Lauren With a Side of Lewy
by Lauren U,
PAC Core Team Member
I got a library card. No big deal, right? Wrong. I used to love to read. I could spend hours deep into other worlds. Someone else's stories are often interesting and entertaining. I'd read almost anything. As a child I studied dogs, soaking up all the information I could. I'd memorized breed standards, temperaments, appearances, and conformation. I still can recognize almost any breed or mixed breed by sight. So, I started my new library experience by randomly choosing books about dogs. I got particularly interested in one though I don't recall the title nor author. It was a novel, about a dog and his boy, I think. It was a familiar and comfortable topic. It gave me something to do. Upon returning the dog book to the library, I strolled the aisles, looking for a title or book cover picture that caught my attention. Not necessarily the best method but what the heck? People who know me give me titles or authors they think I may like. I haven't been able to maintain interest in all of the chosen books, but I have enjoyed some. To be fair, I know I've skipped pages or chapters or important details, but that's okay. Reading provides me with something to do. I read the same words or sentences over and over again before moving on. Again, that's okay. I choose not to read any books about dementia. The idea is to briefly escape my life into a new story, new idea, or simple entertainment. I don't like mysteries. I don't do well with academic books or medical texts anymore. I do better with shorter words, simpler fonts, and more spacing between words and sentences. I enjoy the times with Eddy, both of us quietly reading and flipping pages next to each other in bed, on the sofa, or sitting outside in our yard together. There will be no book reports. I will not have to summarize or explain to anyone. I can read the entire book, half of it, or random sentences. I can give up early, without ever really giving it much of a chance. I will not be asked to compare and contrast or give a brief synopsis. There are no rules. I like it. Books can bring me into another world momentarily. That's good enough for me.
Lauren U is a member of the Positive Approach® to Care (PAC) Core Team. She was a registered nurse with the ANCC Board Certification in Psychiatry for 30 years. Now she is the keeper of the frolic. Lauren has been living with Lewy Body Dementia (love how they add "with behavioral disturbance") for over five years. She currently lives in Northern California with her professor husband, Eddy. PAC agrees with Lauren – that she is delightful!