One of my favourite writers is Sir Terry Pratchett. For those of you who haven’t had the joy of Reading one of his books, the man has an amazing imagination and is so satirically clever!!! Total genius.
As some may know, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I think this is a travesty on the part of nature. A painful irony that a man who is so intelligent and survives on using his brain to write stories, is having it eaten away and has trouble reading and writing.
I’ve just watched a documentary he’s done on his first year living with Alzheimer’s. I wouldn’t have said he was any different to any other ageing man, a little forgetful and eyesight going, but nothing excessive. But towards the end, it showed him at a fan’s convention for Discworld novels. He did a special read of a few chapters of his new novel. It got to the point where he couldn’t read his own work. I guess the more tired he got, the bigger impact the slow degradation had on his abilities.
I have to be honest though, I didn’t feel overly sorry for him. I think it was his reaction to the whole thing. He gave the impression that, yes, it is a very serious affliction, but one that he would soon conquer. The only time my heart sank for him was when he was doing the convention reading. You could hear in his voice the confusion and total lack of understanding. It was hard to believe that that same man has written over 40 of the most intelligent books I’ve ever read.
I have always said that whatever happens to me, I pray I never lose my mind. Quite happy for people to look after me physically, but mentally is a totally different game. Physical needs don’t change the person, your dad is still the same man you love, but he can’t play football with you anymore. Your mum still gives you all the love you’ve always got, but the hugs might not be as strong. But with a mental affliction, people become strangers. Wife’s forget husbands, fathers forget sons, mothers hate their daughters.
His wife and daughter refused to be part of the show and I can totally see why. They know what is going to happen. Unfortunately, there is nothing at the moment that can stop it. They know the pain and suffering ahead and having to do a tv show that brings the fact up constantly for a total year……………… Well, I certainly couldn’t do it if I were them.
Still, he is keeping optimistic it seems about things. He’s donated £1,000,000.00 to the Alzheimer’s charity and is trying all these different things to see if it can stop or cure him. The scientists say they are close, but are they close enough?
I would like to say that it always happens to normal people and never the bastards. But then again, how do I know he’s not a total bastard?
Please leave a comment about your experiences or thoughts on Alzheimer’s and any other mental illnesses.