My wife, Patti, has been battling Alzheimer’s for almost 5 years. She is only 57 years old. It took over a year to diagnose her disease because it commenced as a speech problem. Two MRI’s proved negative. Ultimately, a visit to a Neuropsychologist and a PET scan led doctors to believe my wife had corticobasal degeneration. At that point we were referred to the UCLA CADC and Dr. Mario Mendez for treatment. Dr Mendez and Jill Shapira are wonderful and have developed a great rapport with our family, including Patti. They have Patti going to weekly speech and occupational therapy and on various Alzheimer’s medications.
Finally after consulting with Dr Bruce Miller at the UCSF CADC, it was determined that Patti had Alzheimer’s disease. Her symptoms are not typical. She has problems with her speech and processing sound as well as eyesight and fine motor skill issues. She is very strong and has tremendous determination. Despite her handicaps, she works in my office 2 days each week and has a driver take her to therapy and Pilates classes 2 days each week. She now also sees Dr. Jeffrey Cummings at the UCLA CADC and we are trying some different and unusual treatments to combat this terrible disease.
No one should have to deal with this disease, especially at such a young age. Our family will never be the same, but it sure has brought our very close-knit family even closer together. My daughters, Jenni and Katie are always there for their mother and I, and their support and involvement is something that keeps us going. We keep praying for that cure which seems to be just around the corner. Patti is way too young to leave our family.