|Print List Price:||$14.95|
Save $10.00 (67%)
Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
The parts about taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer's were so helpful. I wish I had understood all those things 10 years ago when I took care of my mom! We wouldn't have argued so much all the time. I had always wanted her to know what was really happening. I wish now I had just enjoyed being with her wherever and whenever she was. The part that affected me the most was when Marie's mom died (not from Alzheimer's). I cried and cried. I guess since it was her mom it reminded me of my mom.
I just loved all the little stories and the wonderful people. Marie was delightful and inspiring. And the people in her stories are so real and interesting! When reading about the violinist playing for Ed, I could hear the music and see Ed wanting to dance !
Mostly I laughed a lot. I laughed when Ed did and said funny things, especially in his Romanian accent. For example, when he asked the drug store clerk if he had any "hang-overs". Ed is just so cute! I wish I had met him. The way Marie and Ed loved each other was amazing!!
After having a grandmother diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease, I began to look for a book written from the viewpoint I have - that of a loved one and not a doctor/patient relationship. Dr. Marie Marley presents this horrible disease from the perspective of a loved one and main caregiver. In 2000, Dr. Marley began to notice that her "life partner and best friend of 30 years," Dr. Edward Theodoru (Ed), was having what she assumed were typical memory issues as he was well into his eighties. Slowly but surely, she recognized the devastating signs of dementia and struggled to come to terms with the disease. This book is a first person perspective of the journey a caregiver takes in watching their loved one become changed forever by Alzheimer's Disease.
Overall, I found the book insightful as to how completely and utterly overwhelming it can be to receive this diagnosis. From denial to acceptance, Dr. Marley covers the whole spectrum of emotions when dealing with Ed's journey with Alzheimer's. However, there were times I felt Dr. Marley focused too much on herself and her own problems. She constantly refers to her weight and how she "ballooned" over the years but in a completely random sense. I felt she could become a little whiny, but this is her own internal dialogue. As I would expect, there are constant memories from "long ago," sentimental memories for a time when Ed had full mental capacity before Dr. Marley is snapped back into reality to deal with the horrifying disease. It is easy to forget that the people who become the main caregivers will not instantly change their way of thinking to be only about the patient diagnosed but will continue to have their own personal worries (as they should). I knew, but never fully realized, that as the person slipping into dementia is blissfully unaware most of the time, the true burden is on the clear-minded caregivers forced to watch from the sidelines. Dr. Marley exemplifies how I believe anyone should participate in helping to take care of their loved one with advancing Alzheimer's.
This book is broken down into 13 chapters, spanning the years of 2000 to 2007, and the full cycle of Ed's Alzheimer's Disease. Each chapter is its own separate chunk of the journey Dr. Marley and Ed endured, but I will present this on a yearly basis for clarity's sake. Sprinkled throughout the book are relatable and significant quotes and I will point out a few of these in my detailed synopsis.
The first chapter of the book tells the background of Dr. Marley and Ed to really captivate the reader as to why they should care about the relationship in the first place. It is clear this is a committed couple that had never actually taken the vow of marriage. At the time this book begins, Ed is 87 and Dr. Marley is nearly 40 years younger, but she does become the main caregiver for him as they have been involved for about 30 years. The "defining incident" as she puts it (and the first problem of dementia she solved without realizing) was when Ed drove the wrong way down a parkway and Dr. Marley had to help take him home. After this incident, Ed no longer drove. As she said, the "symptoms [of Alzheimer's] begin so mildly and progress so slowly that it's easy to deny them until one day there is a `defining incident.'"
From 2000 to 2003, small memory-type incidents occur but Dr. Marley continues to attribute them to typical old age characteristics. The chapter highlighting 2003 ends with what Dr. Marley has coined as `The Day From Hell.' Without spoiling the details, Ed and Dr. Marley have a day ending in a traumatic fight. The gist was that Ed was overexaggerating every tiny mistake Dr. Marley made and berating her for it. Although they admittedly communicated via fighting normally, Dr. Marley knew something was off. The extent of fighting started to stir the idea that something more than "just old age" may be happening to Ed.
The excessive fighting has continued between Dr. Marley and Ed for a year now. Although she is at her wits end, Dr. Marley gets the advice to begin agreeing with whatever says, no matter how wrong he actually is about the subject matter. As soon as she began doing this, the fighting ceased but "it felt like our relationship was changing right before my eyes, dying piece by piece, and I wondered where it would end." Clearly, Dr. Marley is struggling with the notion of her comfortable relationship with Ed having a completely new dynamic. It is also revealed that outside perspectives of mutual friends suggest to her that Ed is in fact dementing.
The majority of this story occurs during this year. It all begins with Ed calling Dr. Marley in a panic trying to find his scissors. Upon her instructions over the phone, she realized he did not even know where he could find his own kitchen. This incident makes her understand the sad reality - Ed can no longer live alone without supervision. She even comes up with a list of all the peculiar and forgetful things Ed has done in one month, all of which point to an Alzheimer's diagnosis.
Dr. Marley begins to look around for the best possible 24/7 care. The reader gets an inside look at her thought process on choosing a place, with details about all three sites she actually visits. For any caregiver, this book would definitely be helpful to have a precedent of how to look for a specialty nursing home. Upon deciding on the Alois Center, Dr. Marley has to admit Ed against his will. During the moments when he is lucid enough to communicate well, Ed has an absolute refusal to go live in a nursing home. The Alois Center was a fantastic and helpful resource for Dr. Marley to help her get Ed into the care he needs. Within a week of being there, Ed had forgotten all about his refusal to go in the first place. Coincidentally, Dr. Marley is slightly hurt by this saying "I needed to be needed," a common sentiment among primary caregivers who suddenly give up a majority of their duties.
The best part of the Alois Center for Ed was their ability to get him prescribed with medications to curb his newly found anger (a usual side effect of dementia) and OCD. With the addition of medication, Dr. Marley and Ed virtually stopped fighting and Ed became a joy to be around, even reverting back to the "old Ed" and being a flirt with everyone. Dr. Marley credits the doctor who diagnosed him, as "the most important doctor" she dealt with during Ed's Alzheimer's.
"There is no greater sorrow than to remember happy days in times of grief." - Dante's Inferno
Dr. Marley begins to relate to these words daily as she watches Ed become more childlike, with the inability to remember anything and only know the present. She struggles with relating to him as a "child" now because, for example, he gets the most joy from stuffed animals these days. He seems to be slipping farther and farther into the dementia but blissfully unaware of what is truly happening to him. This is the part of the book I would most recommend to any caregiver. You can read and relate to Dr. Marley's struggle of finding a new support system as the love of her life can no longer fill that role. Towards the end of this year, Ed begins to make a rapid decline and Dr. Marley has to prepare for the end.
Ed passes away peacefully at the Alois Center during this year. The Epilogue of this story is one of the most helpful chapters for anyone with a loved one with Alzheimer's Disease. It is common to see advice for caregivers while the patient is still alive but very rare to see how one picks up the pieces and moves on with life. Dr. Marley details exactly what she felt, and how she moved on, and provides a great example for anyone that will need to do the same (as everyone will have to eventually).
As stated before, the first person perspective of a loved one and main caregiver to a patient with Alzheimer's Disease is an insightful read. I gained many tips on how to better prepare myself for my grandmother's final days. More importantly, I am more aware of ways in which I can better relate to her while she is still alive. I have been inspired by Dr. Marley to accept what is surely a changing relationship dynamic, and know that I am much more prepared because of reading this book.
Most recent customer reviews
Set up an Amazon Giveaway
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
- Books > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Mental Health > Dementia
- Books > Medical Books > Medicine > Internal Medicine > Neurology > Alzheimer's Disease
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Biographies & Memoirs > Memoirs
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Health, Fitness & Dieting > Diseases & Physical Ailments > Alzheimer's Disease