Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's

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9780743205665: Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's

"We are foolish, those of us who think we can escape the traps of aging," writes Tom DeBaggio. "I was one of them, dreaming of a perfect and healthy old age....Now, at fifty-eight, I realize the foolishness of my dreams as I watch my brain self-destruct from Alzheimer's." Losing My Mind is DeBaggio's extraordinary account of his early onset Alzheimer's, a disease that "silently hollows the brain" and slowly "gobbles memory and destroys life." But with DeBaggio's curse came an unexpected blessing: the ability to chart the mechanics and musings of his failing mind.
Whether describing the happy days of his youth or lamenting over the burden his disease has placed upon his loved ones, DeBaggio manages to inspire the reader with his ability to function, to think, and ultimately to survive. By turns an autobiography, a medical history, and a book of meditations, Losing My Mind is a testament to the splendor of memory and a triumphant celebration of the human spirit.

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Review:

This first-person account of Alzheimer's ties several powerful stories together. Losing My Mind blends personal history with the fear and pain of developing the disease at the age of 57; it is both a sadly fascinating account of Alzheimer's progression and an attempt for the writer to remember his past before it is gone for good.

While his history is recounted in chronological order, these memories--of his childhood; marriage to his wife, Joyce; their years in writing and politics; his passion for herbs and the growing of a successful business--are interspersed with unrelated musings on everything from his cat's sudden deafness to losing his wallet. Clips from articles on Alzheimer's research are sprinkled around, and statistics like the $174,000 that a patient spends on the disease over a lifetime are sobering. Throughout the book, he clearly speaks of his diagnosis as a "sentence"; the lack of a cure is dwelt on in many sections, and a story about an accidental overdose of his prescriptions is particularly grim.

This is not a book that supplies any "power of positive thinking" messages, but instead shows the daily struggle of a man coming to terms with a terrible disease. Poignant and thoughtful, DeBaggio's life will hold meaning for anyone who has been touched by Alzheimer's. --Jill Lightner

About the Author:

Thomas DeBaggio has worked as both a professional herb grower and a newspaper journalist. The author of Growing Herbs from Seed, Cutting & Root, Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide (with Susan Belsinger), and The Big Book of Herbs (with Arthur O. Tucker), he lives with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.

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Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. We are foolish, those of us who think we can escape the traps of aging, writes Tom DeBaggio. I was one of them, dreaming of a perfect and healthy old age.Now, at fifty-eight, I realize the foolishness of my dreams as I watch my brain self-destruct from Alzheimer s. Losing My Mind is DeBaggio s extraordinary account of his early onset Alzheimer s, a disease that silently hollows the brain and slowly gobbles memory and destroys life. But with DeBaggio s curse came an unexpected blessing: the ability to chart the mechanics and musings of his failing mind. Whether describing the happy days of his youth or lamenting over the burden his disease has placed upon his loved ones, DeBaggio manages to inspire the reader with his ability to function, to think, and ultimately to survive. By turns an autobiography, a medical history, and a book of meditations, Losing My Mind is a testament to the splendor of memory and a triumphant celebration of the human spirit. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780743205665

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