Living with Alzheimer's: part two
“The scary part is you don’t know what is going to be next. That’s the main thing. You don’t know if it’s going to be 10 more years of this or 18 months.” -Mr. Roebuck
Time is no friend to someone with early on-set Alzheimer’s, but the show must go on. Amy Roebuck was a school teacher for a little over 30 years, but some changes in behavior towards the end of her career left her husband and her family knowing that something was wrong.
“She started getting really anxious and crying at the end of the year, at the end of the semester. We just thought it was stress. We were misdiagnosed as having depression and that we just had to get away on the weekends, but we had already tried that, a lot. So, we knew something was up. And she had memory issues, but mostly at school. She couldn’t perform her normal duties at school,” says her husband, Barry Roebuck.
There are plenty of events for Alzheimer’s awareness, but how aware are we of how it affects the brain?
“It affects that part of your brain which controls your memory and your thinking. It can also affect your emotions. So, they may even come to us thinking the patient just has depression and anxiety, but on further questioning the patient it seems has started to have memory problems, which can mimic as depression.” -Dr.Daud, Neurologist with Anderson Regional Medical Center
In fighting the depression and anxiety, repetition of things they have done and enjoy doing, is key.
“Anything which seems to make them feel good or things they used to do, you can try to mimic them and do those for them like music or whatever their activities were.” -Dr. Daud
The Mind Center in Jackson is working to find new drugs which will aid in the slowing of the progression of the disease along with preventing it all together. They also have studies being done where those with Alzheimer’s can become enrolled to participate in, in order to help with one day finding a cure, for those like Amy.