Gary A. - What It's Like Living with Alzheimer's

I would like to explain what it is like to experience a decline in your ability to think, remember and make decisions.  Early stage Alzheimer’s begins with episodes of memory lapse progressing to a diminished ability to reason and problem solve at a level achieved in the past.  As you re-evaluate what you now have control over, you must make adjustments in order to meet your needs via different pathways than you had previously.  Your choices are different and unfamiliar.  With fewer achievements and alternatives you are unable to meet your everyday needs. You become insecure and withdrawn.  When you withdraw you tend to become depressed because you have fewer pathways to be happy and fulfilled.

A diminished memory erodes your self worth and self confidence.  It inhibits risk taking, which in turn stifles your growth.  You feel fearful of losing your self image and become paranoid of what others think.  You don’t want others to treat you differently, and at times wish to be invisible to the outside world.  You increase the amount of idle time and begin to feel worthless.  What is being destroyed by Alzheimer’s is your self worth and your skills. 

Living with this disease is very difficult because you have a perception of who you once were and a different perception of who you are now.  The difference in these two realities creates an overwhelming sense of insecurity.  Insecurity changes your behavior, your mood, your plans and your dreams.  You feel there is no way back to where you once were.  This is what it feels like to have Alzheimer’s.

How to fight back:  At this time there is no cure.  Early detection is essential.  Having outstanding doctors like Dr. Jeffery Cumming and Dr. Kate Zhong are so important. The meds today can keep you at a cognitive level with hopes of new drugs through Clinical Trials for a possible cure in the future.

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