Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Seventh Book Report: Living With Alzheimer's--Part One

Living With Alzhiemer's by Joseph Potocny
His trademark signature is: God bless you and this great country of ours.  Since September 25, 2006 Joe has been blogging about his Early Onset Alzheimer's and Frontal Lobe Dementia. Over 43,000 people have visited his blog. He is like a reporter on the disease and this blog became a book at the end of 2010. There are humor and stories in his blog and book. There are dark thoughts there also.  He tenderly writes about his grandchild whom he goes to the park with, but who needs to help him walk back home so he can find his home. Wife Lynn writes on Joe's blog:
Thank you for giving our grandchildren memories and our children memories that will carry on. I'm glad today is a gentle day for you.
Joe writes insightfully:
  • Alzheimer's does not care who or what you are. It just keeps eating away at your mind taking its share each day. I know it sounds like I am very coherent, but it takes a geat deal of concentration on each word.
  • Delightfully Joe decides to not use spell check, but you can figure out what he is saying. For him to stop and worry about mechanics would mean he wouldn't get his words out. No spell check anymore the real me will be here from now on, he writes January 13, 2007. "I see confusiooon and pain in my falyms eyse and how they trey ther best to bollster me up." "This fricken disease really sucks. I waitn on My Lord to take my hand willing to go with him.I have tought serousisly oabout doing something, but wor=uld screw that up. Be paraliiized and not know it or who I was. Wahat a bitch. This is my life now. One day at a time, it leaves me further hehiind and I catn catch it. Keep those cards and letters coming in, I due answer them, the best I can. nornalllly the first time with spel ckr, after that you get me."
  • I think of what [Lynn, Joe's wife] still has to go through with me and it bothers me greatly. My family will feel the strain as well as will my friends. I can only hope that they find the strenghth inside themselves to know that they are loved by me and I care about their concerns.
  • We feel the slow loss inside of us. We are aware more than you think. All we ask is talk to us, offer your hand and understand when we need it.
Joe complains about all his medicine as my husband has. (I complain about the expense of it here.)  Early on Joe quotes the serenity prayer.  Joe records dialogues with others. Dirty Butter writes to him:
God Bless U, Joe!! I would imagine that was very hard to share. Such a scary thing to watch yourself disappear. But you can still love and be loved until God is ready to take you home, Joe. Cling to that!!!
Joe's wife Lynn writes:
Just so you remember at least for now that we do not consider you or anybody else a throw away. Your family is not like that. And there may come a day that we have a few problems with you and would like to put you out the door, but it is not going to happen. I wish there were a few more days with sunlight in them for you. Hold my hand when it gets dark.
As time goes on Joe has more difficulty. I am even in his book. Septenber 14,  2010 NewKidontheBlogg from PlantCityLadyandFriends wrote:
Thanks so much for explaining so well how it is for you. I am sorry that you are experiencing confusion and trouble walking. May the LORD sustain you each day and give you things to enjoy. --Carol
I was thinking about Joe and Lynn tonight as I read a quote on Facebook. John Piper quoted M'Cheyne:
To manage a life of pain,
as a believer in Jesus remember:
This is all the hell you will ever bear.

God bless you, Joe and Lynn,  and thanks for writing such an honest book.


  1. >> To manage a life of pain,

    as a believer in Jesus remember:

    This is all the hell you will ever bear.

    (Blessed though! Thank you Jesus!)

    Still reading your book and getting to know your heart more and more. :=)

  2. Carol,

    It's a terrible disease, isn't it? My mother hardly speaks any more and she's back to getting up during the night and wanting to sleep all day when the sitter is there with her. If she won't go down for meals, the assisted living facility won't let her stay there. The meds the geriatric psychiatrist has her on really make her zombie like but otherwise she gets argumentative and unmanageable. So sad....

  3. I love John Piper! I do believe he is one of my favorite (if not THE favorite) preacher. Hope you are doing well!