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Entries by Joan Sutton from 09/2012

Alzheimer's Has Robbed My Husband and Me

| Posted 09.11.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png Given that we are in the neurologist's office at my request, I should not have been surprised -- no, not surprised, floored or shocked -- by the diagnosis. But I was. The doctor's visit was prompted by a cluster of seemingly small incidents. And so, my beloved husband became one of the five million Americans diagnosed with this thief of a disease. What's more for every human being diagnosed, there is a circle of others -- partners, family, friends, employers, employees -- who are also victims, robbed of memory and relationships.

If Alzheimer's Is So Common, Why the Stigma?

| Posted 09.14.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.pngDespite the 36 million people afflicted worldwide, there is still something of a stigma about the label. Just as cancer used to be a diagnosis whispered in close family circles so do many think about Alzheimer's. It is the crazy aunt or uncle locked away in the attic. The first reaction to the diagnosis is often, like mine, denial.

Alzheimer's Takes a Husband, and Hands You a Stranger

| Posted 09.17.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png Alzheimer's has stolen two bits of my husband's self -- his ability to manage his finances and his joy in cooking -- and with that, a large part of his dignity. And the thief has robbed me too -- of companionship, laughter, what our friends used to call our ballet in the kitchen.

I'm a Wife, and Now a Caregiver

| Posted 09.19.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png I don't think of myself as a caregiver -- I am a wife, honoring the vows I took so many years ago. I have had the better, and the richer -- ( speaking of experiences and not money). Now I am living through their opposites: the sickness, and the poorer -- (in this case both experiences and money: Alzheimer's is expensive).

Alzheimer's Is the Third Person in Our Marriage

| Posted 09.21.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png Once I recovered from the shock of the diagnosis I decided to learn as much as I could about this disease that was stealing my husband's identity, and robbing me of a beloved partner, bit by bit. On World Alzheimer's Day, let me share with you what I, as a caregiver and a member of the Board of Overseers of The Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF), have learned

Alzheimer's Affects Your Past, Present and Future

| Posted 09.25.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png Memory is not just our past -- it is also our present. Memory tells us how to send an email, how to get from here to there, to put on our underpants before our outerwear, how to use a knife and fork, even how to swallow. Memory is the ON button for every function we take for granted. That is the mystery that surrounds every Alzheimer's patient. How much are they aware of what they are losing?

How Alzheimer's Changed My Marriage

| Posted 09.28.2012 | Canada Living

2012-09-11-Alzheimersbanner2.png The Alzheimer's world is a parallel universe: the patient and the caregiver, the one who forgets and the one who is forgotten, the one whose memories recede, the one for whom those memories become even more important. Ours is a second marriage, for both.