This poem is unique because it’s from the perspective of a fictitious person named John who has Alzheimer’s. It is my hope and prayer that a cure is found in the near future for this disease.
“Where did this checkered green gown come from?”
“Why am I here? What is this place? Please help me, anyone?”
“Hello.” A strange man with a white coat replied
He spoke so quickly but I liked his purple bow tie.
Then I heard: “Can I get your name and date of birth?”
“Of course,” I said. “It’s um. um. John for all it’s worth.”
“That is correct. Now tell me, when were you born?”
Honestly, what is he saying? Can he see I am tired and worn?
“I see you have food in your mouth so I won’t be long.”
“I will show you three pictures. Tell me, which one is wrong?”
Each photograph was blurry and hard to apply
Who is this man really? Is he a spy?
After a few minutes, I just said: “No. No. No. No!”
The doctor looked at the patient’s spouse, “Should I go?”
The saddened woman contemplated at first but then nodded her head.
“John,” she whispered to me in her lovely red dress: “Why don’t you go back to bed?
I calmed down and replied to her sweet face, “I wish other people only knew
I am the luckiest person alive because I have you.”
She smiled, winked her eye at me, and spoke this angelic remark: “I am too!”
This poem was difficult for me to write. It breaks my heart to see many people who have family members struggling with this illness. Oftentimes, we focus on how we perceive the person to be, but this time, I wanted to take the perspective of the one who has it.
I may not know exactly what an Alzheimer’s person is thinking or feeling, but I do know some of the symptoms include confusion, loss of memory, and the inability to know orientation such as time and place.
In this scene, a fictitious man named John is confused as to where he is at. The checkered green gown is, of course, the garments they use for patients at a hospital. The man does not know where he is or how he got there. Recall from the poem, however, he is able to know his name. He may not recognize why the doctor is in or who he is, but he is able to recognize familiar faces like his wife.
His wife, as you can see, wants the best for him. He wants the doctor to get more information about his condition by running tests. However, she knows that when he gets confused, one of the signs is frustration and anger. It can also lead to episodes of paranoia, such as believing the doctor is a spy. The wife doesn’t want to upset her husband anymore and decides to agree with the doctor to leave him alone.
At the end of the story, I wanted to make it clear that the person suffering from Alzheimer’s still can feel happy inside. For instance, he says to his wife that he is the luckiest person alive because he has her. He knows her. He loves her dearly. Despite his condition, this is what John focuses on the most.
His wife, while feeling some sadness, makes a powerful statement at the end. When her husband says, “I am the luckiest man alive,” she said to him, “I am too!” This woman may be experiencing pain from seeing her loved one struggle with Alzheimer’s, but she never expresses pity for her situation. In fact, she is thankful. She gets to take care of her husband, through both the good times and the hard times. This is what marriage is all about. Commitment. Sacrifice. True love.