Sunday, July 24, 2011

Dreams Of My Youth

IMPORTANT NOTE: In the last entry, I was unable to link you to Lisa's great article on Alzheimer's Caregivers. It is here.

ALSO: The link to Three Bottles of Wine's web page now works as well. Please give them a listen and comment down below, thanks!


This whole past week has been a strange one as far as my dreaming is concerned. I have dreamt every night of my younger days - sometimes the dreams were a continuation, like a daytime tv serial (though not as torrid!). Sometimes I'd wake up, and then couldn't wait to get back to sleep so I could "see" what was next.

I have written about my dreams before, but I'm curious as to why now I'm dreaming of my teens, my first girlfriend in high school, the bands I played in, all the shenanigans and trouble I got myself into, such as being grounded from using the car and taking the riding lawnmower instead to see my girfriend who lived about 14 miles away. I made it a mile and a half before I got "pulled over" by the cops who laughed themselves silly......

A google search reveals surprisingly little about the "elderly" and dreams about their younger days, (Am I "elderly" now? I'm only 61, dammit, but in order to do that search I had to put that word in!), but I did find at least one interview which you may also find interesting. (Hey! I remembered how to do a hyperlink! How great is that?)

The first portion of that interview is the most interesting to me. Paraphrasing Dr. L R Müller, MD here: "......the elderly dream mostly about their youth and their young adulthood. Meaning that when you are old yourself and cannot do as you want to. So in your dreams, the youth revives. However, this was not confirmed in our dream study of older people, in fact it shows that most people dream about themselves as they are in the awake state......"

Well, okay. I get it. I must be some kind of exception to the rule, eh?

However, my dreams also concern themselves with repressed memories, such as the time when we left my native Germany to emigrate to the US. That was a very traumatic time for me, and I did not want to go. I caused my poor parents so much heartache with my running away and crying, that I was finally forced onto the bus that carried us to the airport. So hell, I don't particluarly want to dream about that, do I?

I don't want to. I have to. I have to because so much of my adult life is predicated on that one incident of not wanting to leave my home country. I was bitter and resentful to my parents for many years. I kept up pen-pal relationships with my German friends and school-mates telling them how unhappy I was. I was ostracized by the American kids. I became, at 11, a virtual recluse. Finally I gave up, acquired the southern American "y'all" drawl, got into some rock groups and finally got "assimilated".

Assimilated yes, but that bitterness never went completely away, and that doesn't "sit well" with my "America, love it or leave it" acquaintances. Nothing I can do about that. They'll just have to deal with it the way I have.

So, I'm sorry there's so little research done on the dreams of the "elderly", and perhaps (if it isn't already) that should be included as a specific question when a history is taken.

It is important to note that I wrote "the elderly" and not "the elderly with dementia". I mean, how is one going to correctly evaluate the results when there are so many dementias and degrees of severity?

So let's reword my suggestion to asking the question of those of us with Early Onset Alzheimer's Dementia and see where that takes us.

This is one of my favorite songs of all time.....

And this one is a little "out there" as far as the video, but still appeals to me. See what you think.

It's hot here and there's hardly any mention of rain, so give a thought to our four-legged friends and click below to feed them. Also, if you have room in your home and heart, go to your local shelter and adopt a pet, keeping in mind that even the "elderly" can make loving companions.



The Animal Rescue Site

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