I’ll tell you all about it, but first I’ll give you a little history and my story.
I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s (EOA) almost 2 years ago. At the writing of this post, I am 63 years old, however, I knew something was ‘weird or wrong about 5 years before that.
Early Onset Alzheimer’s is anyone diagnosed with Alzheimer’s symptoms before the age of 65. I noticed that I wasn’t as sharp as I used to be; I didn’t pick up things as quickly as I used to, and couldn’t retain information like before, and I struggled with my job assignments as a Technical Consultant. But it was so subtle, it was really hard to say if there was something wrong.
The signs were so slight and no one seemed to notice it but me. I thought it was just normal aging. My friends and I, all in the same age bracket, used to joke about slight forgetfulness all the time. But deep down inside, I was worried because my mother died of this disease and she was relatively young when it started.
The Impact – What Did It Mean?
These mild symptoms were enough to worry me! Believe it or not, Five years ago, I started searching, going to various doctors, trying to find out what was wrong. I finally saw a neurologist. The neurologist found one of the two components in my brain (almoloyd plaque) that identifies Alzheimer’s. Eventually, the other component, called tau tangles, will form leading to full-blown Alzheimer’s. There is no specified time frame for when this will happen, but the norm is 10 to 12 years.
What does it Effect?
Well, the first response to that question is ‘my life is definitely effected’ ☹! At this moment in time, the bad news is Mild cognitive impairment which affects my ability to remember/retain new information. Additionally, I have Short term memory loss. That means I can forget what you told me five minutes before. Both are very, very frustrating, but at least that’s the only impact for me at this time.
The GOOD news is, at this moment: I don’t have dementia, yet, which is what Alzheimer’s is –full blown forgetfulness – like living in a black hole in which everything that goes on around you gets lost and leads to more confusion, feelings out of our control, disorganization, and fear.
For me, my lifestyle, so far, is intact. But current information, learning, and day to day activities can give me pause. Tell me something new, that I don’t know, and I’m likely to forget it quickly. I might remember that we discussed the topic but I struggle to remember the details. So repetition is key and the people around you will get very frustrated with you when they have to repeat themselves all the time! 🙁 I may ask a question about something that we already discussed. , but once reminded I’ll remember. It’s very frustrating and, according to the doctors, it will get worse over the years. This disease puts me in full panic mode for each occurrence of forgetfulness. My mother passed away from this awful disease on July 11, 2005, but she was well incapacitated and struggled daily with ‘life stuff’ way before that.
As I struggled with day to day activities, work, organization, running a household, and sometimes minute to minute forgetfulness. I had to come up with strategies to help me get through day-to-day life without frustration. I thought it was near impossible to do so, but I’ve managed to get a little bit more organized. Finding tricks and tips to help me get through each day helped. I documented these strategies in a book, One More Thing, Before I Forget, A Resource Guide for Early Onset Alzheimer’s. This book, however, includes, many other things like materials and information to keep you on track daily, activities to help you remember, best supplements, and technical apps to ease the tension and worry about survival each day.
One-More-Thing-Before-I-Forget, A Resource Guide For Early Onset Alzheimer’s. Believe it or not, the resources in this book and on the website can help you manage your day to day activities without always being in panic mode as you struggle to live with forgetfulness and dementia. If you’ve got a minute click here where you will find some phenomenal resources guaranteed to help you manage life with an early-onset diagnosis.