Friday, November 7, 2008

The Stranger Comes at Sundown: Living and Dying with Parkinsons Disease

Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW, Los Ranchos, NM 87107
505-344-9382 www.nmsantoscom

The Stranger Comes At Sundown:
Living & Dying With Parkinson’s Disease by Jane Kriete Awalt 202 pages
ISBN 978-1-890689-33-9 (17.95) ISBN 978-1-890689-59-9 (32.95)

Jane Kriete Awalt, a resident of Oak Crest in Parkville, Maryland, is the author of a new book “The Stranger Comes At Sundown: Living & Dying With Parkinson’s Disease,” which was released in May. The book is a journal of Mrs. Awalt caring for her husband Bob, who died of Parkinson’s Disease in August, 2007. Bob Awalt was a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University (1943) and on faculty at The Johns Hopkins University from 1970 to 1990. The book is published by Rio Grande Books in Los Ranchos, New Mexico. The book is Awalt’s first. Awalt, a spry 83 years old, has already spoken to many care groups and support groups. She was also profiled in the Oak Crest resident newspaper “Village Voice.”

A personal journal of one family’s struggle with the progression of Parkinson’s disease — one can understand the medicine and the treatment for this devastating disease, but nothing prepares one for living & dying with Parkinson’s; this journal takes the reader by the hand as this disease takes control of one man’s life. More than 1,000,000 people in the United States are living, struggling, and dying with Parkinson’s Disease — 50,000 more are diagnosed in this country every year. Jane Awalt shares her personal journal of living and dying with her husband’s disease as a gift to others, helping us understand the stages and progression of this devasting illness. Bob’s story unfolds slowly like the disease, often taking startling turns and twists.

A must for caregivers and the families of Parkinson’s patients.

Proceeds from the book are being donated to
The Johns Hopkins Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders Center

Sunday, November 23, 2008, 1:00-3:00pm
Booksigning at Borders at Cottonwood,
10420 Coors Bypass NW, Albuquerque

Monday, November 24, 2008, 1:00-3:00pm
Booksigning at Collected Works,
208 W San Francisco St., Santa Fe

For most of the last two years of her husband’s fifteen-year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Awalt kept a journal. As a primary caregiver, she brings the reader into her concerns: Will he wander away from the apartment during the night? Will he manage to reach the toilet or will she have another major cleanup chore? Will she be able to get him back into his bed when he falls out? Over and over, she gives thanks for the washer and dryer in the apartment. Over and over we hear about that Stranger who comes, frequently at sundown, to take over her husband’s personality, a Stranger who begins to act out violently. During the final three months, when she knows she can no longer continue to care for him herself, Awalt goes daily to spend hours with him at the Medical Center. This part of her journal kept me turning page after page to see what would happen next. Written for other caregivers, Awalt makes her case clear for better communication between doctor and family members. She spells out flags to watch for in other Parkinson’s patients. One wonders what her husband’s last days would have been like without her presence in the Medical Center, in spite of the good care and extremely high costs of his treatment. Several unclear passages might have been reworked. Some of the repetitiveness could have been eased. But for all that, an insightful read. --

I highly recommend this book for anyone in any type of caregiver situation. I cried like baby after finishing The Stranger Comes At Sundown. Jane Awalt keeps a personal diary of the final few years of her husband’s life. Both are in their 80’s, yet their courage and attitude are amazing. Most of all, it is a legacy of care, love and support as this couple goes through the end of life together. For those dealing with a relative who has Parkinson’s disease this is a must read. It gave me a much better idea of what my parent’s both went through in my dad’s final years...and a hope that progress will be made in dealing with Parkinson’s. — Steve Stucker, KOB-TV (4) Albuquerque

2008 New Mexico
Book Awards
Paul Rhetts
LPD Press & Rio Grande Books
925 Salamanca NW
Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM 87107
FAX 505/345-5129

Publisher of “Our Favorite Recipes,”
voted Best in Show Booksellers' Choice
at the 2008 Connie Gotsch Host Write On Four Corners KSJE FM, Farmington NM Author two award winning novels Snap Me a Future and A Mouthful of Shell available

Always in Print ‘Cuz They’re Print on Demand!

Coming in 2009, Belle’s Star,’ a youth novel from Artemesia Press at
Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers meeting

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