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John-Michaels, Counselor (LPC)
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 663
Experience:  25+ years helping people find solutions...
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I will try to be simple: I have had psychiatric problems in

Customer Question

I will try to be simple: I have had psychiatric problems in the past, BUT have maintained stability for quite some time. I now live in Toronto, Canada, but lived in Jamaica, W. I. for over thirty years. My best friend there, my "Jamaican sister" so to speak, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's; her husband, Ken, is her main caregiver, and I'm being as supportive as I can be - from a distance. However, as I have read more information on the disease (which I am mailing to Jamaica) I myself am becoming much sadder, and more reflective. Cognitively, I know I should cherish the memories; the never ending laughter of our visits; but I realize what lies ahead for her: and for Ken, who is looking after her. I am sad; pulling out of this sadness is almost impossible. Ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.

Hello. Thank you for reaching out to Just Answer. I hope I can be of help. You are correct. Alzheimer's is a very difficult disease to deal with. What you are experiencing is completely normal. In essence you are grieving the friend you once knew. This is complicated because she is still alive so you cant really let her go. It I further complicated by guilt that you cant really be there for her and her spouse as you feel you should. My first suggestion would be to quit focusing on the disease so much. It is good you have familiarized your self with it, but it is time to celebrate the good and let the professionals take care of the disease. I am not saying this to criticize you. I just believe the more you focus on the disease the more depressed you will become. You are correct in celebrating the past. Focus on those good times. When you correspond, remind them of them. Also focus on the good today. Cherish every moment off good you can. More than anything, just be a friend. Don't try o be a doctor or a counselor. Do what you know best. Just be there f them. I leave you with this, it is ok to be sad. Alzheimer's is horrible. It is sad to see a friend succumb to it. Be sad, but in doing so, free yourself to be happy as well. don't try diversion either. The more you avoid it the more difficult gets. Does that make sense. I hope I was a help. Please let me know if there is more for me to offer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I gave the lowest rating that I possibly could, other than NOT entering anything at all. If I did that, you might think it was an oversight. Any time a so-called "professional" does not even take the time, or make the effort to write in correct English, I am wary. Added to this, there were numerous "procedural" mistakes. That's the LAST time I use THIS service.
Expert:  John-Michaels replied 1 year ago.

I apologize you feel this way. I hope you will not judge Just Answer for my typos. That's what they were by the way, typos. I am not bothered by your rating. I guess it was deserved. For the sake of the site though, let me clarify a few things. First, I woke to this around 1 AM. I assumed at that hour you were hurting badly, so I wished to start dialog immediately. Time was of greater essence than correcting typos. Second, I personally suffer from Parkinson's, which is akin to Alzheimer's, so I felt a personal connection. My typing skills are affected though. No excuses, just explanation. Thirdly, I will take issue with your procedural remark. Basically, what are you talking about? I was simply answering a question you asked. What procedure is there to follow? Now if you were referring to the content of my response, one, I gave you the opportunity to discuss it which I am assuming you chose not to. As for the validity of my response, understand first, I was correct in addressing your sadness as grief. We grieve anytime we face loss whether it be a life, relationship, or even situation. Then, there is my advice concerning your research and offering information. I know from personal and professional experience, that is not helpful. Ken does not need advice, He needs a friend. You don't need to obsess over the loss, but celebrate what you have. any way, blessings...

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Shalom. Having been a University lecturer in English and linguistics, I AM quite capable of writing clear, accurate English. When someone cannot be bothered to do so, it reflects on their professionalism. You seem to know more than Ken does!! He is in the role of caregiver, and is in Jamaica, where resources are few. SINCE HE HAS CLEARLY ASKED ME FOR INFORMATION, I assume he wants it. He is a retired professional, whom I met on going to Jamaica in 1957. At Baycrest (one of the top research facilities in the world on Alzheimers), there is a VERY helpful booklet HELP FOR THE CAREGIVER.. Ken has asked me to send it to him, and I will when Canada Post is no longer in strike position.
I could counter your remarks, but I chose not to. This could go on indefinitely. As previously stated, this was my FIRST encounter with this site. I believe it will be my LAST.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It appears I have to type something in this space before I depress "Send,"
Hopefully, these two sentences will suffice.Shalom