POTOMAC FALLS, Va., Nov. 3 "When my father was formallydiagnosed 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 inher new book, "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" (published by AuthorHouse --http://www.authorhouse.com). "Educate, educate, educate ... that's all Icould think about. I told myself that once I knew the facts, I could get theright 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 hishealth and personality deteriorated. "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" isher starkly honest, unflinching account of the progression of her father'sillness and how it affected her and her family. "Of course there arehandbooks for the caregiver on the bookstore shelves, autobiographies and thelike," Michele notes. "Each book, every website, offers phases of thedisease, symptoms of the disease, how to relate to the patient in particularsituations, but nothing exposed the real-world experience."
Michele sets out to detail her real-world experience as she was forced toface the reality that her father's Alzheimer's wasn't going to go away. Shedescribes in heartbreaking detail the toll his disease took. She shares heremotional reaction to his diagnosis, the slow loss of his independence, andhow family and friends reacted to her father's illness.
Michele is hopeful that "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" will educateothers who may be watching a loved one turn into a stranger, that it willcomfort them and remind them that they are not alone, and that it will providestrength when perhaps they feel they have no more to give. She gives adviceon choosing an assisted living home and making funeral arrangements, alongwith detailing early warning signs of the disease.
"This passage has been an incredible one for me and my family," Michelewrites. "We've learned a great deal of how sophisticated the brain actuallyis. We've also learned how the brain can rip away your very existence. Butmostly, we learned patience."
About the Author: Michele L. Tucker, a native Virginian, currently residesthere with her husband of 16 years and her teenage son. A 25-year career inthe administrative field taught her invaluable lessons in how to react topressure and crisis, skills she drew upon while dealing with her father'sillness. "A Conversation About Alzheimer's" is her first book and she iscurrently at work on a second, a novel based on the tragic murder of arelative in Washington, D.C.
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