Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's

Front Cover
Free Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 207 pages
30 Reviews
When Tom DeBaggio turned fifty-seven in 1999, he thought he was about to embark on the relaxing golden years of retirement -- time to spend with his family, his friends, the herb garden he had spent decades cultivating and from which he made a living. Then, one winter day, he mentioned to his doctor during a routine exam that he had been stumbling into forgetfulness, making his work difficult. After that fateful visit, and a subsequent battery of tests over several months, DeBaggio joined the legion of twelve million others afflicted with Alzheimer's disease. But under such a curse, DeBaggio was also given one of the greatest gifts: the ability to chart the ups and downs of his own failing mind.

"Losing My Mind" is an extraordinary first-person account of early onset Alzheimer's -- the form of the disease that ravages younger, more alert minds. DeBaggio started writing on the first day of his diagnosis and has continued despite his slipping grasp on one of life's greatest treasures, memory.

In an inspiring and detailed account, DeBaggio paints a vivid picture of the splendor of memory and the pain that comes from its loss. Whether describing the happy days of a youth spent in a much more innocent time or evaluating how his disease has affected those around him, DeBaggio poignantly depicts one of the most important parts of our lives -- remembrance -- and how we often take it for granted. But to DeBaggio, memory is more than just an account of a time long past, it is one's ability to function, to think, and ultimately, to survive. As his life becomes reduced to moments of clarity, the true power of thought and his ability to connect to the world shine through, and inDeBaggio's case, it is as much in the lack of functioning as it is in the ability to function that one finds love, hope and the relaxing golden years of peace.

At once an autobiography, a medical history and a testament to the beauty of memory, "Losing My Mind" is more than just a story of Alzheimer's, it is the captivating tale of one man's battle to stay connected with the world and his own life.

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Review: Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's

User Review  - Willie O - Goodreads

A sobering account of one mans journey through his battle with Alzheimer's. Most of the other stories I've read over the past couple months have been inspiring with a completely different attitude towards living with this disease. Read full review

Review: Losing My Mind: An Intimate Look at Life with Alzheimer's

User Review  - Donald Stevens - Goodreads

A very scary book to read. I am watching my mother at the very early stages of this. It is helpful to know some of what she is thinking. I know that no two people are going to react the same way. At least I can look ahead and say this is what I have to be ready for. Read full review

About the author (2002)

Thomas DeBaggio, recently a full-time commercial herb grower, worked in daily newspapers in the late 1960s and early '70s, in Washington, D.C., and Wilmington, Delaware. He is the author of Growing Herbs from Seed, Cutting and Root, of Basil: An Herb Lover's Guide with Susan Belsinger, and of The Big Book of Herbs with Arthur O. Tucker. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his wife.

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