November 3, 2008
‘A Conversation About Alzheimer’s’
POTOMAC FALLS, Va., Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- "When my father was formally diagnosed with Alzheimer's in September of 2001, I read every book, pamphlet, and newspaper article I could get my hands on," writes Michele L. Tucker in her new book, "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" (published by AuthorHouse -- http://www.authorhouse.com/). "Educate, educate, educate ... that's all I could think about. I told myself that once I knew the facts, I could get the right physicians, no matter the cost, to fix him. I just wanted to fix him!"
Unfortunately, as Michele found out, there is no "fixing" Alzheimer's. Over the next four years, she watched her father's condition worsen as his health and personality deteriorated. "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" is her starkly honest, unflinching account of the progression of her father's illness and how it affected her and her family. "Of course there are handbooks for the caregiver on the bookstore shelves, autobiographies and the like," Michele notes. "Each book, every website, offers phases of the disease, symptoms of the disease, how to relate to the patient in particular situations, but nothing exposed the real-world experience."
Michele sets out to detail her real-world experience as she was forced to face the reality that her father's Alzheimer's wasn't going to go away. She describes in heartbreaking detail the toll his disease took. She shares her emotional reaction to his diagnosis, the slow loss of his independence, and how family and friends reacted to her father's illness.
Michele is hopeful that "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" will educate others who may be watching a loved one turn into a stranger, that it will comfort them and remind them that they are not alone, and that it will provide strength when perhaps they feel they have no more to give. She gives advice on choosing an assisted living home and making funeral arrangements, along with detailing early warning signs of the disease.
"This passage has been an incredible one for me and my family," Michele writes. "We've learned a great deal of how sophisticated the brain actually is. We've also learned how the brain can rip away your very existence. But mostly, we learned patience."
About the Author: Michele L. Tucker, a native Virginian, currently resides there with her husband of 16 years and her teenage son. A 25-year career in the administrative field taught her invaluable lessons in how to react to pressure and crisis, skills she drew upon while dealing with her father's illness. "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" is her first book and she is currently at work on a second, a novel based on the tragic murder of a relative in Washington, D.C.
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