From Emmy award–winning broadcast journalist and leading Alzheimer’s advocate Meryl Comer comes a profoundly intimate and unflinching account of her husband’s battle with Alzheimer’s disease, one of today’s most pressing—and least-understood—health epidemics.
When Meryl Comer’s husband, Dr. Harvey Gralnick, began forgetting routine things and demonstrating abrupt changes in behavior, doctors were confounded as to what was wrong. Finally, after years of inconclusive tests, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, a seemingly impossible disease for a man in his prime. Comer gave up her television career and for the next two decades cared for Harvey in their home, tending to his every need while watching him regress into an emotionally distant and sometimes violent stranger.
In Slow Dancing with a Stranger, Comer brings readers face-to-face with Alzheimer’s, detailing the realities, its stressful emotional and financial hardships for families, as well as the limitations of doctors and care facilities to manage difficult patient behaviors. With candor and grace, Comer chronicles her personal experiences—her mistakes, her heart- breaks, her minor victories—to paint an intimate and moving portrait of Alzheimer’s and, in the process, she reveals the truth about the disease and everyone it affects.
“Riveting and necessary.” (New York Times)
“An unflinching and intimate account…conveys a sense of passion and even frustration with a society that [Comer] believes has been slow to acknowledge the spread of Alzheimer’s disease or make adequate provisions to tend to its caregivers.” (Washington Post)
Alzheimer’s disease is a slow killer of the health and spirit of the caregiver- the secondary victim. Comer’s pain is contained in elegant writing and channeled into a worthy purpose. This book is a call to action as haunting and urgent as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. (Gail Sheehy, author of Passages in Caregiving and DARING: My Passages)
“In an unvarnished account of caring for a husband with dementia, Meryl Comer lays out the struggles and gallantry of a devoted and remarkable caregiver.” (Peter V. Rabins, M.D., MPH, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, author of The 36-Hour Day)