Like Raymond in the movie Rain Man, I’m an excellent driver. I haven’t hit anything since I was 18 and I hit a car while turning into a parking space. Last week while on a group trip, I backed into my friend’s car as we were leaving. Her car had been parked behind mine since we arrived almost 18 hours earlier. I forgot to look behind me before I put the car in reverse and I forgot her car was there. So, I hit it.
I am 43 years old and, given another set of circumstances, I would dismiss this accident/incident as a culmination of a four-day long trip with 16 girl scouts. I was tired. I was ready to go home. I was so outta there I forgot the simple rules of backing up. I forgot my friend’s car was behind me. No biggie.
But I am different. Both of my grandmothers had Alzheimer’s disease. Both died from it. Now my father, who is only 65 has it.
So, for me, something as simple as backing into a car I knew was behind me isn’t so simple. It, like the disease that is attacking my father’s brain, looms large and weighs heavy on my mind.
Is this how it starts? Am I years away from the disease or decades? The answers, like the medical information regarding avoiding Alzheimer’s disease, are ambiguous.
I suggest you read this amazing article by Donna -- My Dad -- Missing and Found
Donna Giovannetti is Director of Marketing and Broker Relations at Diversified Lenders Inc. in Lubbock, Texas. Her father, Walter, suffers from Alzheimer's disease.
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Original content Donna Giovannetti, the Alzheimer's Reading Room