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Book details
  • Genre:MEDICAL
  • SubGenre:Caregiving
  • Language:English
  • Pages:72
  • Paperback ISBN:9781483598345

Honey, I Sold the Red Cadillac

Learning to Cope With Lewy Body Dementia

by Bob Wolf View author's profile page

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This is a true story about a disease, Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) and its physical and mental symptoms.  It tells how a couple encountered those symptoms and, little by little, learned how to cope with them as they meandered down that twisting path of discovery.


Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) is a variant of Parkinson's disease overlaid with hallucinations, some benign, some quite scary.  Carol developed the first typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease in 2011, but the diagnosis was soon changed to Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) because of her hallucinations.  This book depicts Carol and her husband/caregiver, Bob as they try to cope with the various hallucinations, from bedroom drapes on fire, to bugs on everything, to a little league team showering in their bathroom.  Finally, the episode with the Red Cadillac accidentally provides the lessons they used to cope with this horrible disease. This book describes those lessons in the hope that others caring for people with LBD will benefit from them, and their path down this road will be easier.

About the author

Bob was born in Panama in 1937. He moved to Southern California with his family when he was 7 years old. After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering at UCLA and a Master’s degree in Operations Research at NYU, he worked in the computer and telecommunications industry. While working at Pacific Telephone Co. he met Carol. Carol had a Bachelor’s degree from Wooster University and was in the first class of women admitted to the Master’s program at Harvard University. After a two-year courtship they were married on Dec. 31, 1984. The marriage created a “Brady Bunch” family: three children from Bob’s earlier marriage and two from Carol’s first marriage. Both Bob and Carol were retired and living in Lafayette, CA (a small town in Northern California) when Carol first detected a tremor in her left hand, foretelling the onset of Parkinson’s disease. This was the start down that long twisting path that is described in this book.

Some Reader Comments:

1. Bob Wolf’s informative (and heart wrenching) book specifically addresses his wife’s Lewy Body Dementia.  But I believe that readers who have (or had) a loved one with any type of dementia will find themselves nodding their heads, recognizing and affirming many of the similar, agonizing challenges that face caregivers as well as family members.  I wish that my caregiver father could have found a book like “Honey, I sold the red Cadillac,” during the years he cared for my Alzheimer-afflicted mother.  Bob’s compassionate relating of his own coping challenges could have also helped me and my siblings.  His book is small but valuable.

2. This is a story which begins in 2003 and goes until 2015.  It is a difficult and heartwarming story of a very patient man who does everything to keep his wife safe and happy.  I couldn’t put it down!

It is well written, it takes the journey from Parkinson's disease to Alzheimer's with Lewy Bodies.  Bob tells of all the trials he went through to keep his wife safe and happy.  I believe everyone should read this if you have a loved one with P.D. who is not responding to medication.  The knowledge that this journey continues to this day makes the story all the more poignant and informative.

3. Bob Wolf's travail from denial, anger, bargaining, depression and final acceptance regarding his wife's Lewy-Body dementia is stunning.  I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who counsels many caregivers dealing with the angst of this disease.  I have shared excerpts from this book with caregivers who have been profoundly grateful for his insights.  One caregiver shared "This is the first time I smiled since my husband has been diagnosed."  If you are dealing with any diagnosis of Dementia, this little book will feel like you have found a friend; you have!

4. This is a very poignant and personal story of one family's journey to understand and cope with Lewy Body Dementia.  Mr. Wolf shares the fear, frustrations, challenges and even the humor that he and his wife shared from its earliest symptoms until today.  This book is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in learning effective ways to cope with and minimize the stresses that affect everyone involved in the care of a loved one experiencing dementia. 

5. Thank you again for coming up to me last week at the conference in Rossmoor, and thank you so much for the book.  It is really wonderful, and I plan to tell my LBD patients and their families about it.  You've done a remarkable job describing the symptoms and the impact LBD has on patients and their family.  Most importantly, it is told in a heartwarming, supportive way. It is going to help a lot of people!

6. Nobody reads a book about dealing with Lewy Body Dementia for fun. But Bob Wolf's dry sense of humor and wry asides make this difficult topic palatable as well as informative. Anyone who finds himself in the position of caretaker to a loved one suffering as Carol does, can find comfort and encouragement in this very readable and ultimately uplifting story.

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