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Losing My Mindby Thomas Debaggio
Synopses & Reviews
Thomas DeBaggio was only fifty-seven when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In this pioneering, revealing portrait of a disease that strikes millions of people every year, DeBaggio depicts his struggles to retain a sense of his own identity and to remain connected to the world around him.
Written with engrossing narrative power, Losing My Mind is at heart a tribute to the power and beauty of memory. As DeBaggio chronicles the ravages of the disease — which strikes hardest in younger, more alert minds — he writes not only of the loss of the long-ago past, but of his daily confrontations with the elusiveness of everyday events and thoughts. "I am alone, " he writes, "and I can hear water running somewhere in the house. I don't remember going to the bathroom. Who else turned on the water?" Each moment of clarity becomes a special gift; every sign of deterioration, a challenge to be faced with forbearance and grace.
DeBaggio has discussed his illness with Noah Adams in monthly appearances on National Public Radio. Losing My Mind brings his thoughts and insights, his humor and his courage, to the many people whose lives are touched by Alzheimer's, both the victims themselves and their concerned and caring friends and family.
"We are foolish, those of us who think we can escape the traps of aging," writes Tom DeBaggio. "I was one of them, dreaming of a perfect and healthy old age....Now, at fifty-eight, I realize the foolishness of my dreams as I watch my brain self-destruct from Alzheimer's." Losing My Mind is DeBaggio's extraordinary account of his early onset Alzheimer's, a disease that "silently hollows the brain" and slowly "gobbles memory and destroys life." But with DeBaggio's curse came an unexpected blessing: the ability to chart the mechanics and musings of his failing mind.
Whether describing the happy days of his youth or lamenting over the burden his disease has placed upon his loved ones, DeBaggio manages to inspire the reader with his ability to function, to think, and ultimately to survive. By turns an autobiography, a medical history, and a book of meditations, Losing My Mind is a testament to the splendor of memory and a triumphant celebration of the human spirit.
About the Author
Thomas DeBaggio has worked as both a professional herb grower and a newspaper journalist. The author of Growing Herbs from Seed, Cutting & Root, Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide (with Susan Belsinger), and The Big Book of Herbs (with Arthur O. Tucker), he lives with his wife in Arlington, Virginia.
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