Lauren With A Side of Lewy
by Lauren U,
PAC Core Team
A few weeks ago, Eddy and I took a painting class. He hadn't ever painted and I have only attempted one time in the past. Neither of us were sure we would create anything beautiful. I kept telling myself that art lived inside of me, I had been fairly successful with other art forms. I remained doubtful of my success.
The other students and the instructors were complete strangers. The room was hot and crowded. I do not go into new situations with a plan to disclose my LBD diagnosis. I find it unnecessary, especially when I'm with Eddy. I always wear my medical ID bracelet which displays my diagnosis, along with Eddy's and Teepa's contact information for emergencies. I do not want any special consideration, attention, or accommodations. I just want to paint.
So, there we were, in a class of probably 30 students and 2 or 3 instructors. The theme was animals; we were there to paint our pets. Anyone who knows me knows the huge importance of my dogs. Eddy was painting Jonnie, our little black Shih Tzu. My big white Ibizan Hound, Frosty, was my muse. I was not confident that I would produce a painting that showed off the beauty and attitude of my girl. I certainly did not expect to feel proud of my completed work. But I am. I love what I did. I'm proud of my creation. Eddy was similarly pleased with his Jonnie art. I love that I entered into an unknown setting with complete strangers in a hot and crowded room. I was successful. Lewy dropped out of sight. It was just me, the paint, the canvas, and the brushes. For one afternoon I fell back into artist mode, safe with my husband, my dogs, and ultimately with pride in my painting.
Take that, Lewy!
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!