Many people who have cared for a person with Alzheimer’s can tell you shocking stories about their loved ones having moments of total lucidity. I haven’t been able to find any explanation for why or how these moments occur.
Here are a two examples I describe in more detail in Come Back Early Today.
“Wearing it for Death”
When my mother died I was devastated. I was also sad because I knew my soul mate, Ed, wouldn’t understand it and wouldn’t be able to console me as he would have done before he developed Alzheimer’s. When I told him about it he was thoroughly confused and thought I was talking about his mother. I mentioned it again a few days later and his only response was, “That lady on the television is the Pope.”
I had decided to wear a black blouse or shirt every day for a month to honor my mother’s passing. One day two weeks later when I visited Ed he looked me right in the eye and said in a clear and strong voice, “You look so beautiful in that black shirt even though I know you’re wearing it for death.” I was speechless.
“Dogs Are Very Selective”
I once took my little Shih Tzu, Peter, to visit Ed. A young man I encountered in the lobby asked me to take Peter to see his mother. He said she loved dogs. This particular woman’s illness was quite advanced and she spent most of her time sleeping.
When I entered her room she was lying quietly with her eyes closed, but she opened them when I softly called her name. I put Peter down next to her on her bed and he started licking her face. I told her that he didn’t usually ‘kiss’ people he didn’t know. She looked up at me and said, “Dogs are very selective.” That was the first lucid comment she’d made for months.
I always wrote down in great detail the incidents that occurred to be sure I’d remember them forever. And that’s what all caregivers need to do – treasure and remember those wonderful times forever. Can any of you readers share your own experiences with a loved one’s moments of total lucidity?