An excerpt from a newsletter I wrote: “In a caregiver support group meeting, I shared how miserable it is to be with my grandma on her worst days of pain and disorientation. I confessed: “I don’t want to be a caregiver.” I don’t want her to have dementia, and I certainly don’t want to be…

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I’m long overdue for a blog entry. So here it goes. I hope that it will end on a positive note. Someone told me that people living with dementia often mirror the emotions that they see in their caregivers. This was not a good day for Grandma to mirror what she saw in me. After…

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Grandma polished off her breakfast of eggs, bacon, and toast. She downed her prune juice. She eyed her empty plate, and looked at me with determination. “When I get better,” she announced, “I will start washing my own dishes again. You’ve done enough.” She paused. “After all this is over, I’m going to make sure…

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For the past two months, I’ve been holding onto one hope and one hope alone: Vascular Dementia. My grandma had two strokes this year. Surely her dementia is due to that, and not to that other thing, that diagnosis I refuse to utter in my heart. For me, Vascular Dementia means that if Grandma doesn’t…

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Just a short update… Last week, I flew to the Dominican Republic, leaving my grandma in the capable hands of my mom, brother, and uncle. I had been a missionary there for five years and  was returning to attend an award’s ceremony. The dance show that our Christian hip hop dance team produced this past…

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(The following is a loose paraphrase of a conversation I had with Grandma.) “Rule #1,” Grandma said emphatically. “Don’t rush me. I’ll get there.” We were at the breakfast table, talking about my upcoming visit to the Dominican Republic. I’ve been preparing Grandma for this trip for the last few days, reminding her that I…

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I was watching “What Not to Wear” yesterday. You’ve seen it right? Hosts Stacy and Clinton kidnap some poor, fashion-clueless girl and give her a new wardrobe, haircut, and self-esteem. Last night, one mom talked about why she didn’t put any effort it her style. She said something like this: “Everyone comes before me. I…

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Less than two months ago, I was dancing onstage in front of a thousand people. Today, I tried to get my grandmother to do five minutes of exercise. I’m a hip hop dancer. Or at least, I was. About five years ago, I sold all my stuff and moved to the Dominican Republic to work…

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 “Can we value stillness as much as we value movement?” – Arnell Calderon I read this quote from a teenage photographer whose work was featured in a Harlem museum exhibit I saw on Sunday. Here’s what I see in his photograph, whether it’s there or not: The room of a sick person…Bill stacking up…Medicine…A caregiver…Distracted…

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The other day I went to Planet Fitness to check out their gym. Rows and rows of machines, 30-minute circuit, and young urban hipsters. My kind of place! The only drawback–no fitness classes. (No Zumba?? Whaaaat??) But what sold me is the gym’s JUDGEMENT FREE ZONE. Manny from Planet Fitness explained it to me. Here’s…

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About 10 years ago, my uncle bought my grandmother a computer. At age 73, she learned how to email, Google her medications, and make greeting cards. But what she enjoyed most was playing computer games. Wait, let me rephrase that—she was obsessed with playing computer games. Now I should mention that Grandma already had an…

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My mother and grandmother have not always had the best relationship. I have often served as referee between them, usually talking Mommy down before she reacted to Grandma’s tongue lashing. When I made the decision to become Grandma’s primary caregiver, I knew that part of my role would be helping my mom become a more…

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Fighting Fair (when one side doesn’t always remember what you’re fighting about) My grandma hurt my feelings last night. I never imagined I’d have to ask my grandma, “Do you need to go to the bathroom?” Neither did she. It didn’t go over too well. “I don’t need to go!” she barked at me. Taking…

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(Tonight, we welcome a new blogger, Denine. You can connect with her on her profile: @denine120.) Friday, July 12, 2013 I felt resentful for the first time today. Less than a month ago, I was performing onstage in the Dominican Republic with a Christian hip hop dance group before an audience of close to 1,000…

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