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Alyssa

We lost my Grandpa to it-- heartbreaking-- He was a Naval officer and such a gentleman and he became violent and nothing like himself toward the end. The worst was when he could tell something was wrong and tried to cover it. He was only 63. My mom is now that age and I know she worries about it. My Grandma lived another 20 years and, at 92, lost much of her memory but not her personality. She was the same spunky fierce woman she had always been and she was happy.
I haven't read the book. I pray there will be a cure soon!

suburbancorrespondent

"I mean, really, who does that? Carries something downstairs and then loses it?" Me, every single day.

Yes, dementia is a terrible way to go. But we don't get to choose, right?

ellen

You'll probably get a lot of these type of responses, but here goes. My mom and Alice had striking similarities in education and career and disease onset age so reading the book was like swallowing and digesting a cannonball--very difficult! I often tell others that Alzheimer's is so much more than loosing your keys. It's a disease of memory and cognition. My mom's first symptoms were an inability to learn new things---specifically the tasks required by a new job. Or her hyper emotional state when she couldn't remember social arrangements and thought others were being rude and unkind towards her. (Paranoia is another symptom btw.) There's no family history and my mom hasn't had a genetic test. Everyday I pray none of my siblings decides to get tested because I am like Alice's daughter who does NOT want to know. I fear this disease more than just about anything else. But I credit her disease for my journals and annotated photo albums that I hope could provide my children a glimpse of who I was if I do get sick. That's the hardest part, not being able to ask my mom about life and parenting and my own childhood or to learn from her as an adult.

Shelly

Very heartbreaking! My BIL lost his mom to Early-Onset Alheimer's and it was horrible to see her rapidly fade away. Unfortunately, her was genetic and none of her children or grandchildren have it. I am reminded of Glen Campbel, though he doesn't have the early onset kind....His last song makes me really think about these last moments of those families will have with their loved one...I am trying to remember everything today...and for as long as I can..

Kyooty

My GM had Alzheimer's disease. It was 14yrs and it was a slow progression. She had good care because her 8 children made sure she had the right care and were there to pick up the pieces that weren't part of her assisted living care. I didn't see her much myself it was hard. I wanted to remember the woman she was at my wedding. It's not just the tole the disease takes on the person but also their families. So very hard.

Megan

I haven't read the book, but I'd like to. My dad's mom had dementia but died of general old age (not sure of the exact cause) before she got to the point she couldn't remember who people were. She did things like answering the door in her underwear, though. Sometimes I think she would have been better off if she died in a car crash just before she got to that point, but she still got to celebrate her 60th wedding anniversary, see me graduate college - so maybe those happy times outweighed the bad?

My other grandmother mostly kept her mind, but she spent her last year in a nursing home, confined to bed and a wheelchair, miserable and incontinent. I don't know, maybe dementia would've been better.

I've heard everyone forgets where they put their keys; people with dementia or Alzheimer's forget what the keys do (or the acne cream). I am similarly forgetful and easily distracted. I think that's more an issue of our multitasking, screen-focused society.

Jules

There's a lot of really important stuff but, you HATE BEETS??? I'm having trouble getting past that ..

Jana

I had a conversation with my 22yr old son about being worried that I would get Alzheimer's disease and what memories I would lose and how I may not recognize my own children, etc. He actually made me feel a little better about it because he said if I do get it, I won't realize it because I wouldn't be in my right mind so I shouldn't spend time worrying about it. However, I do think you would realize something is terribly wrong with your mind in the beginning stages. I also don't want my children to see their Mom not recognizing them. It's a terrible disease and I just wish a cure could be found.

Liz

I think you are fantastic--I just read your Christmas post. You don't have to be perfect, just be you, always. Your family loves you and wants you to have less stress, so do that for yourself and them. Keep at it!

Soni

Bringing things to another room and losing them?? ALL. THE. TIME. Alzheimer's scares the bejeezus out of me but my daughter has helped me feel better - all 17 years of her - because she has learned in her many science classes that it is much more likely to be present in families, i.e if neither of your parents, nor any of your grandparents have had it, then there is a very small likelihood that it will happen to you. My parents, thankfully, are in their 70s and show no signs. The only unknown is that none of my grandparents survived past their 60s, so we don't know for sure if it would have developed. I used to enjoy reading books or seeing movies like this to sort of have a cathartic outlet for these fears. Now, not so much.

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  • Carmen Staicer is a whirlwind of energy and execution, who never sleeps and drinks way too much coffee. She works from home as Social Media Programs Manager for SheKnows, and is the mom to six kids, most of whom play instruments, sing or dance and all of whom are much smarter than she will ever be. In other words, her house is never ever quiet or still. A concentration of asthma, food allergies, spectrum disorders and learning disabilities means that she spends an awful lot of time second guessing herself and Dr. Googling, as well as learning to cook everything the family might like to eat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, boxing (she has her Black Belt in Muay Thai), sleeping, exploring coffee shops, photography, ballet class and cooking. She excels in being a smart mouth and has her major in sarcasm, with a dual minor in BS studies and avoiding laundry.