Hi all! My name is Holly. I was just diagnosed with EOAD. I am 49 years old, which I can’t believe because I only look 20! LOL!
The inheritance you never wanted
I can’t say I was surprised by my diagnosis; I already knew. I started having trouble with my critical thinking skills about 3 years ago. I was a nurse in the NICU, and began having difficulty with skills I already knew.
My mother was diagnosed at 47, and died at 64. Two of her brothers also died in their early 60s. The pattern was very much the same.
The support that gets me through it
My wife and 3 children have been very supportive. Liz, my wife is very stoic, always on top of things and taking charge of the details. I know this is hard for her, but she only shows it occasionally when we are alone. Last week at church she saw me start crying while singing (I’m on the praise team). She literally walks up on stage, grand baby in her arms, just to hug me and hand me a tissue because I had to keep singing, I just had to.
Leaving nothing unsaid
I think it has been hardest on my oldest, my only daughter. We are very close. I actually think my experience with my mother, and my relationship with the Lord have helped me to help her. I told her things that I wish my mother had told me. “You are the most beautiful girl in the world,” “we will say everything now so that there will be nothing left to say,” “you were my purpose in life.” It is a blessing to know your diagnosis while you are still able to be your families caretaker.
A disease of the brain, not the spirit
My whole family has heard me say that Alzheimer’s is a disease of the brain, not the spirit. I told them all that even when my body and brain fail, my spirit will remain. God created humans from dirt, but He breathed His life into us. That never dies. My body may not work anymore, but when they look into my eyes, I want them to see my spirit. At least until I see them again, fully renewed.
Do you have a good system in place to deal with stress and burnout?
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