Alzheimer – A Personal Story

| November 9, 2014 | 1 Comment | Email This Post Email This Post
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Gregs-hi-res-in-boat-photo-300x199Inside The Mind of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s is one of the most dreaded diseases that usually come with old age. It not only hampers your ability to recall memories, but it also severs the connection between you and your family, which can be mentally devastating for both parties.

No stranger to this disease is Greg O’ Brien, as he witnessed firsthand two people who were dear to him succumb to the dreadful disease – his maternal grandfather and his mother. And to make matters worse, he himself has contracted Alzheimer’s at age 59.

Andy Asher has had the chance to interview Greg O’ Brien to share his thoughts about Alzheimer’s and his book about Alzheimer’s, “On Pluto – Inside the Mind of Alzheimer’s”.

In his book, he explains that Alzheimer’s disease is not triggered by one thing; it is through a combination of events that triggers it. He cites himself as an example, as he contracted Alzheimer’s when he inherited the disease from his mother, got into an accident involving his head which caused serious head injury, and the presence of the APOE4 gene, a gene which is a significant marker of Alzheimer’s. At the age of 59, his doctor diagnosed him with Alzheimer’s.

The feeling of having Alzheimer’s, Greg says, can be described as “death in slow motion”. All your memories, be it good or bad, fade away each passing day and it severely hurts the ones involved, the patient and their family members.

However, there are three things that helped Greg to keep on going – faith, humor, and hope. Inflicted with other diseases such as scoliosis and prostate cancer, he continued to live each passing day without worrying, entrusting himself to his faith and hope. Of course, injecting a little humor to oneself doesn’t hurt as well.

“You have to learn to have humor and find the silver lining”, Greg says. He motivates himself by keeping himself surrounded with positive people, doing exercise regularly, and of course, keeping up with his faith. Doing these, he says, can actually slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s and let you live a fulfilling life even though you have this dreadful disease.

Greg is an ardent supporter of organizations like Cure Alzheimer’s (curealz.org) aiming to seek the cure for the dreaded disease. Today, Greg continues to work as a political writer, as well as providing support for people who have the same disease as his.

A transcript of the interview can be seen on Bloomer Boomer’s website at bloomerboomer.com.

Category: Brain Health

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