Friday, June 18, 2010

Reading NPR's Update on Tom DeBaggio

I was blown away by the series Melissa Block wrote about Tom DeBaggio and his experience with Alzheimer's disease.

The early interviews were started in 1999, after Tom was diagnosed with Early Onset at the age of 57, by NPR's Noah Adams. All of the interviews were very poignant.I made some very personal connections as I remembered watching my mother succumb to Alzheimer's.

Tom wrote two books after he was diagnosed. I was particularly moved by an excerpt from "Losing My Mind" by Tom DeBaggio.

"The struggle to find the words, to express myself, has become insurmountable. I must now be done with writing and lick words instead. I will soon be stripped of language and memory, existing in a shy and unsteady forbearance of nature. I am on the cusp of a new world, a place I will be unable to describe. It is the last hidden place, and marked with a headstone.

I must now wait for the silence to engulf me and take me to the place where there is no memory left and there remains no reflexive will to live. It is lonely here waiting for memory to stop and I am afraid and tired. Hug me, Joyce, and then let me sleep."

Such powerful writing as he describes his final journey into the darkness. I am humbled as I read the interviews. I am moved to read both books and continue to learn about this disease. Because you see I am afraid that it may well be my own future that I am reading about.


furygirl3132 said...

Hello! I am a new follower from Friday Follow, so glad to have found your great blog. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!


Ruth said...


thanks for visiting me. I stopped by your blog and am now following you.

abitosunshine said...

The DeBaggio books sound like must read books for many caretakers, as well, as you say, those who fear this dreadful disease.

Blessings & a bit o' sunshine!

ps...also on your WFF trail!

Kerri said...

My Grandmother has dementia and it makes me sad. I had a friend who's mother had Alzheimer's and I watched her try to be okay with it.

I too fear that one of these diseases is in my future and it scares me.

Ruth F said...

There are no good diseases. Alzheimer's steals bits and pieces of the person at a time. I guess that is why I tried so many things so that I could still communicate with my Mother.

I still keep looking knowing in time advancements will be achieved.