Monday, 13 September 2010

Still Alice...

In our lounge room we have a wall of books, a few years ago my railway man (aka he who works) built the book case around one of the windows. A rough guess would be about 1500 books on those shelves. In the spare bedroom we have another bookcase with maybe another couple of hundred, I have around 150 cookbooks on the kitchen shelves and there are (I think) 10 boxes full of books stored out in one of the sheds..!!
Don't even get me started on the magazines...!!!
Do I need to tell you that those figures don't include my collection of quilting related books in my sewing room..?
No, didn't think I did :o)


Anyway, you get the picture, we're a book family. Always have been for as long as I can remember.


A couple of years ago I stopped enjoying reading books..!! I still listen to audio books and I still have half a dozen books on my bedside table, on the coffee table etc, but I totally lost the excitement of picking up a book and being so riveted that I would finish it that day. Losing time wrapped in a new book, the feel of all those unread pages, pure pleasure..


But it got to the stage where each story was similar to the last, I lost the excitement somehow. That was OK, things moved along and we all fill the gap with something new. I still read now and then, still enjoy a good book, but nothing made me want to sit all day until the book was finished. Until this morning...........





I picked this up at the bookstore last week, it was a relevant topic for me and I thought that I would read it soon. It sat on the coffee table with three others that I bought before I went to W.A. This morning I was up really early, like 4am early, just one of those nights where deep sleep alludes you. The railway man had gone back to work yesterday after his holidays and hadn't got home until about 1am this morning, so he would be in bed for hours still. Too early for sewing, can't stand the TV at that time so I picked up the top book off the pile....


I finished it at 11.30am with tears streaming down my face, still in pyjamas, no breakfast just copious amounts of tea..

Still Alice is about a Harvard Professor who develops Early Onset Alzheimer's disease. She is only 50 years old. The story is told by Alice and is an emotive look inside the world of an Alzheimer's sufferer. It breaks my heart to know that my mum will go this way, it scares the hell out of me that it could be my fate too! One little tiny gene could dictate how my life will or will not degenerate.
Do I want to know? Maybe, maybe not??
Would you want to know...?


http://www.stillalice.com/


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17 comments:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Lizzie,

Attracted to the post because you describe my recent relationship with books, you also ask the question to end all questions. I have thought about it for years. I work with older people, since junior high, and decide to interrupt that trend in myself before I become like the ones I have seen and tended.

Pokey said...

This is a tough subject for me, too, having lost my Momma (and Granny, her mom) to this disease.
Personally, it is a concern, but I prefer to stay as creative as I can. Worry does not make a difference, right? So, leave the legacy of love, for what we have to give is better than the fear.

Julia said...

Oh Lizzie, I find it very hard to sit and read a book, but perhaps this is one I should read or maybe not...will knowing make any difference, would it make it any easier for the carer of a loved one!
Julia ♥

Kali said...

Lizzie, Your writing is so attention grabbing, maybe you should be writing a book instead of reading them :)

I really don't think I want to know what lies in my future..both my parents died too young for me to know whether Alzheimers might be in my genes or not. But the current research is so positive...hopefully they will have the answers before we may need them.

Jen said...

Oh Lizzie, you may not believe this but do you recall a while ago when I told you I had a book I thought might be appropriate for you...
It is none other than the same book you have just written about in your blog.
It is an amazing story written with great courage and most worthy of the tears that fall as you read it.
xxxx

Sue said...

I've read and cried with that book too. As for knowing, I'm not sure I'd want to know. Would it make a difference?

Margaret said...

When I lave here I will request the book from the library. I too am a book lover ,however I tend to give them away after I havr read them and then buy back from booksellers if I really need to have THAT book. A few years ago I volounteered to do a series of tests for the Melbourne University on delusional dementia. I did quite well on the tasks, I was interested as my aunt had delusional dementia and a very bright smart aged friend also knew she was seeing things that wern't there. I would hate to go through what both of these women went through.

Margaret said...

I read another book from the point of view of an alzheimer's patient but I can't remember the name. So sad. My grandfather-in-law died from Parkinson's, a partially similar disease. I have to think on whether I should read "Still Alice." We are book lovers too btw. I keep waiting for the house to collapse under all our books. :D Have you tried audiobooks? It might be different for a quilter, but for me, audiobooks are the best companion to stitching ever.

Teresa said...

My Mom is in the early stages of this disease, which also took her father, and every time I can't find my keys or can't finish a sentence because the end escaped me, I wonder.

Oh, the dread of heredity...

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

Rafael's Mum said...

I love books too and have a housefull. It sounds like a good and thoughtprovoking book. I will put it on my reading list.

baukje said...

I don't know.... My mother died on a breastcancer when she was 47 years old. They proposed me often a test but i always refused. Fortunately I am now already 63!!!!!

Paula said...

Oh Lizzie I have read that book and cried a lot, but would I want to know? - I don't think so.

Sue-Anne said...

A very touching post Lizzie, leaving me with not knowing what to say. My thoughts are with you and your dear mum.

As for wanting to know or not, I don't think I would want to know but then again, maybe it would be good for my family so they could be prepared?

Denice Barker said...

That book scared the crap out of me. Sorry about that language, but it did. For months whenever I couldn't bring up a thought fast enough I thought "Oh, God, Oh, no!"
It was a most amazing insight into this scariest of all diseases. Would I want to know? Sometimes I think yes, so I can disperse my fabric stash to people who would appreciate the variety! Oh, yes, and spend a huge amount of time with my grandchildren so their memories would be good ones. And sometimes no, ignorance can be bliss. Instead I look to my family genes and feel a little safe. A little.

Denice Barker said...

That book scared the crap out of me. Sorry about that language, but it did. For months whenever I couldn't bring up a thought fast enough I thought "Oh, God, Oh, no!"
It was a most amazing insight into this scariest of all diseases. Would I want to know? Sometimes I think yes, so I can disperse my fabric stash to people who would appreciate the variety! Oh, yes, and spend a huge amount of time with my grandchildren so their memories would be good ones. And sometimes no, ignorance can be bliss. Instead I look to my family genes and feel a little safe. A little.

Sue said...

Thinking of you. I will read the book too. Thanks for the post.

sewcolorful said...

Hi Lizzie, It is a beautiful books isn't it?

Have you read the Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society? Or Saving CeeCee Honeycutt? I found them to be truly wonderful and touching books too.

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