Friday, May 20, 2011

New acquaintences

I have always enjoyed meeting new people.  I enjoy the interaction with people.  What I don't enjoy is the reaction I get from people when I tell them I have Lewy Body Dementia. Most people deny that I have the disease.  In most cases, in a mostly polite way, they call me a liar!  So, I try to put on a "show".  That facade is one of a normal person, someone without LBD.  That "Lie" causes me stress.  That argument within me causes a mixed emotional problem that has been upsetting to me for quite a while.  But today, I met a person that treated me like a person who was telling the truth and it was liberating!

That person lives in our "over 55" apartment complex and is a  registered Nurse that works with memory impaired people.  I met her walking my dog.  She was walking her dog also and they seemed to get along.  As the dogs discussed their day, she and I began to get to know each other.  As we talked, she began to ask questions that only a person very familiar with LBD would ask.  After what seemed like a few minutes, she was telling me to let my wife know she was there to help if we ever needed her.  That acceptance of me and my disease was liberating and it was the first time that anyone has really accepted me and my issues.  She never said, "You look fine", or "you don't have anything wrong with you".  I have been told that everyone has the issues that you have, and that they are just part of ageing.  That is just not so, and they know that.  So, I have to believe that they are uncomfortable with someone with a degenerative neurological disease that leads to death.  Either that or they just enjoy causing me pain.

Today was a good day.  I decided it's OK to be sick.  I decided it's OK to have LBD.  And, I decided it's OK not to try to please others by pretending that I am something that I am not, that is normal.  I am me, a man with Lewy Body Dementia.  A man with a memory disorder and other mental issues that effect me mentally and physically.  A man who still has much to give, but may need some help remembering what that is.

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