During our family Christmas reunion in 2011, my mother confided about the unusual behavior of my father. It's hard not to notice that he sometimes looked quite lost; and without any provocation he would get very agitated.
"He has it," my mother said, followed by a moment of silence. In those three simple words, I sensed a feeling of dread was about to unravel. My heart was racing as she recounted some of his delusional episodes. It got so bad that the community security patrol had to come over to our house.
"That's not my father." I told myself. "That's not how I know him. But if this is the case, then bring it on."
Until a year ago, I knew close to nothing about Alzheimer's disease). But overnight, I transformed into a voracious reader on AD. My usual full eight-hour night sleep is a distant memory. I filtered through various medical literature and scientific research over a number of websites on Alzheimer's and Elderly diseases. I even bargained access to the Medical Library in Dubai. I was hungry for answers.
I think it's quite unusual for anyone to undergo the Kübler-Ross model, most commonly known as the 5
Stages of Grief – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Resignation, as swiftly as I did. I have now come into terms that this unwanted guest has plagued our family. It's an irreversible fact that my father has been diagnosed with the early stages of AD and there is no medical breakthrough yet to cure this horrible disease. However, I strongly believe that it's premature to wave the white flag and just let him fade away.
But the grim reality of AD is not the disease itself but also the availability of information. As a 12-year
expatriate in Dubai, I have yet to encounter a media campaign on Alzheimer's. What a difference it could
have made if AD shared the same attention as the other serious health problems of society. Families could
be more vigilant to the early warning signs of AD and be adequately prepared to deal with the phases of memory loss.
This journey is very personal – not just to me, but for every person who suffers from the disease and their
loved ones who care for and love them. And we all react and cope with it in different ways.
4get-me-not.org is my personal journey into Alzheimer's. This website is designed for readers from a non-
medical background like me. It's a collation of easy-to-understand information intended to demystify AD, and not to overwhelm readers with hard scientific facts. 4get-me-not.org seeks to reach out to as many families and friends living with Azheimer's, and to let them know that there is hope – that we can have control over
how we cope with this disease.
There is never a single day that I don’t think about my father. I fondly remember how he would whistle his favorite tune while cooking in our kitchen. This website is dedicated to you, Dad.