Thank you for the questions. This post I will talk about family history. I was born in South Central Kansas where I grew up with my parents, two sisters and a large extended family. We lived in a small farming community. I comment today about having good genes. My dad is 82, and along with my mother, still doing well. My grandmother lived to be 98, and with the exception of one infant, all of her 11 children are still living, the youngest being a few years older than me. I lost one uncle on my mothers side to cancer at 52 and another one at 78. To my knowledge, there is no history of Early Onset of Alzheimer’s in my family. There is some history of dementia in later life.
I had a wonderful childhood, loving parents and grew up in a good community where our religious faith was and still is important. I learned much about mechanics from my father who was a mechanic by trade. After high school, I went to college for two years and then moved to Iowa, married and raised 3 children. I was employed at a Farm Equipment Dealership until 1998. After the dealership sold, I started working at a National Farm Equipment Finance Company in Omaha Nebraska as a Credit Analyst.
Shortly after I started working in credit I was promoted to the Director of Information Technology. I went back to school, got Microsoft certification in Windows and also Microsoft Office. The company continued to grow and in 2001, we bought a company in St. Louis that financed Construction Equipment. In 2007, we merged with a sister Agricultural Finance Company in Omaha and I was promoted to Chief Operating Officer and became of member of our Executive Committee. We had quadrupled in size since I started with company. Everything was going well until the financial crisis. 2008 through 2010 were very hard years. Part of my responsibilities were managing the areas of IT, Operations, Customer Service and Human Resources. Due to the economic climate of the time, we were forced to reduce a third of our workforce and eventually close the St. Louis office. In my work life, these were the hardest of times. At the same time, I was also going through a divorce.
This is a quick snapshot of my life. Looking back, I can see that this is the point where the stressors began impacting my physical and mental health. In Part 2, I will talk about a stroke and several TIA’s before my diagnosis of AD.