There are four books on the table beside Theresa Hawk’s bed: What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect The Toddler Years, Alzheimer’s Early Stages: First Steps for Families, Friends and Caregivers, and Regina Brett’s latest book, God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours.
These are not books prescribed to her from her book club or The New York Times best seller list, as if to suggest Theresa, a Mayfield Heights resident, has time to belong to a book club or even read The New York Times. Rather these books are required reading for a set of life circumstances that she never expected.
Around the holidays in 2008, Theresa and her family began recognizing the fact her mother, Virginia, was having some real cognitive problems including memory loss. The problems came to a head when Virginia wanted to get a relative’s telephone number and went to call information. Instead of dialing “411″, she dialed “911″.
When the police arrived to investigate the call, Virginia had no recollection of using the phone at all. Theresa began to seek a diagnosis of her mother’s growing problem. Virginia was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2009 at age 60.