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Emilio's Story

At the age of 35, Lucy, my wife, was diagnosed with diabetes. She wasn't surprised when she was diagnosed since many of her relatives have diabetes.  Although her doctor spoke to her about the importance of keeping her diabetes under control, Lucy found it very difficult to follow her doctor's instructions and her diabetes was always out of control. As the years went by, she was diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure and later she was diagnosed with peripheral artery disease.  When they diagnosed her with peripheral artery disease, her legs were very swollen because the arteries in her legs were already blocked.  Something else that affected Lucy a lot was the fact that she smoked for many years.   


When Lucy was 57 years old, she began to get confused.  But since she spent a lot of time in bed because of the discomfort she felt in her legs, we didn't pay much attention to this.  Later she began to develop problems with her concentration and at times she had problems speaking.  When this continued to happen more frequently, I mentioned it to her doctor.  The doctor became concerned and asked a neurologist to evaluate Lucy.  Through an MRI, the neurologist saw evidence that Lucy had suffered several mini-strokes.  These mini-strokes were the cause of the problems with concentration and speaking that Lucy was having.  As a result of these tests, the neurologist diagnosed Lucy with vascular dementia.  The neurologist told us that the symptoms of vascular dementia were similar to those of Alzheimer's disease, but that vascular dementia advances more rapidly.   


Asking for help was hard at first. I wanted my children to believe their father was fine!

Read Marta's story