I recently read Michael Ellenbogen’s book From the Corner Office to Alzheimer’s and found this poignant account of living with the disease to be touching, heartbreaking, and eye-opening to say the least.
Ellenbogen, a former IT exec and self-proclaimed workaholic, was diagnosed with Early Onset AD in 2008. At that time, he was just 49-years-old and had noticed his earliest symptoms ten years earlier – before his 40th birthday. His forthright style helps us to understand what it’s like – from noticing the initial subtle changes, to trying to keep the wheels on the bus, so to speak, and live a “normal” life, to the search for a diagnosis, and beyond.
Yesterday, Ellenbogen wrote an enlightening post on katiecouric.com. When you have a few moments, pop over there and read My Name is Michael, and I Am Living with Alzheimer’s.
Stories like this not only serve to help crush the stereotype and stigma surrounding dementia, but they allow us – the family members, friends, and caregivers – to understand what it feels like to be that person.
In those early years with my mom, we didn’t know what was happening, and even once we did, we tended not to talk about it to avoid upsetting her. Maybe we thought if we buried our heads in the sand, it would go away. We spent years living in denial. I so wish we’d handled it differently.
Courageous people like Michael Ellenbogen who are willing to share their story are helping today’s families see that it’s okay to talk about it. In fact, it’s really only through talking that we have any chance of solving the problem…
Learn more about Michael by visiting The Michael Ellenbogen Movement on the web.