Still Alice

As I was recently driving through Boston/Harvard, I remembered scenes from the book Still Alice.  If you love old people, you’ve got to read this book.

It’s the best book I’ve ever found that brings the layman (like me) into the complicated realm of Alzheimer’s.

The book tells the tale, in a novel format, of a Harvard professor with early onset Alzheimer’s through HER eyes.  And, I suppose seeing it through the professor’s eyes is what makes the book so compelling.

The other day I ate a vegetarian meal.  A couple hours later, I was trying to recall every item on the plate. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the word ‘Asparagus.’  Instead of shrugging it off and moving on to something else mentally, I dug in and tried with all my mind to recall the word.  No luck.  I thought of this book.  I worried.  I could visualize the vegetable.  I could smell it.  But, I could not name it.  10 minutes later, I gave up.  What explains that?  I don’t know.  Could it be a ridiculously early hint of things to come decades from now.

I truly hope not.  I can’t think of a more tragic disease.  I lost my father to cancer (he was way too young).  I lost my friend to a car accident.  And while there’s nothing to gain by ranking the level of bad of bad things, Alzheimer’s ranks up there.  When your mother looks at you blankly and has NO IDEA who you are and the disease will lead to her death too … ? … brutal.

Read the book.  Get involved.

Advertisements