To be honest, I never understood the big deal about Alzheimer’s disease. You slowly forget everything. Which in a way is a good thing is nt it? No grudges remembered, no embarrassing memories, no idea if you have a good or bad relationship with a person – it’s a come as you may world. Living each moment. Sounds like a good thing in fact. But then no memory of your achievements, of that moment when you felt you have found your soul mate, of the family get-togethers, your children. That seems like torture. Apart from these enhanced attributes, what about the basic attributes which separate humans from other organisms – language, control over bodily functions, threat perception. What happens when a human being slowly loses those brain cells that hold the information about these. That definitely is not a happy place to be.
A friend of mine had a relative who succumbed to dementia. She used to tell me some instances and episodes. Though I had some awareness, I never fully got the impact of the ailment. Till I read this book.
The book is about a Harvard professor – Alice Howland who is diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. She is only 50 which is a very unlikely age to have the disease. A mother of three successful and intelligent kids and a celebrated teacher and professor – a debilitating disease of the brain is the worst thing that could happen to her. The book is the journey of Alice from a point where she is a bit incoherent on a downward slope. It is a very realistic portrayal of the everyday struggles of someone with the illness. It certainly helped me appreciate just how important our brain is! ( I know of course it’s important ). It also brought to life the feelings of family and immediate carers.
Read the book for an insight into the mind of someone who is slowly losing grips on her identity and individuality. For a true appreciation of how lucky we are to have healthy bodies and more importantly healthy minds. A fantastic read!