I started my adventure at the signing event in Ann Arbor on Thursday afternoon where I was deeply moved by the story told by a young lady about her life with a 31 year old husband who had early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
We started our trip early the next morning on a sunny day. Thankfully it was cool, which prompted me to wear several layers of clothing. This served me well shortly after breakfast when I had a small altercation with a rail road crossing. The result was only some mild “roads rash” and injured pride. The remainder of the day went well and I was able to enjoy the rest of the trip.
I road the 200 miles to Cleveland to find my wife Carolyn who is slipping into the fog of dementia. Her talents as a mother, wife, scientist, and doll artist are being shrouded by a thick haze, but SHE IS STILL THERE. It is up to me as her primary care giver with the help of our family, friends, and our entire community to shine some light through the haze and highlight her unique talents and thus to preserve her intrinsic value and worth, which is her humanity.
It is incumbent on all of us to seek out those who are being drawn into the murky world of dementia and to continue to highlight their uniqueness and preserve their humanity.
-Charlie Farrell, M.D., is a retired vascular surgeon with a life-long interest in participating in and promoting running and multi-sport training.