In the last ten years, my career in Geriatric Medicine has had an unabashed bias towards the care of patients with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. As such, memory loss and behavioral problems brought forth by family members and even patients are daily occurrences in my life. Through their stories, both hilarious and sad – but most of the time sad (or both) – we journey together in what would seem like a ‘slow dance in the dark’ with Alzheimer’s Disease. And in spite of the ominous journey, we find our little slivers of light. through these vignettes that can make you guffaw, fall off your chair, roll on the floor from their sheer morbid or irreverent and ‘where did that come from’ kind humor.But above all, these are little stories where big lessons come from, from which we can all learn and which may even keep you, how do I say it , sane?
N.B. This is not a rant or hate blog. This blog aims to help family members who grapple with difficulties of having Alzheimer’s Disease patients that tear down the dynamics of their respective lives, aggregate families and collective societies understand the disease and their patients and care for them with patience, compassion and yes – sense of humor.When you feel you are alone in all this, 24/7 – what could be a better companion than that – humor. Lots of it, 24/7.
DISCLAIMER: The identities of the subjects in the vignettes and other stories on this blog are intended to be ‘anonymous’ to protect the patient and their families and keep the doctor-patient confidentiality or fiduciary relationship. The personas cited here are not meant to be blind items or fodder for gossip. My lips are zipped in that department. Some of their identities and circumstances have been altered but the nuances of their medical condition are fact and not hidden behind veiled medical-clinical fiction. Think Oliver Sack’s ‘The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat’. Okay, it’s like comparing Roederer Cristal rose wine with vin d’ table but I know you see the drift.