Me: Preforming Suspicious Minds and dancing for a hallway full of patients.
Patient: “Baby Cakes, you are full of some kind of fizzy juice and wiggle squirts.”
Patient 1: Is that a strange witch?
Patient 2: She never came back. I didn’t see a hat.
Patient 1: Because that old man’s been coaxed.
Patient 2: That’s terrible. I should warn him.
Patient 1: Little man in Spokane, has a rich man, that never wanted to lose control over his sweet fella.
Patient 2: Spokane has good food.
Patient 1: Well, he’s somewhere in those woods and he gave me a pen.
Nurse out loud: Did David Lynch write that conversation?
Nurse: “Do you have a pacemaker?”
Patient: “No, but I do have a cell phone.”
“The imagination is my favorite vacation home.” -Nurse Bitterpill
Nurses are supposed to be the unsung heroes providing care, quietly doing whatever is necessary. Nurses have always kept the secrets of our society, keeping level heads in crisis.
One of the biggest secrets is that Alzheimer’s is not tragic all the time. There is laughter, there is love. And I’m tired of being an unsung hero. I want to be a loud, boisterous, unconventional hero that sings terribly and off-key. I want you to hear my voice about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
If you have Alzheimer’s, you have permission to be happy. If you are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s you have permission and a right to feel joy. Quit letting society tell us we are unsung. Raise your voice with Nurse Bitterpill in shattering the stigma of Dementia. There will be tragic moments. But the joy can easily outweigh them if you stay open to allowing them in.
I have a plan. I will be making a lot of noise. Make noise with me.
Nurse Bitterpill is in the process of publishing a book, Every Minute is a New Day. It is a long process (longer and more involved than I had anticipated). And an avenue to be vocal on behalf of my beautiful and joyous Alzheimer’s patients. It will not happen instantly. I do not have the luxury of cloistering myself away for six months without distraction to focus fully on writing. I am elbow deep in the real world of dementia every single day. In the trenches making life better for those suffering and have the audacity to be happy about it.
I don’t want to stop at just writing a book. I want to keep raising my voice with film, education, mentorships, and other forms of media to get the word out that we can still smile, laugh, and live after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. With a new business on the horizon, I plan on making everyone hear what I have to say even if means standing on street corners shouting to passersby that people with Alzheimer’s have a right to be happy. I am not fearless, I am determined. But if we all join together, we will be heard.