Those of us who have lived with dementia or Alzheimer’s in our families know about the struggle. But rarely does an opportunity come along to read about what’s happening to memory from the perspective of the person who is ill and gradually becoming sicker.
Facing a Fading Future: Retired Doctor Chronicles His Struggles With Alzheimer’s appeared in the March 31, 2013 Washington Post, and it offers the perspective of the patient who also happens to be a trained physician.
Take some time to read this compelling article, by Theresa Vargas, about Dr. David Hilfiker who has Alzheimer’s and is blogging about it. It’s heartbreaking and amazing at the same time, and providing many of us with the first real look at the disease, chronicled from a patient’s point of view.
A Few Quotes from the Article
- If I live in the present it’s a very painful disease. If I live in the present, it’s not.
- He is … chronicling his demise in a blog titled Watching the Lights Go Out, providing a sobering guide for the millions headed behind him into the darkness.
- We humans have amazing denial mechanisms, of course, but why are they almost universally so powerful in dementia?
- When he can no longer write about his own experiences, a friend has agreed to do it for him.
Watching the Lights Go Out…. such a apt description….I watched it with my husband. I could sometimes see his emotions, unexplained as they were. Fear at what was happening to him. Anger at the unknown. Frustration at knowing something was happening, but unable to identify the “it”.
Thank you for this comment. In a few words you make the reader feel just how difficult “it” can be.
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