Twila, my wife of 66 years, now has had Alzheimer’s disease for more than 1½ years. I see this terrible Alzheimer’s as an unstoppable and saddening progression that slowly destroys the mind, a mind that once brought excitement, joy and strength to many others as a teacher and intelligent and caring conversant.
Recently I was introduced to what was for me an unknown and horrible side of Alzheimer’s disease. It caused me to cry uncontrollably.
Those in the know who are experienced with Alzheimer’s disease call it “sundowning.”
I was sitting next to my Twila with many others at the dinner table when suddenly Twila started to yell out: “Where is Doug? I want Doug! Bring Doug to me! I want Douglas!”
All were startled — no control was possible, and after minutes of these terrible outbursts, Twila was moved to another room, still yelling. I was taken crying to another room.
I have since learned that the late afternoon and evening hours affect the mind of people with Alzheimer’s in this fashion. Please encourage scientists to keep seeking a cure for this terrible disease.