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…Clearly, a victim of such a complex disease inevitably needs constant, very specialized care; he needs to be followed closely and sustained in his tragic path with the highest commitment. It is the process of helping a child to become an adult in reverse. This unlucky patient who regresses as to infancy, begs for affection like a child, gives himself over entirely to those who are constantly close to him. It is essential for this patient to stay at home, surrounded by familiar objects and regular habits, living in a safe environment and in a serene atmosphere, in order to be nursed and properly stimulated, the must be helped to exist, beyond the decay of his physical vessel. I must be helped to live his life,the best possible one. Furthermore, if he feels loved, he makes the task easier for those who are committed to taking care of him…
…There are moments even long periods of panic, of extreme physical tiredness; however there is a "sublime pietas"; a super human, constant capacity to show affection, a skill that appears to be limitless and makes you overcome the most difficult situations with extraordinary serenity…
…They invisibly hold on to their sight, hearing,
feeling, but mostly to their soul. Try observing them from a place deep
down in yourself and you will understand…
"...I was very impressed by your book. I felt deeply involved on a personal level when I read it. The way the story was written highlights ethical lucidity and moral greatness. It is also valuable for the information it gives and the human support it offers as it describes a dramatic experience (...) Thank you for writing this book".
(writer, critic - Milan)
"Your book has double value: from a scientific point of view it is an accurate, timely and clear account of events presented step by step, reflecting years of total attention. But it is also an affective, artistic story that proves the power of love, an opera of literary art (...) courageous resistance to pain and to the temptation of surrender (...) You were right in wanting to record such an exemplary, important experience in writing (...) Thank you for making me feel part of such a humanly and artistically significant work."
(poet, critic - L’Aquila)
"(...) With rare
skill and with poetry, you portray the sense of a desperately trustful childhood
that introduces us to a heroic and responsible experience of life (...) I
believe there is a need for books like yours, so that people may remember the
truth of pain in our false and hedonistic world (...) I thank you wholeheartedly
(...) I wish you plenty of spiritual serenity although I believe you already
have it, since writing a text like this requires using both a literary filter
and loving detachment. (...)"
Maria Grazia Lenisa
(poet, critic - Terni)
"Any critical account of your book is surpassed and overwhelmed by the tragic importance of the story you narrate and by its truth (...) It is right that words should serve urgency, thus acquiring usefulness and precision.(...)"
(University of Florence)
"(...) I read "A child named Alzheimer’s" avidly, secretly hoping to find a clue, the beginning of a solution to such a grievous problem. I was not disappointed. You do not open a path to follow, but you affirm it through direct experience, waiting for science to find a minimal solution: it is the path of love, constant and true, shared with the one who suffers (...) I liked the direct way in which you portrayed pathos, without amplifying it or painting it in dark colors. Soul was the narrator, and that will perhaps help doctors to expand their commitment (...) But, where is the State in this? Hundreds of billions are allocated for trifles, and research - I know, it is an old leitmotif - there are only crumbs."
(poet, critic - Rome)
"A small- great real life document.(...) The test is undoubtedly very readable and rapid to understand.(...) The narrator’s anxiety and anguish are adamant and the tenderness and love of the one who suffers are captivating.(...)"
(physician, poet, critic - Naples)
"(...) I am a radiologist and a radio-biologist who passionately pursues research with unselfish devotion (...) I read your moving and highly humane pages, filled with intense love and nurturing affection, from a medical point of view (...) In addition, the treacherousness of the illness even makes the sails of assistance and solidarity deflate (...) I would like to say that the patient, more or less consciously, experiences cellular apoptosis; infinite micro-deaths in a sublime ‘via crucis’. (...)"
(poet, physician - Padua)
"(...) Everyone should read a book like this, because everybody should know the atrocity,pain and self-denial that there may be in our lives.(...) The story is written sharply and clearly, which makes strong emotional sharing possible, to the point that when the books ends one feels upset. Yet one has a better understanding of the terrible illness described in the book and about the equipment, made of devices, attentions and "tricks", needed to deal with it.(...) Your book should teach us to be more sensitive to certain situations and maybe less involved in our own pleasure and stupid egoism (...) Describing this kind of reality is a social duty.(...)"
(poet, critic - Florence)
"(...) I was moved by your book (...) I hope that those years of hard work and love have offered you a boundless gift of peace. (...)"
(writer, critic - Rome)
"Before beginning to read the book, I liked reflecting upon the photo on its cover: do the many layers of the wedding cake symbolize a very difficult winding path which is however, always ascending? Could they be the circles of Dante’s Purgatory, where light is nevertheless fully absent? (...) And the image of the bride, obviously dressed in white, that fades away to allow the groom to shed his dark clothing in order to receive an equal share of light? (...) As I continued reading this so essential, lucid, useful book, I could not help remarking how appropriate its cover image was, and how it really led readers into the heart of the subject.(...) I wish the book to have a very wide diffusion, which it deserves because of its social value, lucid witnessing and also for the writing and narration qualities that your book reveals.(...)"
(Writer, poet, critic - Cosenza)
"I read your book with great interest, I appreciated the natural way you described the relentless course of the illness, without lingering on the emotional notes that inevitably surface on each page.(...) I cannot help expressing my admiration, both on a literary level, and most of all on a human level, for the exceptional devotion that you demonstrated, in full awareness of your task, to the person you loved.(...) I find the last part of the book to be very useful, because of the practical advice that you provide for each phase of the illness and that cover the most diverse aspects of day to day living. I am certain that your advice will be very helpful to those who have to deal with this terrible disease and will be useful to those, relatives or professional assistants who decide to devote themselves in taking care of these sick people.(...)"
(neurosurgeon - Cagliari)
"(...) It is courageous book: it presents, without veils and with concrete details, the topic of frailty and the never-defeated struggle of commitment.(...)"
(poet - Florence)
"(...) I wish I could think that you have been able to build your story and characters with fictional skill, but unfortunately I believe it is not so. That is why the book’s haunting reality, that goes beyond imagination, is emotionally involving.(...) Your writing and narration are very effective.(...) I will keep the book among cherished family possessions.(...)"
(writer, critic - Moneglia)
"(...) This is poetry: life poetry, human being poetry.(...)"
(psychologist, poet - Florence)
"(...) The book is an example to follow: this is writing that heals both the writer and the reader.(...)"
(linguist, writer - Florence)
"(...) Thank you for your accurate, well-documented book.(...) I think that beyond the story and the human participation it inspires, the text is also extremely useful for people working in the press, for experts in the medical and mass-media fields.(...)"
("Gazzetta di Parma", Sept.14th,1999, Parma)
"(...) A precious book (...) With effective, essential, emotionally pregnant passages, the work talks about the ordeal endured by an Alzheimer’s patient and his family.(...) What is most striking is the spiritual strength and the invariably confident, careful, loving look presented by the author as she invites us to approach the themes of decay and regression, that everybody (or almost everybody) is trying to avoid.(...) Dementia means not only loss of physiological and physical functions, but also a tragic existential state, a way of being in the world with extreme bewilderment. It is difficult to even imagine it. The burden of assistance then falls upon the family and not everybody can sustain it. But this book shows that it is possible and worth it.(...)"
("La Nuova Tribuna Letteraria", n° 57 - 2000, Padua)
"I personally think it is extraordinary the interest and the disclosure of everything that has been and still is particularly useful to lessen the tragic and progressive and worsening evolution (...) of the cerebral functions studied by (Alois) Alzheimer.(...) Successful, with exquisite style, almost on the tips of one’s toes, a ‘non professional’: Paola Ferrarese Pieroni in her book (...) giving up herself and her privacy... She detailed, meticulous description of the worsening evolution. (...) She reaches a highest poetic level, with reiterated abnegation, immense tenderness and solidarity until to the end (...) This work, also if is not written by a physician, besides to be a valid help because of the precious fundamental suggestions, that came up directly from experience, studies and observations by the author, contributes to open furtherly the way to better understand how to care for the patient, is a ray of hope in everyone who finds or will find himself to face this terrible and implacable illness.(...)"
("TalentGo", n° 2 - 2000, Torino)
"A very exacting work. It confronts a subject of scientific character, touching sociological and human aspects, bordering with strong sentiments for life, for fraternity (…). The author (...) studies in depth neurological problems, refuses the antiquated vision of old age that brings about abandonment and degradation, looks forward towards scientific progress (…). The author, with concise prose, looks directly at the meaning (....) offers to the readers a particular study of the tormenting subject of the disease, outlines the difficulty of approaching undefinable obscurity, particular embarrassing details, suggests and shows the ways to comfort, at best, the unfortunate family member and not to exclude other forms of senility (...) she states above all that there is the human possibilities of friendship, affection, love that can help support the long suffering and decline that the illness entails, bringing well being, and comfort, as much as possible, to the patient... In the background, music with its highest values, defines itself as an excellent, comforter and friend."
"Silarus" November 2000
Giuseppina Luongo Bartolini