My name is Mike Hughbanks, I am 60 years old living in Omaha with my wife Debra. I was the Chief Operating Officer at a National Finance Company based here in Omaha Nebraska.
On August 14, 2015, after blood work, a spinal tap, Neuropsychological evaluations, I received the diagnosis of Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease. Needless to say that was traumatic for Debra and I. We were told that there is no cure. Yes, there are drugs that can help with the symptoms, but there is no cure. My neurologist then informed me that he could not release me to return to work due to the level of cognitive impairment and short-term memory loss.
I am fortunate that I have an early diagnosis, and also have a fantastic medical team at Nebraska Medicine. Omaha is also blessed with a wonderful staff of people at the Alzheimer’s Association. I have been on disability since May of 2015. I retired shortly after approval of long-term disability. This blog is my story. I am active with the Nebraska Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association here in Omaha. My blog is literally reaching people throughout the United States and now all over the world. My passion is helping others that have received a new diagnoses of Younger Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. I am doing everything I can to spread the word. Ultimately we are working toward a drug that will slow did the disease, aide in early detection and, we need a cure.
In 2015 – 2016. along with my support of my friends at the Alzheimer’s Association, we have shared at over 40 different venue’s to educate people about Alzheimer’s and dementia in general. Debra and I were on several local TV news stories, we recorded several TV programs that aired on Positive Momentum TV. I was able to speak to groups ranging in size from 6 to 400. This blog has been viewed by over 4000 people from California to Maine and even England and Australia. I am now a bloke and a matey (I hope that is a good thing).
We know that my condition continues to deteriorate. My cognitive abilities are beginning to suffer more and my short-term memory is not good. I am still able to drive, do the grocery shopping, cooking, laundry and household chores. I have to write everything down on sticky notes (sticky notes are my best friend). Politics and religion are no longer in my TV viewing list or points of discussion. My stress and anxiety increase dramatically when I see or read about what is going on politically in the country. I am currently on the Excelon 9.5 mg 24 hour patch, (Rivastigmine) prevents the breakdown of acetylcholine in the brain, thus temporarily increasing concentration. In doing so, it may improve the thinking process by facilitating nerve impulse transmission within the brain.
Debra and I are excited about what 2017 will bring. Thank you for following my blog.