father looked to me to cure my eighty-five-year-old mother’s dementia, saying, “You’re the doctor! Help her!” I knew he was asking too much.

And yet. How could I stand idly by while my mother’s mental acuity slowly drained away?

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My Alzheimer’s Story

My name is Lisa Burr. I am a family nurse practitioner, and have been for nearly three decades. I grew up in California, the “Sunshine State.”

In the 1960s, my dad, a military test pilot, was the first astronaut with NASA’s Manned Orbiting Laboratory (MOL) program, which pioneered crewed space stations as reconnaissance satellites. My mother was a beautiful model.

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Love Is the Key

Collecting dust on the rustic wooden shelves above a sturdy workbench in my basement are models of history-making ships, spaceships and military fighter planes. There’s an enormous replica of the Space Shuttle Atlantis, complete with iconic NASA logo and a massive orange fuel tank nestled next to its launch tower. Not far off is a black-and-brown plastic replica of the forty-four-gun frigate USS Constitution, its hull held together by two gigantic bolts.

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Anatomy

I find him sitting
in the midst of his fellow residents
in the dining room
that doubles as an activity space.

His eyes are fixed
on the TV screen
that has a photo

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The Memory Unit


Ann Anderson Evans ~

I arrive in the memory unit at 1:30 in the afternoon. Jean, my mother’s sister, is fast asleep in her hospital bed in Room 1410. For the past ten years, it has fallen to me to be her frequent visitor and care monitor. I do this willingly because without her generosity and compassion, my life would have been far less meaningful and enjoyable. She never married, but my brothers

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Standing Up by Speaking Up

My parents immigrated to the U.S. from Korea when I was two, in 1972. We were lucky we left when we did, or my father, a pro-democracy professor at Korea University during Park Chung-Hee’s regime, might have been jailed. We were also lucky my mother was a pharmacist, as the U.S. was accepting pharmacists and nurses then. We moved to Seattle and made our home there.
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Wake-Up Call

After my father died, I made sure I spoke with my mother every day. Dad’s death was sudden, if not entirely surprising, and there were a lot of logistical details to sort out. Mom, at 71, was living alone for the first time in her life. She wasn’t sleeping well. She was anxious. She didn’t understand all the paperwork that flooded into the house. I wasn’t surprised that she forgot things; she was overwhelmed with

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A Beacon of Hope

 
I never realized the importance of surrounding myself with people in need of hope until I experienced a difficult time in my life, a time when I needed to lean on others to find hope and solace.

During the fall semester of my sophomore year in college, I suffered the loss of my grandma to lung cancer. I became wracked with guilt, anxiety and depression following the death of this essential member of my

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Leaving a Little Sparkle Everywhere I Go

“You have glitter on your face,” my grandmother reminded me for the tenth time that afternoon. Though she was relatively early in the Alzheimer’s process, to us it seemed that she was losing something every single day, and today it appeared to be her short term memory.
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Descent….Variations on a Williams Theme

Martin Kohn

          1.
No cold plums
just the leftover
chocolate ganache
that we left in the fridge
and which I falsely accused
you of eating

Forgive me
as I lick
the sweet plate clean
and look for a magnet
to post this note

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