J and the Alzheimer’s spider

“It’s like a spider,” she said. “That’s what they told me at the Alzheimer’s Association when I was taking care of mom. And the spider goes around and around until it stops and that’s when you can’t remember.”

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Birds and Heroin

I no longer believe that God is in heaven, waiting to hear our prayer before he grants the wish. The power of the prayer or the fast is in the connection it gives us. We are to bear witness to each other. There is power in this. I am powerless over heroin. I am powerless over schizophrenia.

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Light and shadow

When I was in Hawaii last week, I visited Painted Church or, more properly, St. Benedict’s Catholic Church.  It’s a scenic, little-white-church tucked away in the greenery south of Kona and worth a quick stop.  The church is famous for the murals covering the walls and ceiling, painted by Father John Velghe, an untrained folk…

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Hold Out Your Hand

I’ve been writing a lot this past week but it’s been pretty scattered.  I’ve had a hard time corralling it into something that resembles a coherent post.   Last night as I laid down to go to sleep, I thought about the morning.  Mornings are hard lately.  I wake up too early and usually with a…

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The unsinkable cork

This morning I woke up early.  Like 2:30am.  I have a cold so this was a mix of sinus congestion, jitteriness from Sudafed (for the sinus congestion) and my freaking unstoppable mind.  Whenever this happens I hear the voice of Dr. Fleisher, the last psychiatrist I worked with, in my head, “Early morning awakening should…

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“Stay awake! Stay with us!”

On Friday I was about ready to leave for work when my nurse ran into my office for gloves and sprinted down the hall.  Running in our environment is never a good sign so I grabbed some gloves and ran after her asking why we were running.  A man was collapsed in front of the…

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Rebellion in the sparkling line of costume gems

When I was 17 my mom made me a prom dress.  It’s still one of my favorite pieces she has created, which is saying something because this is a woman who has spent thousands of hours behind a sewing machine.  Since before I was born, she sewed dresses for herself and my sisters and me. …

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Evictions and invitations

After I wrote my last post I have been using, “I’m just going to dance,” as a mantra.  It’s been quite useful, but because life is what it is, it’s been a struggle to keep dancing. Just wanted to reality check that.  I’m still repeating, still working to do it.  I do feel like I’ve…

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A pretty successful stay in a haunted, former-forensic ward of a psychiatric institution

Tonight I’m feeling strong.  It feels like a noticeable shift from just yesterday and dramatically so from the weekend.  This is what I keep finding—if I just feel my feelings and let them be what they need to be, then I bounce back.  I keep thinking of this quote from Wild by Cheryl Strayed: “Fear,…

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Hospital gown and lipstick…perfect.

This week I went to see one of my patients at the board and care facility where she lives.  I was sitting in my car digging around in my bag to make sure I had a pen when she appeared through the glass of my passenger window.  I startled.  She was wearing a hospital gown…

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