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If you're new to this blog and want some context for it, read this post from the day I announced my Alzheimer's disease and this post about the day I announced I had lost it. For more info, visit my website with my autobiography and all blog entries in chronological order for easier reading to catch up. There's also a sermon on the spiritual lessons I've learned through this journey through my damaged mind.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Receiving Help

Napa CA
I’m noticing for the first time that my confusion is now interfering with my life in ways that are obvious to others.  We’ve been playing the game Rummikub, which, though basically simple, has room for some complex moves.  I can only carry those moves out to a limited degree of complexity.  And when we switched from Rummikub to Skip-Bo, it took me a significant period of time to make the transition between the games, getting constantly confused between the rules for each game.  More importantly, I noticed Laurel helping me without much hesitation as she noticed my confusion.  It’s the first time, I think, that I’ve actually needed help, another person has noticed it, and they’ve done something about it.

And I was pleased at how I was able to receive the help.  I was grateful for it and not embarrassed or resentful.  Because we’ve talked about everything, she felt free to jump in and without my experiencing it as paternalistic.  This will obviously begin to happen more and more and my ability to respond to it well will be tested repeatedly.  We have a good beginning.  It also reinforces my decision to make the diagnosis completely public.

The manifestations of the disease are increasingly frequent.  The other day walking with Laurel, I got disoriented, and it took me a while to recognize where we were.  I’m limiting my driving out here, not so much because I feel unsafe driving, but because Laurel and Kai are safer … at least their reaction times are much better.  I am just astonished at how quickly Laurel can type on her cell phone; I mean I literally don’t see how she can do it.  I wonder if my brain has slowed down so that other things just seem quicker.

So it gets deeper and deeper.  It’s deep enough that I’m ready to share the diagnosis with the rest of the community and with my extended mailing list…perhaps on Jan 20. 

It feels very much that this adventure is truly beginning.  I will become very different both in consciousness and in relationship to others.  And I have a great deal of curiosity (and, of course, fear, too) about how this whole thing will work out.

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