March 10, 2011 6:32:01 PM PST
Dear Friends, Strangers and Visitors from Other Solar Systems,
Now, as to Sasha’s state of brain and mind. As you know, he has mild dementia, which is the reason we have round-the-clock care. For a couple of years, he was taking Aricept and Namenda, which may or may not have helped slow the process, but which obviously weren’t doing much of anything recently. Our new doctor, Paul Abramson, decided to take him off those, and put him on hydergine, Albert Hofmann’s compound. That was about three weeks ago. I didn’t expect any obvious results, and of course one never knows if a state of dementia is being slowed down; I mean, how would you tell?
So when Dee (one of our miraculous Tibetan women) told me that Sasha was suddenly doing certain little things (like feeding himself) which he hadn’t been doing before, I said “What! He is?” or something like that, and she then listed a few other things that he was doing better, all of which was astonishing. Clearly, the hydergine has been changing things. He takes it three times a day.
I’m thinking seriously of asking our doctor if I might try the drug myself. After all, it’s my understanding that Albert and his wife took it themselves for many years, and my thinking, focusing and memory could use a bit of sharpening, to say the least!
I know that dementia is not reversible, and that the brain’s blood vessels can’t be cleaned out the way some blood vessels in the legs can be, but even small improvements — less sleepiness (sometimes), more ability to focus on things that matter to him (like chemistry), a bit less “sundowning” in the evenings (sometimes) — become immensely important to all of us. It’s like getting a bit more “real Sasha” back, even if it isn’t every day or every evening. We really celebrate every improvement of this kind, and hope that it’ll last for a while.
I hear from Greg that an amazing number of lovely people have asked what I want for my birthday. A card would be wonderful, but as for gifts — I’m sure you’ll understand when I say that what matters to me most is being relieved of the constant anxiety about how we’re going to afford to keep Sasha at home with the excellent and loving care he’s getting from our three Graces. By the way, Sasha’s increase in physical strength, his ability to walk now with a cane instead of a walker, is entirely due to the women who take care of him and put him through exercises all day long (although they do let him nap a bit in his chair after meals). They treat him like their own fathers, with love and humor, and you can’t put a price on that.
So what I want for my birthday is to find a few very wealthy and compassionate people who are interested in consciousness and familiar with the world of psychedelics, and who understand what Sasha’s work has meant — and will continue to mean, long after he dies — and can afford to help us keep him home and so very well cared-for.
In the meantime, I feel tremendous gratitude to all of you who have sacrificed God knows what, to send us whatever you could. It’s because of you that we’ve made it this far, and I hope you understand that I can’t thank you individually, although I would if I could.
The best thing I can do in return is to continue The Third Book. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I can put aside one whole day a week (with Tania’s help) to do nothing but write. Several chapters are already half written, and I’m going to re-write them and continue with new chapters and the necessary research next week. Tania is away this weekend, but after Sunday, she’ll be able to take the phones and keep the world at bay for that one whole day a week, and I’ll get started.
For now, I wish you all Blessings — and don’t forget to re-set your clocks before bed on Saturday.
Love and thanks — Ann