My name is Jane and my husband of 36 years was diagnosed with Dementia/Alzheimer’s about three and half years ago. This blog is a tale of our lives after “Al” (the name I’ve given Joe’s disease) moved in. In the two years since I began this blog, it's been read in over 25 countries. It really is "AL" over the world. Thanks for coming along with us down a path of uncertainty. Joe passed on November 19, 2016.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
ALZHEIMER'S--AND THE OSCAR GOES TO
Oscar night 2015
It was a
tough week with all the preparation for the Oscars.
the interviews, the hair and makeup, sessions with the stylists, the fashion
designers, the pre-parties; and don’t even mention the selection of jewels and
shoes. I’m exhausted. I may sleep for a week.
I watched it
all and on Oscar Night, I sat in suspense breathlessly waiting for the winners
to be announced. Would it be Michael
Keaton, or that freckle-faced kid, Eddie Redmayne?
seen a single one of the films nominated but I was there, supporting them all, every
word, watching all the clips and pleading for those most deserving.
there alone. Joe and Al and my sister-in-law were there sweating it out with me. We couldn’t believe it when Neil Patrick
Harris showed up in his briefs. It was the biggest wardrobe malfunction since the
historic Jackson/Timberlake event in 2004 and it was right in our living room,
in high definition and surround sound.
It was a
perfect night. Well, almost perfect.
started to change for me when they got around to Tim McGraw.
came up as Tim sat alone on the stage.
The music started, and before I could take cover, he began to sing. There was no escaping. It was too late, and I
had to listen. I knew what was
I’d heard it
before. “I’m Not Going to Miss You”, the haunting lyrics of the last song recorded
by Glen Campbell (diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2011).
Not to take
anything away from McGraw, but the words of that song stand alone, sung or
spoken. Just like the first time I heard
them, they burned through me like fire, scorched my heart, and I cried.
That song is
much more to me than a love song or a country boy sad song. It overwhelms me; the idea that someone you
love and has been with you for most of your life, may someday simply not
remember you. How could that be? What an absolutely and totally cruel joke to
play on life. (Long pause.)
enough. We must move on because the
night wasn’t over and it was time for dessert (chocolate Oscar cake).
impressed with the lack of preparation on the part of most Oscar winners. Wouldn’t you think that they would have a completely
rehearsed acceptance? Many started with, “I don’t know what to
For me, the
night was capped when Julianne Moore won the Oscar for her leading role in the
film, “Still Alice”. Of course, that’s
because our family is one of the 5 million in the US dealing with “Al”, the
I logged on to my Twitter account and checked in with the Alzheimer’s
community. The website was abuzz with
energy surrounding Moore’s win.
The general consensus
today was that Alzheimer’s awareness may have just gotten a very much needed
shot in the arm. You couldn’t ask for
better publicity than a Golden Globe and an Oscar win.
recently that Alzheimer’s kills more Americans than prostate and breast cancer
combined. By the time a woman is in her
60’s, her estimated lifetime risk for developing Alzheimer’s is 1 in 6. For breast cancer it is 1 in 11.
Any way you
measure it, Alzheimer’s stinks.
Once again the
Baby Boom generation (my generation) will make their mark on the nation. By 2045 the number of people age 65 and older
with Al may triple, from 5 million to 16 million. That’s roughly the population of one of the largest
cites in the world, Shanghai, China.
Of course that
assumes no breakthroughs to prevent or stop this beast. For all of our sake let’s hope there is a
A little kiss for Joe
like Joe and Al and I will be staying home over the next several weeks. We have a rather large queue of movies to get
through. After all, one must stay
current. (I’m still trying to get
through the 2014 winners.) Does anybody
have “The Grand Budapest Hotel” on Blu-ray?