Thursday, November 12, 2009

最普遍的老年癡呆症(腦退化症): 人去楼空 / Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT): He no longer lives here

Here are the comments I left at Inner Space's blog entitled "陪著你走":

Space: ... 但我在看到前中文大學校長 高錕教授,得到諾貝爾物理學獎,電視臺跑到他在美國南加州,灣區矽谷鄰近山景城的家中訪問,他的太太 黃美芸女士說:『光纖之父』已經不在了。聽完新聞後,不禁唏噓,腦海中記起這首歌“陪著你走”。報載:『高錕老人癡呆,忘了光纖,忘不了太太。妻子:「不再是以前那個人!」』

Haricot: ... At the time when the Nobel Prize winner was announced, many people were saying: Oh, how romantic!! He "listened" to her like a child !! They were such lovely couple together !!

In my opinion, people were romanticizing the situation because they wanted it to be a happy and proud occasion for all Chinese. But is dementia really that romantic?

An old-age colleague of mine is currently a sufferer of dementia. He can no longer remember my name even though we had worked together before. He tries hard to continue a conversation, but can no longer articulate a point or recall past events. There is always someone accompanying him when he is going places. He often forgets where he is and is prone to taking other people's jacket or leaving behind his own belongings.

There is nothing romantic about dementia, especially if you are the prime care-giver who has the exhausting 24/7 responsibility of looking after someone you once loved but is no longer there.

As Mrs. 黃美芸 said:「不再是以前那個人!」 She is trying hard to put up a brave face and represent a married couple in public. But for all intensive purpose, the Nobel Prize winner's wife was there by herself, taking care of the shell of her former husband - 人去楼空。

References: Wikipedia

* 老人癡呆症(失智症)
* Dementia
* 阿茲海默氏症
* Alzheimer's disease

* Inner Space's blog "Mind Necessity" 陪著你走
* 最普遍的老年癡呆症(腦退化症): (一) "阿滋海默症科學資料節錄" / Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT): Part 1 "Scientific Perspective on Alzheimer's Disease"
* 最普遍的老年癡呆症(腦退化症): (二) 探索大腦之旅 / Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type (SDAT): Part 2 "Brain Tour"


Update: 2009-11-13: I would like to thank Best Actor for his comments. I stand to be corrected. I will incorporate his input into the article below. A revised version should be available tonight.

Update: 2009-11-16: I have difficulties keeping the blog article coherent and whole again with all the revisions. So, I have decided to write another article with a new title that is more in line with Best Actor's idea, something like "另一覌點: 人未遠去樓永不空". Stay tuned !!!

Updated: 2009-11-19: All basic materials are compiled and ready. Writing has begun !!

Updated: 2009-11-22 and 23: Part 1 and 2 of the new series of articles have been written and posted. (see Related Links above)


新鮮人 said...


best actor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
best actor said...


'As Mrs. 黃美芸 said:「不再是以前那個人!」 She is trying hard to put up a brave face and represent a married couple in public. But for all intensive purpose, the Nobel Prize winner's wife was there by herself, taking care of the shell of her former husband'

my father is an alzheimer's patient, and I am not sure after all the pain and hard work, the primary care-giver is only putting up a brave face for the world to see and that the disease is worth romanticizing. Sometimes, the primary care-giving also needs to live with the patient too (like my mom). IMHO, I think you underestimate the impact of love on an alzheimer's patient. your former professor may have forgotten about your name and all the work that you have done with him, but trust me, your professor would still have a lot of residual memories and feelings for his family.

my mom did go through some adjustments, but now my father's conditions become stable and plateaued, you'll be surprised how much they enjoy their lives together even if my father has limited speech capacity and is barely retaining whatever skills left to him on a daily basis. a touch of his hand, a smile on his face, is worth all the hardship.

I find your response a bit subjective and jumping to the conclusion, which is very unbecoming.

the inner space said...

I think the original was written with your feelings, the revised version would be your logic without feelings. I hope you will keep the original on my side, eventhough you may want to post the revised version.

best actor said...


I've always respected your writing and opinions, I hope I didn't come across as disputatious. You are entitled to your feelings and opinions. I just want to show a different side of the story, which is more along the line of 人未遠去樓永不空.

ps thank you for the email too, you are right, there's always next spring and summer.

微豆 Haricot said...


>> ... 比起那些不安於室的丈夫,她妻子總算過著甜蜜的回憶吧!

That's very true !!!

微豆 Haricot said...

Space: Thank you for your suggestions. My comments posted at your blog will be left alone, along with the link to here. Thanks !!!

微豆 Haricot said...

Best Actor: I really appreciate your comments which have given me a lot of food for thoughts. I will think of a way to reflect the different sides of the same story. Enjoy the rest of the week-end.

Related Posts with Thumbnails