Wednesday, March 19, 2008

177 Terry Pratchett update

As I posted back in October, Terry Pratchett, one of my favorite authors, has early onset AD. Here's an update.
He was diagnosed last December with a rare form of early-onset Alzheimer's, or posterior cortical atrophy, in which areas at the back of the brain begin to shrink and shrivel. "I have a rare variant," he says."I don't understand much about it but apparently it means I'm going to be me for longer. Apparently if you're going to have Alzheimer's it's a good one to have. That's lucky, then..." The hugely successful author - incredibly he has sold around 55 million books in 33 languages and is the second most read author in the UK after JK Rowling - recently donated £500,000 to the Alzheimer's Research Trust.... He was, he says, furious with the diagnosis. "Apparently I reacted to this situation in a reasonably typical way, with a sense of loss and abandonment with an incoherent, or perhaps I should say, violently coherent fury that made the Miltonic Lucifer's rage against Heaven seem a bit miffed by comparison. It's a nasty disease, surrounded by shadows and small, largely unseen tragedies. "It seems pretty obvious to me that if you're out meeting people, breathing in lungfuls of fresh air, getting your blood coursing around your body, you're going to be a lot better prepared to deal with something like Alzheimer's than if you just stay at home watching TV and moping," he says. "You can't out-run the train but you can run and, who knows, if you can keep running for long enough, someone might find a way of blowing up the train."
Please, god, blow up the train.
"People don't know what to say, unless they have had it in the family.


Carol D. O'Dell said...

I hope that Terry continues to write and offers his authorly insights. We must eventually understaand Alzheimer's--medically and emotionally if we are to ever hope to find a cure. Cures come from understanding.
In the meantime, families must figure out how to live--and love--and grapple with Alzheimer's.

~Carol D. O'Dell
Author of Mothering Mother: A Daughter's Humorous and Heartbreaking Memoir

Give Voice said...

This is the 2nd time today I've run across your blog. Very heart felt.

PLZ send in a postcard....SHAMELESS PLUG

Anonymous said...

I recently had a reader ask me “My father is 90 years old and has Alzheimer’s Disease, what can I do to celebrate Father’s Day with him that he will remember?” It broke my heart to inform her that though it is possible to spend quality and enjoyable time with someone with Alzheimer's disease, the disease prevents them from being able to remember things. There is nothing anyone can do to make a person with Alzheimer's disease remember something. Half of the challenge is for loved ones and caregivers to accept the loss of memory and to learn to adjust to it as a new fact of living. Your blog was very inspiring when it came time to ease this horrible news.

Dr. Alexis Abramson

Anonymous said...

Thanks for hosting this blog on such an important topic!

If you're interested in reading more articles about Alzheimer's and Dementia there is a great resource called A Place for Mom A Place for Mom's Website . They also have an online elder care community called A Place for Mom's Family .

Anonymous said...

What a tragic disease. I'm touched, though, by how you've so candidly shared your experiences to help others. I wish I would've known about your blog when my husband's grandmother was suffering with Alzheimer's.

Are you aware of Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's blog? It's at

I thought it might be helpful to you and your readers. (I do some writing for Mayo, so I'm well-versed on their web site content -- but I don't do any writing for this particular blog.)

There's also an overview article at that might be of interest to your readers.

kristi.marie.86 said...

I am trying to contact the author of this blog as a part of a college research project. any info would be very helpful- such as a name and email? I can be reached at this name at gmail. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Good topic with nice reviews.

Mauigirl said...

Hi Bert, just checking in - my mother-in-law has been in a nursing home now since early February and my father-in-law now realizes she needs to stay there as he cannot take care of her anymore. I may write a post about this soon...

Hope you're well.