Synopsis: “I know where I’m going. I’m still myself. I just can’t remember things as well as I once did. So on short trips, I work hard not to be confused. I’ll say to myself, ‘What are we going to do? How long are we staying?’ It’s like I’m talking to my other self – the self I used to be. She tells me, ‘This is what we need to buy – not that.’ I’m conscious of that other self guiding me now.
Restaurateur, magazine publisher, celebrity chef, and nationally known lifestyle maven, B. Smith is struggling at sixty-six with a tag she never expected to add to that string: Alzheimer’s patient. She’s not alone. Every sixty-seven seconds someone newly develops it, and millions of lives are affected by its aftershocks.
B. and her husband, Dan, working with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Shnayerson, unstintingly share their unfolding story.
Part memoir, part caregiver’s guide, this work is a unique entry on the Alzheimer’s shelf. Crafted in short chapters that interweave their narrative with practical and helpful advice, readers learn about dealing with the day-to-day challenges of Alzheimer’s, family realities and tensions, ways of coping, and coming research that may tip the scale, as well as lessons learned along the way.
At its heart, Before I Forget is a love story illuminating a love of famly, life, and hope.”
I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I wanted to read Before I Forget because my mother suffered, if not from Alzheimer’s (she was never diagnosed), certainly from severe dementia.
Combining their own personal story with conversations with Alzheimer’s experts in the medical field with known facts and research – along with unknowns, this book is very helpful for any family member or caregiver dealing with Alzheimer’s patients. And, sadly, as the baby boomers continue to age and as people live longer because of advanced medical technology and people taking better care of their bodies, there will be even more people diagnosed with this dreadful disease.
One thing I learned reading this book is that a diagnosis could only come after a person died and an autopsy was performed. Now, because of PET (positron emission tomography), a patient can be diagnosed before death. This helps the clinical trials to learn what medications may help cure Alzheimer’s because the research scientists will only test patients with an Alzheimer’s diagnosis and, therefore, won’t waste valuable research time and money on non-Alzheimer’s patients. Sadly, Medicare won’t pay for a PET exam and the cost for a patient is $5,000.
I could go on and on about this book, but I won’t. Again, I highly recommend it to anyone with aging parents or for a man/woman who’s spouse is dealing wiith dementia of any kind. It will help you understand what’s going on with your loved one. I also recommend it to caregivers of any kind – even those who work in hospitals or nursing homes.