Tag Archives: Book Three

Ann’s Update: 10 Mar 2011

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

Ann’s Update: 23 Jan 2011

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Well, I would have managed to write last night, except for the fact that Sasha got sleepy early and everyone headed for bed, including me, at an hour when I would usually be sitting down and gathering thoughts and memories for this note.  I’ll either make this rather short, because we’re going to be interrupted momentarily by a plumber who will, we hope, make things flow as they should in the bathroom and kitchen — or I’ll make it long because the mood will be right and the urge will overtake me.  The writing urge, that is.

Right now, despite my knowing that 99% of the world’s population is unluckier and less blessed than we are, I’m caught on that knife-edge between light and energy on one side, and dark grey grouchiness and self-rejection on the other.  Mild depression, I guess.  (Self-pity, says my inner judge.)  On PBS television there is a great program about the Big Bands of the  ’40’s. Benny Goodman’s music, tremendously familiar and loaded with memories — or bits of memory — about high school (most of it sheer hell for a girl with an English accent who had recently been in Europe and home-schooled) ….  Actually, when I got to private school in New England, things got a bit better.  There were lots of weird people there; I wasn’t the only one. (The inner judge grumps, “You think you had problems because you had an English accent?  Try having a black skin, kid!  Now, THAT was problems!)  My mother persuaded my father that my brother and I should change our names to her family name, instead of going around with a name that sounded Jewish (because it WAS Jewish).  So we did.  We became Ormiston, instead of Gotlieb, because my dear father had experienced anti-Semitism (plenty of it in the State Department, for which he worked), and didn’t want to make his kids go through what he’d gone through (and because he was afraid of my mother).  It worked pretty well.  But kids will make hell for other kids without the excuse of black skin or Jewishness or even English accents.  If they’ve been bullied at home, they’ll bully others at school.  Boys, especially, will attack weakness or gentleness, and my brother was very gentle — extremely intelligent and gentle — and he was sent to private boy’s school in Canada and never really recovered from it.

But those were the days when good parents did things like that — sent their kids to private schools (if they could afford it) and told the boys to “buck up” when they wrote home pleading to be released from torment.  Bullying was accepted as normal (that lasted until just a couple of years ago, and is still accepted in most schools), and young males were expected to fight back or just put up with it.  Nobody talked about the suicides.  And, realistically, it was simply the law of the jungle — if you can’t fight back or turn the tables in some manner on your attacker, you will go under and die.  The survivors were strong and apparently self-assured.  The British Empire was forged by such survivors.  And they kept the empire going until a little guy who walked around in a cotton loincloth and taught helpless Indians how to handle the tough, hard British took the country back from them.

I’m probably going to have to throw out all this stuff, unless I decide I’m writing Book Three on Caring Bridge, and Facebook, and I’m not sure that’s what I should be doing.

I’m just in a mood to hate the dark side of humanity (including my own Shadow), and that is a complete waste off time.  It’s there because it has to be.  My only job is to make unconscious things conscious — starting with myself and my own Shadow.

As for Sasha, he’s doing well and better, really improving every day.  It looks as though the various things we’ve been attempting — hanging the heel out over the edge of the cushion — has begun to heal the ulcer.   And he’s sleeping better (which means the caregiver at night gets more sleep).

And I’ll stop running on at the keyboard, and give you fuller Sasha information in the next note.

Blessings and love —  Ann