Friday, December 4, 2009

Life in the Balance

Life in the Balance is an intensely emotional and beautiful book written by Thomas Grayboys with Peter Zheutlin. Thomas Grayboys, MD was a cardiologist in the prime of his life and career when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. Insult was added to injury recently when he was also diagnosed with Lewy Body Disease.

Through his own experience he relates how these diseases have affected him, his family, his friends and his colleagues. He speaks candidly about the changes not only to himself, but also to his relationships.

At times emotionally wrenching, his book beautifully describes the journey he and his family are on. This is not a journey any wish to take. Dr. Grayboys bravely allows the reader into his and his family's life.Allowing such intimate access is his way of fighting back. This book brings light to Parkinson's and Lewy Body Disease. It is a valiant battle in the war against dementia.

Despite the tough emotional nature of this book I highly recommend it. It depicts how dementia invades a person's life and ravages them. It answered many questions for me about my own mother's journey through Lewyland since she never talked much about it.

I was especially touched by the following passage found on page 177 of the book. "Parkinson's and Lewy body disease have taken much of the density, richness, and texture from my life, and moved much that was once within my grasp to a place beyond my control. However, between the limbo of illness and the anger and despair it often spawns, there is a better place - a life beyond illness still to be lived."

Dementia steals much from everyone involved. It can't steal our hope if we fight against it.

This post was originally posted on May 1, 2008. Since I have moved my blog here to Blogger and I have new readers I thought I would post it again.

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