By: Barry Peterson
Behler Publications, LLC
Lake Forest, California
978-1933016443, $ 15.95, 2010, 206 Pages
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Devastating Effect of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
Award winning news correspondent Barry Petersen tells “Jan’s Story” and of their journey together in a story of excitement, passion, and of love lost to the long goodbye of Alzheimer’s. Step by step and chapter by chapter he takes the reader through Jan’s journey into each of the “Seven Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease.”
Petersen is open and candid in talking about his feelings of devastation, anger and grief as the brain altering disease Early Onset Alzheimer’s takes control and dominates every area of life in a downward spiral unpredictable and all consuming. He tells of the private agony of loneliness, overwhelming feelings of depression, and the ongoing battle with exhaustion.
The pages are filled with personal experiences, correspondence with family and friends, advice from medical professionals, fellow travelers, and well-meaning acquaintances. In this dramatic story Peterson provides the reader valuable information and helpful hints for fellow travelers on their journey with Alzheimer’s.
I personal gained:
- New perspectives on the reality of day to day life and the growing sense of loss, a sense of discovery into the little windows of the Disease and the realization of being increasingly alone.
- Help to cope with the sense of isolation, loneliness, denial and the delusion of normalcy or improvement.
- The dangers of ignoring a growing awareness of the results of Caregiver stress.
- How to deal with times when it seems that all dreams are ending.
- The relief of distraction.
- And the realization that I am not alone in this journey.
There were times in my reading when my tears blurred the print or when I just stopped reading to reflect on our own journey with Alzheimer’s. Reflective moments recalling cherished memories of those days that pre-date the realization that building memories for “us” was in reality building memories for me.
Resource suggestions and discussion questions are provided for further reading, personal contemplation or for group discussion, ideal for use in a reader’s or support group.
A beautiful story, of love, trauma, renewal, and hope.