I’m currently reading a book that Emily Page sent me. She’s an artist and new author of “Fractured Memories,” a story about her father, a man who lost his life to Frontotemporal Dementia, or FTD.
Emily’s book is true-to-life, honest, sad, and funny. I’m not finished with it yet, but wanted to share it with my readers. FTD is a really challenging form of dementia for a number of reasons: one, it’s pretty rare, so it’s hard to find others that may have loved ones battling FTD. Secondly, it often affects people who are between the ages of 40 and 60. And, perhaps most notably, the most common variant of FTD is BvFTD, or “Behavioral Variant Frontotemporal Dementia.” BvFTD completely changes a loved one’s behavior patterns. It often makes them more impulsive, harder to communicate with, moody, and irritable. While other dementias also affect peoples’ moods, this one does it almost immediately.
A painting from Fractured Memories
Emily opens her book with a chapter about her father’s life. You can tell immediately this is going to be a tear-jerker, but in the best way possible. She’s funny and down-to-earth, which I appreciate in a book about real life. She includes a lot of her drawings and paintings throughout the chapters, which is also a cool addition to the book.
Emily spent a few days with her father while her mother was visiting her own mom. Of one incident, Emily says,
“I went downstairs to put something in the deep freezer, and by the time I got back up, Dad had taken two frozen chicken breasts and plopped them on a frying-an on high heat to cook them for our dinner that was supposed to be around 6 PM. Aaaaand, dinner was no ruined. It’s amazing how much trouble one man can get into in only twenty-three seconds…I began to see what mom was facing on a daily basis. She had not been exaggerating.”
You see her father’s struggle (and, subsequently, her family’s struggle) with FTD in real-time.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone with a loved one with dementia. (It doesn’t have to be a diagnosis of FTD to make sense to you, either.) Emily’s life with her father is clearly something any caregiver can relate to.
Check out her book here.