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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:33 AM
Original message
Alzheimers Art, so sad
My mother had Alzheimers long before it had a name, getting old we called it

http://today.reuters.com/tv/videoChannel.aspx?storyid=4...


Oct. 27 - A series of self-portraits by William Utermohlen illustrate his slow decline from the effects of Alzheimer's disease.

William Utermohlen's on display at the New York Academy of Medicine show expressions ranging from defiance to sadness to resignation.

The American artist was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in England in 1995.

Paul Chapman reports.
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:39 AM
Response to Original message
1. very interesting.
I had an Great Aunt who died that way.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. only moments before my mother passed on with the whole family
there with her I walk into the room and she sits up and says, there's David. She hadn't recognized anyone for quite some time preceding that.
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
3. They kept telling us my mom did not have Alzheimers
but I do know the pain of losing a loved one as they lose their mind. It is absolutely horrific.
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
4. Wow
Thank you for sharing this. What a unique and poignant perspective on the ravages of Alzheimers. I hope this exhibit will go on tour -- showing this body of work only at the NY Academy of Medicine just doesn't do it justice.
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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:47 AM
Response to Original message
5. we have lost two female members of our family to this disease
and my MIL is in the last stages. Thank you for the link.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. sorry
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zanne Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. My mother died of Alzheimer's six months ago.
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:00 AM by zanne
I was her caregiver and it is very sad to say goodbye so slowly, as her cognitive abilities diminished for a ten-year period. And then the final goodbye brings fresh grief. The way I remember her now is as a healthy, vibrant woman. Still miss her something fierce. I hate this disease and I hope that whatever gods exist are working on it.
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chefgirl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:16 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. So sad
This display of artwork was compelling and so damned sad. It's as if the changes in the faces of the portraits represented his view of what was happening to his mind. Distorted, cleaved in two, almost, and seeming to just slide away.

I replied to you though, zanne, because one sentence in your post cut through me like a knife.

Still miss her something fierce.

My Mom died almost three years ago, January 9,2004. To this day, I miss her something fierce.

The pain is never any less, but it is less often.

Just wanted to share that with you because I recognized that same, raw pain in what you wrote.

-chef-

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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:00 AM
Response to Original message
8. Fascinating.
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dddem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. thank you for sharing
I just saw my favorite Aunt after 2 years (she moved with her daughter to Arkansas, and they came for a visit). She didn't know me. We also lost my dear Father in law to the disease. I always believed it was harder on the loved ones, but after viewing those portraits, it makes me see how sad for the patient.
Peace.
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
11. My mother in her better moments knew something wasn't right
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:32 AM by madokie
I could see the frustration in her eyes
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DawgHouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 08:34 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Same with our Mom.
Edited on Sat Oct-28-06 08:34 AM by DawgHouse
She had some pretty fierce denial for a very long time. I know that seeing the other family member's with alz made her very certain of how things would end for her. :(
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driver8 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 10:04 AM
Response to Original message
13. My grandmother suffered with Alzheimers for many years. She used to
keep a diary. My sister has the diaries right now and is reading through them. I told her, "I am interested to know what is the last thing that she wrote."

That was a very interesting video to be able to see the progression and the decline of his skills.
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Pab Sungenis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 01:39 PM
Response to Original message
14. My Grandfather suffered from Alzheimer's for several years.
For the longest time, his wife covered it up as best as she could, but then she was diagnosed with brain cancer and gone five weeks later. It all fell on my mother and I.

First, we had to have a legal diagnosis to take his Power of Attorney to take care of him. I still remember when the Neurologist was doing the preliminary interview with all the topical questions. This was in 1996, right after Clinton's re-election. When the Doctor asked him who the President was, my Grandfather just uttered some obscenities. The doctor turned to ask me if that was good or bad. I said "it could go either way. He could think it's Clinton, or he could think it's Roosevelt."

After a while, I stopped being "Paulie" because he was associating my name, or "Paul Jr." with a baby. I made the circuit of male relatives of his, being confused for everyone from his brother Frank to his brother Joe, to the next door neighbor. The caregiver was impressed one time when he had a 45 minute conversation with me, calling me "Paul" each time. Then she realized that he thought that the "Paul" he was talking to was his long-dead brother in law.

The recently-installed pool in the backyard became associated with our summer house in Avalon, or occasionally with Storybookland, a local mini-theme-park owned and operated by one of his sisters. Whenever he got bored or frustrated, he'd call for my Grandmother, insisting it was time to go home, even though the house he was sitting in had been his home since 1946.

The last day he was communicative, he pulled me aside and showed me a ring he had found rooting through drawers earlier in the day. He said "I'm going to do it, Joe. Tomorrow, I'm going to ask Betty to marry me." The next day he didn't wake up. He lingered with shallow breathing most of the morning until the Priest came with communion. He woke up long enough to take the eucharist, then went back to "sleep." He died an hour later.

It's a terrifying disease, and one I hope to never have to put my family through.
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theHandpuppet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-28-06 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R
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