June 22, 2017

Slow dancing with a stranger ...

(PBS Newshour "War on Alzheimer's" with Meryl Comer)

Slow dancing with a stranger : lost and found in the age of Alzheimer's

*now available as a book and eBook and an audio-book 

contact me for you login  nsw.library@alzheimers.org.au or to borrow a copy

New York Times Bestseller
Emmy-award winning broadcast journalist and leading Alzheimer’s advocate Meryl Comer’s Slow Dancing With a Stranger is a profoundly personal, unflinching account of her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease that serves as a much-needed wake-up call to better understand and address a progressive affliction.

When Meryl Comer’s husband Harvey Gralnick was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 1996, she watched as the man who headed hematology and oncology research at the National Institutes of Health started to misplace important documents and forget clinical details that had once been catalogued encyclopaedically in his mind. With harrowing honesty, she brings readers face to face with this devastating condition and its effects on its victims and those who care for them. 

Detailing the daily realities and overwhelming responsibilities of caregiving, Comer sheds intensive light on this national health crisis, using her personal experiences—the mistakes and the breakthroughs—to put a face to a misunderstood disease, while revealing the facts everyone needs to know.

Pragmatic and relentless, Meryl has dedicated herself to fighting Alzheimer’s and raising public awareness. “Nothing I do is really about me; it’s all about making sure no one ends up like me,” she writes. Deeply personal and illuminating, Slow Dancing With a Stranger offers insight and guidance for navigating Alzheimer’s challenges. It is also an urgent call to action for intensive research and a warning that we must prepare for the future, instead of being controlled by a disease and a healthcare system unable to fight it.

New York Times  Review
...author’s success in achieving her stated goal: to deliver the “unvarnished reality” of Alzheimer’s. The good news and the bad news about this book are the same: It is very painful to read, as well it should be.
The marriage — Dr. Gralnick’s third, Ms. Comer’s second — is a psychological puzzle that winds through the book. She is smart as a whip, a former business journalist, yet turns a blind eye to their extravagant lifestyle and is unaware her husband has no long-term-care insurance or end-of-life documents, leaving his wishes a mystery.
Dr. Gralnick drove a yellow Porsche 911. He wore custom-made clothes. He dabbled in wine futures. Yet his wife is angered by the temerity of friends who ask if he would have done for her what she was doing for him; she hedges by replying, “Who among us can know with certainty how we will act until the middle of a crisis?”
Privately, she knows better. “He would have done whatever he could to get me the best medical attention and put me in the right clinical trials,” she writes. “But would he have abandoned his career to care for me, bathe me, diaper me, dress me, feed me, cater to my behaviors and personal needs? I doubt it. No, I know it.”

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