A retired doctor continues to blog as Alzheimer’s claims his mind. The blog is his attempt to document the effects of the debilitating disease. David Hilfiker writes in his blog titled “Watching the Lights Go Out,” hoping to share the personal experience of living with Alzheimer’s.
Hilfiker started his online memoir when he was first diagnosed in September 2012. The Washington D.C. resident diagnosed Alzheimers in others, but never anticipated that he would someday live with the disease.
As reported by the Washington Post, Hilfiker has dedicated his life to helping others. The Yale graduate decided to open his practice in rural Minnesota, serving poor and low income families.
He eventually opened a residential facility in 1990, called Joseph’s House, which housed and treated man suffering from AIDS. Hilfiker’s family lived beside the sick men, providing the men with a sense of family and home.
Although Hilfiker and his family eventually moved fro the area, Joseph’s House still operates as a home for Aids patients.
Adding to his accomplishments, Hilfiker published several books that sought to bring strengthen the ties in the community and within the medical profession.
Months before he was diagnosed, Hilfiker noted several seemingly insignificant lapses in his memory. A forgotten trip to another state highlighted the fact that something mores serious was going on.
As he realized what was happening, he feared the breakdown and eventual collapse of his mind. Having treated patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia, Hilfiker found it difficult to remain positive about his diagnosis.
In an effort to chronicle his struggles, the former doctor is continuing to blog as his mind fades. Having struggled with depression in the past, Hilfiker sought a way to keep things in perspective.
Hilfiker’s family comes first. He and his wife find joy in spending time with their grandchildren and children. It is difficult as the families all live in different states, but Hilfiker continues to travel by train to visit.
Hilfiker is dedicated to writing in his blog despite the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s. He has a friend who has promised to take over when he is no longer able to write. His struggle with Alzheimer’s is chronicled on his blog.