Saturday, July 9, 2016
Living with Alzheimer's: Fading memories: VIDEO
Ray is two years into his diagnosis.
We first introduced you to Ray Dedrick this spring, as he began to to deal with his diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's disease. It will be the most difficult and personal journey of his life, but he has agreed to share it with us.
This week, Ray and his wife Tee celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. They've created a lifetime of memories, but some of those moments are fading for Ray.
At 59 years old, Ray is two years into his diagnosis. He went through a battery of physical and cognitive tests at his regular three-month appointment.
LIVING WITH ALZHEIMER'S: A personal journey begins
During his most recent appointment, it took Ray a bit to remember the year and the name of the president before Barack Obama.
Ray and his wife Tee can't help but notice the changes since his last doctor's visit. He's a little more withdrawn, not as hungry, more forgetful even with routine tasks like making coffee.
"When it gets done I walk up and when I go to grab my coffee cup I realize there is no coffee cup," Ray said.
Ray also said he's starting to have some anger issues, which comes with the disease.
Alzheimer's typically progresses in three stages: mild, moderate and finally severe. There is no exact timetable.
"You know there are stages of the disease and when something happens that you know is in the next stage it scares you. It scares him because he asks 'Is this the beginning of that? Me crossing over to that stage," Tee said.
Ray and Tee are well aware of the final stage of Alzheimer's – the recent passing of Lady Vols legend Pat Summitt was the reality check.
"This is the reality of the disease," Tee said. "I'm happy she is free from the bondage but sad for her family, her caregivers."
Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by WBIR
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length