Free 28 Day Holiday Challenge

Free 28 Day Holiday Challenge
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

O is for Oscar

O is for Oscar but not the Oscar with the green fur from Sesame Street. It is from a book entitled
Making Rounds With Oscar by David Dosa, MD
This book is about an unsual at, that seems to instinctively know whenthe residents of Steere House ( nursing home) are dying. He stays until the end, laying close next to them and purring to give them comfort.
 I am not the hugest cat fan, I am more a dog fan, cats don't do what you ask, dogs do. I decided to give it a try any way. I had only read a little bit when I came upon this quote by Einstein, " Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous." I think that line had me hooked.
 Most of the book is about the adult children of patients of the nursing home and about all the patients in the Steere House- It was hard to read about Alzheimer or dementia- I feel they are such cruel things to have. To be robbed of your memories. In one part of the book the doctor gives a memory test to a new possible patient and I found it very interesting. He asks her to draw a large circle on a piece of paper and pretend it is a clock and add the numbers on it. When this is done if done correctly, he extends it by asking the patient to have the clock saying 2:45- the patient had the little hand point to the 2 and the other hand between the 4 and the 5 rather than 9. ( it was a visual- spatial skills test) Maybe these should be given at DMV at a stage later in life?
  The book talked a lot about the quilt and anger and fear that adult children of Alzheimer patients feel. I should have known better when my Nana got it, I didnt' want to see her anymore she scared me and it made me angry that she did not recognize me, I know she was not doing it on purpose but I was 15 and I was just so conflicted, I regret how I acted now, and My family tried to explain but I was so confused.
I read another book entitled Saturday by Ian McEwan and this book was also refrenced in Oscar's book. He describes what it is like going to visit in a nursing home," It's like taking flowers to a graveside- the true business is with the past." They also referenced a book I have never read that I might like to find at the library written by Ronald Reagan's daughter called The Long Goodbye and she talks about how Alzheimer patients unlearn everything they knew, and how hard and frustrating that can be for the adult children and spouse.

I worked in a nursing home for 2 years, I was running the nursing homes day care but I did a lot of volunteer work with the patients on weekends and snow storms, as I lived near by and the nurses couldn't get in as quickly as I could, I found it to be very hard work and very sad. It seemed like more work than working with little children, maybe because we think they should know how to use a spoon or do a task, where a small child we know they are just learning.

The curious cat seems to be in tune to death which sounds creepy but the families that were interviewed about this said, they felt he offered a distraction and a comfort. Maybe the doctor who wrote the book about Oscar is trying to tell us a few things- It's the journey so savor the moment, and we need to learn to be patient of the Alzheimer patient even if they don't know who we are. If anyone you know is thinking of being a caregiver for a dementia or Alzhemier patient purchase this book for them, and if it's your parent who is failing it's a must read, it helps with the guilt you may feel or the fear or anger.
So OPEN your mind to a different type of book and OPEN your heart to OSCAR a real live cat who helps a patient feel comfort at the end of their journey.
Tomorrow's post is informative, fun but long- It's about POLLEN and it's a very important message so try to remember to come back.

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