Dr. Mehmet Oz recently found out his mother has Alzheimer’s. While the diagnosis was devastating, realizing that he had overlooked the early warning signs was just as painful. The health columnist and host of "The Dr. Oz Show" shared the news in a heartfelt post on Instagram.
He recalled noticing subtle changes in her personality, but put it down to old age and stubbornness.
"When my mom started giving some of her belongings away to people she barely knew, I thought she was just trying to lighten her load following my father’s passing," he wrote Monday, adding that these seemingly small changes were in fact the first indicators of Alzheimer’s.
It was only when her actions started to grow irrational that he realized there was something wrong with his mother and took her for testing. Doctors confirmed it was Alzheimer’s.
"I’m feeling guilty because I completely missed the signs until fairly late in the process," Oz said in an interview with People.
"Alzheimer’s is like a snake in the grass. You don’t see it. You only see the effects of it suddenly," he continued, adding that "it sneaks up on you."
Admitting that his mother's health was declining was a big struggle for Oz, but he said doing so allowed them to get her the help she needed. Initially, he was reluctant to make the diagnosis public but decided it was important to speak out.
"I know that there are millions of other people like me, who probably feel guilt the way I do, knowing that if we could have figured this out earlier I could have intervened a little bit," Oz told People.
On Instagram, Oz encouraged his followers to be more attentive to the early signs of Alzheimer’s, which he shared in his post.
"You have the power to speak up and say something if you suspect any of the above symptoms in a loved one," he wrote. "Doing so may be uncomfortable, but it just might help slow down the Alzheimer’s progression in someone you love."
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