Author Hopes to Eradicate Alzheimer's Disease Across the Nation
'Ma Is Back! Restoring My Mother's Memory: Memoir of an Alzheimer's Discovery,' was written by Attleboro author Brad Pitman, with Attleboro writer Nancy Driscoll.
Caring for an elderly parent at home is a major and difficult undertaking in the best of conditions, but caring for an elderly parent who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease is a monumental task.
However, when Attleboro native Brad Pitman was faced with the decision of placing his mother, who was suffering from several medical conditions including Alzheimer's, in a nursing home or caring for her himself at home, the decision was obvious. He chose what he knew his mother would have wanted if she were able to tell him. He knew her wish would be to stay in her Attleboro home amidst her life's memories and picturesque flower gardens.
"There's no question about it, she would have done the same for me," Pitman said matter of factly.
"Ma Is Back!" chronicles Pitman's experiences, including the devastation of seeing his once energetic, no-nonsense, outgoing mother, Maude Pitman, disappearing into the shell of Alzheimer's. From the onset of his mother's illnesses, he was dissatisfied with Alzheimer's treatments offered by her doctors and immediately hit the books and medical journals to research other possible treatments.
"I was raised to be a problem solver," he begins. "My father solved problems in his factory and my mother solved problems at home every day. This was our way of life."
Although he found no case recorded in which a patient regains memory functions, he remained confident that his mother could be cured. With no medical education or training, he devised a successful method with which he was able to implement recovery for his mother.
When asked, "Do you think what you implemented with your mother is a real cure for Alzheimer's?" Pitman answered, "In my house, it was."
"You can choose to lose or plan to win," he said. "Alzheimer's has a 100 percent record in three categories."
Pitman said 100 percent of the cases have never been stopped, reversed or cured. "Again, I chose to win," he said.
"I did my research and offered suggestions to both my mother's doctor and pharmacist but I did nothing that they told me not to do," Pitman added.
"Ma is Back!" is the result of the stacks of notes Pitman kept, knowing that their experience could someday help others. In fact, Pitman has already heard from people who have experienced success following Pitman's guidelines with family Alzheimer's sufferers.
This inspirational book of often humorous anecdotes would be particularly helpful for any son or daughter facing decisions regarding elder care options for their parents. Pitman was fortunate to be able to work from home and hire a nurse to assist him, but taking care of his mother was a 24/7 job, one that he unwaveringly embraced. He would have continued to care for her, but on July 14, 1999 her heart stopped.
"The book is only the first step," he said. "My future plans include working towards eradicating Alzheimer's disease everywhere across the country."
Pitman, a lifelong resident of Attleboro, is 71. He is a businessman and gardener who has devoted the last 14 years of his life to researching Alzheimer's disease.
His memoir was written with Attleboro resident Nancy Driscoll, a retired middle school writing teacher. Driscoll and Pitman met serendipitously at the Attleboro Public Library.
"I told Nancy my story and she put it into English," Pitman laughed.
The book is available at the Attleboro Public Library and for purchase at Amazon.com.