1. Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease
Well, we learn something new every day? Have you heard that saying before? If you’re old enough, you have. I have Early Onset Alzheimer’s and I’m learning something new every day!
After the psychological devastation, I felt that I needed to do something to help others like me with Early Onset Alzheimer’s because it took years to final diagnoses. Yes, years! It was very subtle, and frustrating not understanding why I was having some strange daily occurrences of confusion and missing information at my job.
I am now an NJ (soon to be Floridian) State Advocate. I’ve decided I wanted to help others who felt like me… maybe knowing something was wrong inside like I felt, but not knowing what it was. I asked myself continually “What was wrong with me?” Something ‘felt’ wrong. When I was finally diagnosed, I’ve started a group on Facebook to provide information on what is called Early Onset Alzheimer’s Info. Why? 1) Because I struggled for 3-4 years knowing something was up and trying to find out what was so ‘weird. 2) I worked in the pharmaceutical industry so searching for solutions was natural. So, I went on the ‘What’s Wrong With Me Hunt?’ I went from doctor to doctor looking for answers.
At the writing of this post, I am 64 years old and was officially diagnosed about 3-4 years ago. I had no clue that it was Early Onset Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t forgetfulness like most people think. There was slight confusion about things I already knew. Full understanding of something I usually did seemed to leave my mind. It was an uncomfortable feeling trying to remember someone’s name, or trying to recall a place or thing, or ever-so-slight remembering things I already knew. Old memories were intact; new information was hard to keep, short-term memory is a disaster. It definitely had a major impact on my everyday living (as slight as it was). Although this condition ran in my family, like most people I didn’t really think about it until it affects you or someone close to you.
2. Learn The Stages/Attributes Of Alzheimer’s
The problem was I didn’t know there were stages of Alzheimer’s. I didn’t know Early Onset Alzheimer’s symptoms. I didn’t know there were different types of dementia. Even after I was diagnosed, (you can read my story to diagnosis here), it was all news to me. Besides some various confusion once in a while, I pretty much was living my life the same. Even though I was aware of my mom and other family member’s diagnosis. I just didn’t think it would affect me 🙁 And then the fear ran through my body when, in my early 60’s, I found out I had it too.
Now it’s been about 3-4 years since my diagnosis and the more it progresses, the more frightened I become. I know what it looks like, what it feels like, and I know the frustration and sometimes embarrassment that comes along with the early stage and life struggles. Living life becomes frustrating. Even after all this time, I learned that there are Stages of Alzheimer’s. So I thought I’d share that information. Click on the link to this article the Stages of Alzheimer’s. Once you’ve been diagnosed, it is critically important to know and understand the upcoming symptoms and prepare yourself and your family.
3. How Will You Live Your Life?
I decided my focus would be to help others, like me. Somehow, that takes the focus off my own fear and prepares me for a different life. Live life to the fullest is what we have to do. I want to spend my cognitive time helping and directing others to necessary local organizations, advising on what physicians you need, and more. Leave a message below if you have any questions. We can support each other in our togetherness.
Alzheimer’s Organization New Jersey Advocate