We are stories, not symptoms

https://shiftingmargins.wordpress.com/2016/08/08/we-are-stories-not-symptoms/?fb_action_ids=312555859083417&fb_action_types=news.publishes #

The Carder family gathers at the Bethany memory unit at the Heritage at Lowman senior community near Columbia, S.C. Retired United Methodist Bishop Kenneth Carder stands with wife, Linda, and their daughters Sheri Carder Hood (second from right) and Sandra Carder Nash (far right). ~umns photo/Matt Brodie

A chaplain of a memory unit that his wife, Linda, calls home, encourages loving over labeling.

From his blog, Shifting Margins

The physician’s assistant was sharing the results of an evaluation of Linda. We were seated at a table, with Linda beside me and the PA across the table.

Looking at me, the PA said coldly, “Mr. Carder, your wife is no longer the person she used to be.”

She went on to describe the symptoms of Linda’s dementia—lost memory, disorientation, confusion, agitation, inability to focus and solve problems, loss of language skills, etc.  All the while, her eyes were on me, as though Linda didn’t exist.

I noticed Linda’s growing agitation and restlessness–the glare in her eyes, the rigidity of her body, the scowl on her face.  I knew that look. The PA was about to learn something she missed in medical training.

Linda straightened in her chair, looked squarely at the PA. Slowly, firmly and deliberately, she said, “Talk– to– ME!”

Taking Linda by the hand and smiling proudly, I said to the stunned expert, “You just met Linda.”

Read more.



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