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Before I Forget

How I Survived a Diagnosis of Younger-Onset Dementia

Before I Forget by Christine Bryden
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'Some days all I want to do is give up the constant, exhausting struggle and stop trying to be normal. But I can't. It's not in me to walk away from a fight. I'll keep fighting and telling my story. Before I forget.'
When she was just 46, Christine Bryden - a brilliant biochemist, science advisor to the prime minister and single mother of three daughters - was diagnosed with early-onset dementia. Doctors told her to get her affairs in order, as she would soon be incapable of doing so. Twenty years later, she is still thriving, still working hard to rewire her brain even as it loses its function.
The unusually slow progress of her condition puts Christine in a unique position to describe the lived experience of dementia, a condition that affects 1800 new Australians each week. She shares what it's like to start grasping for words that used to come so easily. To suddenly realise you don't remember how to drive. To be exhausted from the effort of thinking, smiling, talking; of trying to appear 'normal'.
In this moving, inspiring memoir, Christine looks back on her life, in an effort to understand how her brain - once her greatest asset, now her greatest challenge - works now. She takes us through being a gifted child and then a troubled adolescent, examines how she survived a destructive marriage while enjoying a high-flying career, and shares the steps she takes to maximise her brain function. This is Christine's legacy for people with dementia and those who care for them.

Penguin Books Ltd; August 2015
272 pages; ISBN 9780857979513
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: Before I Forget
Author: Christine Bryden
  • News
How I'm surviving dementia - The Australian Women's Weekly
Tue, 02 Feb 2016 21:32:38 -0800
The Australian Women's WeeklyHow I'm surviving dementiaThe Australian Women's WeeklyThis is an edited extract from Before I ...