NewWoodworker.com is a
I Have Alzheimer's
But I am still here and fighting on
Text & photos by Tom Hintz
Posted – 2-22-2013
About 18 months ago I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's. So why tell you? Simple – I don’t want the viewers of NewWoodworker.com to feel that I had been holding something back when the disease progresses to a point that it becomes obvious. The good news is that my work producing NewWoodworker.com and my other sites is actually good therapy for his disease. Everything I do to produce content and maintain my sites exercises my brain and helps me focus, both good things for slowing the progress of Alzheimer's.
Due in part to the benefits of the work itself and to help get more real world information out about Alzheimer's I have created another web site – www.fightingmyalz.com. You can read more about the process of my becoming aware of the problem on that site so I will not be adding more Alzheimer's-related content to NewWoodworker.com.
What is important to say right now is that I will continue to build NewWoodworker.com. My doctors predict that I should have somewhere between 3 and 13 years before my symptoms become more problematic. With modern medications and treatments I think I have a fighting chance of reaching the higher end of that time span so that is where my ambitions remain.
Another thing coming clean about this disease is that it gives me more options on what to do with NewWoodworker.com in the latter years. At some point I will have to stop working on NewWoodworker.com as I would eventually anyway simply because of advancing age. The Alzheimer's may have tightened the time frame to some degree. I have over 12 years of work and way more money than I like to think about invested in building NewWoodworker.com to where it is today so what happens to all that when I am out of the picture has importance to me. I have no end game in mind for NewWoodworker.com right now but will have to form one along the way.
Hang on to Your Hat
I realize that opening up about this will give the lunatic fringe what they consider reason to skewer me than they already get from the aluminum foil in their hats. If you have been following my I Get Email series you know that this is nothing new.
What is different with Alzheimer's is the amount of stereotypical misconceptions that exists among even clear thinking folks. I hope that in some way my being open about what is happening to me will give people a better understanding of the reality of having Alzheimer's.
So what does all this mean for NewWoodworker.com in the short term? Not much I hope. The diagnosis did not make me an instant idiot (I know there are those who would argue that point) and I remain capable of doing my work. In fact, doing my work should forestall me reaching the point where I can’t do it anymore. For the foreseeable future it remains business as usual for NewWoodworker.com and me.
Check out www.fightingmyalz.com, read up on the disease if you don’t know about it already and then keep coming back. I am still doing woodworking and will continue producing content on the hobby.
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