Despite Alzheimer's diagnosis, life goes on

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by KING 5 HealthLink

KING5.com

Posted on January 3, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Updated Friday, Feb 22 at 12:10 PM

Mike Fisher can remember almost all of his nearly three decades in law enforcement, but it's the little things that now slip his mind.

"Anything from appointments to conversations, or trying to remember people's names," he said.

Shortly after retiring four years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

"The beginning was I think a lot of misplacing things when he got home," said Mike's wife, Suzanne.

Since then the 53-year-old and his wife have tried to make sense of this debilitating disease.

"Anytime I see he has misplaced something and having difficulty finding things I give him a chance to try to locate things then ask him if he wants help," said Suzanne.

It's important for people developing memory problems, even in their 40s and 50s, to get checked.  

"And when people are seeing those things and they interfere with daily functioning, and especially if they're seeing that they're getting worse over time, that's a good time to see the doctor," said Judy Filippoff of the Alzheimer's Association.

Suzanne says it's tough watching her husband go from running a police department to struggling with everyday task.  But even now, the old Mike is still there.

"He's my rock and has always been, you know, the person I lean on.   And I still do, but it will evolve," she said.

There are now more than 5 million people suffering from Alzheimer's disease and those numbers are expected to rise.
 

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