Memories are Precious - Alzheimer's Journey: Ruth's Story - Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
'Alzheimer's is a deadly disease and does not discriminate. It is not a disease of the poor, the rich, the famous or the indigent. It is a disease that anyone can get at any time. It knows no boundaries and it does not care whether you are white or black or of any other race, religion or creed.'
Imagine going to sleep, waking up and finding yourself in a strange place. You have no idea where you are nor how you got there. You don't even know what you may have done after you arrived. This is the way I picture Alzheimer's Disease. It can only be like being in a "walking coma." You can move around but in a trance type stage. You can't remember where something as simple as a drinking glass is kept, even though you've kept them in the same place for years. You sit face to face with your own children or spouse and have no clue as to who they are. These have to be horrible, scary feelings.
In Memories Are Precious Ruth herself talks about her feelings and experiences in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Her first indication that something was wrong was when she started forgetting things. She couldn't remember what she had just eaten. She couldn't balance her own checkbook because she couldn't remember how to add and subtract. She went to the store, didn't remember going there and ended up getting lost going home.
Ruth talks about the things she had to give up... After driving the wrong way down a one way street, her car keys were taken away and eventually her car had to be sold. One day she took a second dose of her medicine because she didn't remember taking the first dose. This resulted in her not being allowed to dispense her own medicine. As the disease progressed, Ruth lost the two things that matter most to all of us. She lost her independence and her freedom.
In Memories are Precious, Fran Lewis talks about the responsibilities of being a caregiver to an Alzheimer patient. Her research on this deadly disease, and more importantly, her experience from being a caregiver for her mother has given her the ability to write Memories are Precious, filling it with tips on subjects such as safety, changes, how to find help and how to take care of your own stress levels. She discusses the role change of the child becoming the parent and the parent becoming the child and helps us understand those changes, offering advice that will help make the role change easier for the caregiver. She also talks about the importance of other family members and friends becoming involved with the patient.
As I read Memories are Precious, I found myself understanding this disease and the stress that is put on the family. This is one book that I feel should be read by everyone of all ages. As Fran Lewis says "It is a disease that anyone can get at any time." There is no way of knowing who will be next.
Publisher - Xlibris
ISBN # 978-1-4415-8479-3