Christine Bryden was 46 years old when she was diagnosed with dementia, and in this book she describes her remarkable emotional, physical and spiritual journey in the three years immediately following. Offering rare first-hand insights into how it feels to gradually lose the ability to undertake tasks most people take for granted, it is made all the more remarkable by Christine's positivity and strength, and deep sense, drawn in part from her Christian faith, that life continues to have purpose and meaning.
Originally published in Australia in 1998, the book is brought up-to-date with a new Foreword, Preface and Appendix, in which Christine explains how the disease has progressed over the years, and how she is today. It also contains many previously unseen photographs of Christine and her family, from around the time of her diagnosis up to the present day.
Inspirational and informative in equal measure, Who will I be when I die? will be of interest to other people with dementia and their families, as well as to dementia care professionals.
"I am delighted that this book of a first-hand account of dementia is being republished. I know it has been inspirational for many who have dementia and for their families. These days, most people say that they know someone who has dementia, and it is my hope that Christine's words will be read by many others, who will also find inspiration in her journey, her strength and her faith, which have carried her through all this time."
- from the Foreword by Elizabeth MacKinlay
"Christine’s story is one of inspiration and strength. A single mother with alzheimer’s disease and three young daughters: all that and only in her mid-40s facing another decade of life if she’s lucky. But she’s already jumped her greatest hurdle - that of facing the unknown. Christine has put that greatest of fears behind her. Who will she be when she dies? A mother remembered and revered by her family and a woman who gave a great deal of herself to strangers."
- Mike Munro, Australian television presenter
Foreword by Elizabeth MacKinlay. Preface. The Diagnosis. 1. I'm too young! 2. The first signs. 3. The second opinion. Who Will I Be When I Die? 4. At least you can't die from it! - wrong!. 5. You look so well! - if only I had cancer! 6. A terminal illness - so why are we ashamed of it? What's It Like, Having Alzheimer's? 7. Clinging to a precipice with my fingernails. 8. From 'super-memory' to losing the plot. 9. A confusion of sight and sound. 10. A jumble of words. 11. Life's essentials. An Adventure into the Unknown. 12. Trying to be prepared. 13. My car's an alien spaceship! - and other oddities. 14. From 'super-mum' to dependent mum. 15. A scary road ahead? Where to Now? 16. Our fifteen minutes of fame. 17. Do I really believe in healing? A Postscript - A God of Surprises! 18. I'm getting better! 19. A 'miracle cure'? Thank God God's in Charge! 20. Getting onto 'God's roller-coaster'. 21. Why me - and why Alzheimer's, God? 22. Is God a 'bandaid'? 23. Am I afraid of dying? Appendix. What is Alzheimer's disease?