Practice Makes Perfect
10/8/2010 7:25 AM
This last week I got the perfect opportunity to walk my walk not just talk the talk!
In my last blog I described Eileen’s challenge of not having a tribe to help her out when she came home from the hospital. My mother-in-law has high blood pressure and is on two high blood pressure medications but has not been able to get it under control. She went in for a stress test for heart disease and two minutes into the treadmill test all the bells and whistles went off. She was rushed to the hospital and the angiogram found a blockage in the main artery of her heart. They performed surgery and inserted a stent. Her physician released her from the hospital in two days but said that because she lived alone she needed someone to be with her for a week. I cancelled my week’s entire plan and stayed with her during the day and my husband spent each night with her. The blessing that came out of canceling my entire week and being there for her and fully connecting was unbelievable. I got to know my mother-in-law at a more intimate level and I now feel a closeness that brings joy to my heart. And thank goodness it was caught before she had a heart attack!
Before my quest to prevent Alzheimer’s in myself, and because of our busy schedules I am sure we would have hired someone to be with her during the day and my husband and I would have covered the nights.
Author Kathleen Brehony Ph.D. writes in her book, Living a Connected Life that “if you do just one thing that would lengthen your life, help you stay psychologically and physically, healthy and support your healing when you did become ill, you would maintain strong connections to other people. The effects of belongingness are so potent that if they could be bottled, they would need FDA approval. The evidence for the power of connection is overwhelming and compelling and entire books have been written documenting scientific studies that show the power of love and relationships to heal and extend life.”
As I have written in my blog I had a difficult time “letting myself out and letting others in”—sometimes a common experience for people with Alzheimer’s disease. I have also nicknamed this devastating disease the” portable plexi-glass phone booth” syndrome because at the end stage of this disease individuals who have Alzheimer’s are in their own “private world.” This may have been their MO (Modus Operandi) throughout their life—or how they learned to operate early in life and showed up in an extreme way later in life.
Most individuals don’t even know they are living in a “portable plexi-glass phone booth”. I was one of those individuals! Given what I perpetually show to the outside world, no one would have ever suspected my deepest feelings. But people around me could see that I had difficulty getting close to people.
Kathleen stated in her book “Eileen and Andy (in my last blog) do not live like Unabomber Ted Kaczynski-pathologically isolated in their mountain home, emotionally detached from all human life. They are normal people—highly functioning people, in fact.”
For the next several blogs I will be giving several examples of highly functioning people that live in their own “private world” from Kathleen’s book. The connection between everyday people that live in their own “private world” and how Alzheimer’s disease may originate because of it--is one to be studied and researched.
As you can see I am changing my ways and wow--connecting fully with others is absolutely heart-warming! With each new day I envision any plaques that may have already built up in my brain disappearing as I practice living a fully connected life!
Practice makes perfect!
Memory Walk to end Alzheimer’s Disease at Seascape in Aptos, CA Saturday September 25, 2010.
Getting together for a common cause is a way to truly connect--a plus for preventing Alzheimer's Dusease.