Standing Like Redwoods


Standing Like Redwoods

redwoods-937163_640I have been doing a lot of frontotemporal degeneration research lately. My husband's mother died of Pick's Disease, the "old" name for behavioral variant frontotemporal degeneration, which is obviously a mouthful. The reason I have been doing a lot of reading is because one of the members here, Mar (@marfromwi), posted a video about FTD during FTD awareness week. I watched the video, knowing that my mother in law suffered with the disease.

My mother-in-law was already non verbal and living in assisted living when my husband and I married 18 years ago. I knew what she "had", but did not know the symptoms or progression. It seemed sort of Alzheimer-ish, so I thought I knew.

When I watched the video, it was like a ton of bricks fell on my head. The video was about my husband. I had never associated the disease his mother had with behavior symptoms. The video made all the pieces of a strange puzzle we have lived for more than year, come together. We strongly believe my husband has FTD.

I am already the full time caregiver to my 93-year-old mother who lives with us, and now we are faced with seeking a diagnosis that could propel me into further caregiving. Perhaps caring for Mom was my initiation, my learning curve.

In my research, I came across a video of Dan Gottlieb talking to caregivers of people with FTD. No matter what your caregiving situation is, we are all caregivers. He told a story about redwoods being able to stand so tall and strong for so long because their roots are intertwined. They support each other to stand tall.  I thought, yes, we here at do have intertwined roots. We hold each other up and share valuable information with each other so none of us fall.

Mar's post during FTD awareness week has probably saved us from many misdiagnosed  trials in getting to the bottom of my husband being a different person these days. Our roots were intertwined and she has helped me stand tall to advocate for a correct diagnosis. She held me up and I hope I can someday hold her up as our redwood forest grows taller and stronger with each new member.

I've posted Dan's talk, below. It is more about caregiving than FTD. I encourage you to take a look, he gives some solid advice for us redwoods.

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Thanks, Sharon, for sharing this video. I am still unable to feel anything about my mother or her passing, no matter how I try. But watching this and being reminded I am in the Redwood Forest among friends and with a purpose confirms that I am still alive inside; I can feel that.


I'll put this on my to watch list as I'll have lots of down time soon. I love the analogy of the redwoods and the roots. Thanks so much for posting. I wish for you and your husband the best journey possible in finding diagnosis and support.


Oh my - this video is so powerful!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this. Amazing...