FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN /
The Care Team/
Welcome to the second week of National Family Caregiver Month. Of
course, I think every day is caregiverís day and every month,
caregiverís month, but Iíll take any opportunity for people to
pay attention to caregivers. One of the things Iíve been
thinking about during our month, is how our loved ones, the care
recipients are also emotionally affected by their illness.
This point was drawn clearly for me in a recent HBO special
starring Patrick Stewart. The premise was actually pretty
interesting - think of James Bond living with early onset. But the
thing that struck me was one sequence when Stewartís character
realizes that he could not control his rapid descent into
Alzheimerís disease. In the first scene he was still fighting to
maintain his mental acuity, and in the next, he was sobbing
uncontrollably as he realized that this is one evil arch-villain
he would not conquer.
I remember seeing my Dad and my grandfather go through the same
thing as Stewart did in the special once they realized they would
not win their respective battles, (Dadís with Multiple Myeloma
and Grampís with Alzheimerís Disease). I would catch them both
at times staring into the mirror, wondering whatever happened to
their younger, healthier selves and worrying that their
grandchildren and great-grandchildren would remember them in their
later weakened state and not as the healthy and vibrant men they
were for most of their lives. I remember watching my grandfather
rubbing his wizened hands and sobbing, wondering to whom they
belonged as Alzheimerís disease began to overtake his faculties.
Letís take a moment and remember those for whom we care as they
once were and know that this month also belongs to them.