Ten Thousand Joys and Ten Thousand Sorrows: A Couple’s Journey Through Alzheimer’s

Olivia Ames Hoblitzelle, Tarcher, $16.95 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-58542-827-4
Both Hoblitzelle and her husband of nearly 40 years, Hob, practiced the Buddhist methods of acceptance and “letting go” to graceful effect in dealing with Hob’s symptoms of Alzheimer’s. In this thoughtful narrative, Hoblitzelle explains that at age 72, Hob, a former English professor, was diagnosed with the disease, having experienced odd moments of disconnect and forgetfulness; his condition gradually declined until his death six years later. The author, 14 years his junior, records her compassionate side-by-side journey with her husband, mindful of their remaining time together and resolved to face the disease and its challenges rather than deny it. As a man of words, Hob grew deeply distressed by his aphasia, and the author details the stages of Hob’s debilitation—which he accepted with humor and lightness—mostly in terms of his painful lapse into the inarticulable. Much of the barrage of wisdom she sought from Tibetan elders sounds blithe and pat out of context, but Hoblitzelle frankly expresses the growing sense of disconnection between them and the burdens of caretaking, and at the end of each chapter offers helpful suggestions for those dealing with the disease. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/30/2010
Release date: 09/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 352 pages - 978-1-101-44366-8
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