Five Stages of This and Three Parts of that

I was at a caregivers’ support group on Wednesday at Loyola and heard a nice presentation about Supported Communication. It didn’t exactly tell me anything I didn’t know but it sort of put things in order for me and is worth reading (

During the first part of the presentation, the speaker put up definitions for the various types of PPA and I could see how much wife could sometimes fit into any one of them. It is like she was a cafeteria sufferer, just a few symptoms from each variant.

It was interesting how that list dividing people into neat categories just angered me.

Who does that list satisfy?

Do medical practitioners feel better because they can name the disease right down to the genus and species?

I don’t want to hear yet one more word about variants; because nothing makes any difference – and really makes no sense. Does anyone really think that degeneration of the brain can be so neatly compartmentalized like that?

The same thing with the various stages of grief. The smartest thing I’ve read about grief was this short article in the Huffington Post
There are all sorts of diagrams that illustrate this -( ) and, at first they gave me some hope because I thought that somewhere, someone had a handle on this.

But the reality is that no one else does.

Everyone is on their own with this. Each of us.

I’ve been sleeping poorly and, if I wake up in the middle of the night, I know that I won’t get back to sleep.

If I lie there, then I am engulfed with horrible bad thoughts of what the future will be. I know I should take it one day at a time but in the dark of night, I am really alone and can’t fight off the anxiety.

My bed becomes supremely uncomfortable, my pillows hot and hard and nothing will distract me. Sometimes I drive over to the gym and lift weights for a while until endorphins kick in. I understand teens who cut themselves so that the real life pain overcomes the psychic pain.

I just need to make it through today.

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