“A common frustration expressed by caregivers…”

. . . is the inability to find physicians who are knowledgeable about LBD,” or Lewy body disease. It is the second most common dementia, yet it is misdiagnosed 80 percent of the time (J’s was), leading to suboptimal treatment at best and disaster at worst, since people with Lewy react very badly to antipsychotic medications that are often given to agitated Alzheimer’s patients.

Finally, finally, a major medical center, NYU Langone, is doing something about it.  (And in New York!  If only.)  In J’s honor, take a moment to learn a bit about the disease that killed him.  It may help you help someone in the future, or belatedly recognize what it was that really ailed someone you loved.  And pass it on.

The Gift of the Dying

My brother visited us the weekend before, and wrote this 3 days before J died.

 

The gift of the dying
Is their knowing.

The dying know it all
But only their eyes say so.

And what they say is this:

Go. Live. Sing.
Pray for me,
But don’t spend all day on it.

Outside, the world
Is growing accustomed
To my absence,
And being ceaselessly amazed
At the arrivals,
Raw from their journey and,
Like you, shocked
At being torn away.

Turn your attention to me,
Ever so briefly,
Say the dying,

So that the fierce forward-leaning
Nowness
Of life
Can shock you anew,

And build your resolve
To call out to the cosmos
With all the devoted desperation

Of your borrowed soul.

Go,
Say the dying with their fluttering eyes.
Go, but don’t leave me.
Come back,
So i can see what coming back is like,
Once more,

And so that you may remember
That in coming back,
You are practiced
In the art that i learn even now:
The art
Of going
Home.

Mr. Gobley

What Friends are For

A frazzled spaniel attracts the attention of a film crew shooting footage of the devastation left behind by the tsunami, leading them back to what at first appears to be its dead companion. It turns out the other dog was only injured. Both animals were later transported to safety and are receiving medical attention.