Celiac Disease: When a Daughter is Diagnosed

May is National Celiac Awareness Month!

Twelve years ago, I had never heard of the word, “Celiac.” It was only when my daughter had a series of symptoms that were affecting her health that I began researching the possible causes.

When I plugged in stomach pain, bloating, chronic constipation, sleep issues, and delayed growth into my google search engine, Celiac disease was one of the health conditions that popped up.

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Celiac and Alzheimer’s: Is There a Connection?

This has long been a topic of interest to me. Why? Because my mother lived with Alzheimer’s disease for 14 years, and my daughter was born with Celiac disease. I experienced the devastation of both these conditions, was the link between them, in fact. So, if there is anything positive I can add to the conversation about healing and supporting those with Celiac and Alzheimer’s,  I would do it in a heartbeat. Read the rest of this entry »


Brian Kursonis: Early-Onset Alzheimer’s Patient and Advocate Has a Heart to Help

(This post first appeared on AlzAuthors.com.)
Brian Kursonis, who has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and I met for the first time back in April of 2017. He showed up at the memory care facility where I was doing a reading from Motherhood: Lost and Found, a memoir about my mother’s descent into Alzheimer’s. He had reached out to me a few months earlier after seeing some posts on social media about my mother’s illness.

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Caregiving: the Loneliest Journey or Why I’ve Been Over Sharing

Why is caregiving the loneliest journey? It occurred to me after posting the umpteenth photo from my trip to Florida why I feel the need to share my joy over and over again. I forget that some of my current friends didn’t know me when my mother had Alzheimer’s. So, I’ll share a little backstory about my caregiving journey.

I was in my early 30s when Mom first showed signs of the disease. It felt like my legs were cut out from under me. I had no clue how to handle a mother who was slowly spiraling into confusion. Add to that the fact that I had a series of miscarriages at the same time. These things made me question everything in my life.

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Trip to Florida, Part IV: The Miami Book Festival

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read Part I.)

After packing and saying our goodbyes to Jean and Vicki, Gilda and I drove south towards Alligator Alley. I was excited to be driving across Florida and to get a view of the everglades. My father, a civil engineer for the Army, had worked throughout South Florida on various projects before I was born. The names of towns were familiar to me because I had grown up listening to him talk about them.

Alligator Alley: on the side of the road.

While I felt as if I were home and had hopes of catching a glimpse of an alligator, Gilda’s husband Stu had warned her not to get out of the car because he’d been warned there were large snakes in the area. Gilda wasn’t sure what to do when I pulled over and asked her to take a photo of me by the water. Read the rest of this entry »


Trip to Florida, Part III: An Honorary AlzAuthor

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read Part I.)

Gilda joined me in Naples on Thursday night. I had shared with Jean and Vicki how much I loved Gilda, that she was wise and funny, a delight to be with and a wonderful writer. They welcomed her at the condo and into the fold. I had also shared with Jean and Vicki how Gilda often talked about AlzAuthors in her writing classes.

Gilda had firsthand experience with Alzheimer’s. Several female members of her extended family have developed dementia. Gilda was also one of the few friends who had visited my mother during the last stage of her life. Jean named Gilda an “honorary” AlzAuthor.

Jean, Vicki and I toasting. Gilda took the photo.

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Trip to Florida, Part II, An Amazing Author Connection

(This is a four-part series. Click here to read Part I.)

Once I made the decision to go to Florida, I felt a magnetic pull through the next several weeks of preparations. Jean Lee of AlzAuthors stayed in touch and shared details about flying, car rentals, the weather in Naples and what to expect.

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