Leeza Gibbons

Leeza Gibbons taking care of mom…

Leeza Gibbon’s story about caring for her mother: 

Visit Leeza’s website Take Your Oxygen First at Leeza’s Place

Dealing With a Loved One’s Dementia

Leeza Gibbons on the depression she faced while caring for her mother. 

In her book Take Your Oxygen First, Leeza Gibbons shares the story of her mother, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. With the help of medical professionals, Gibbons provides a guide for caregivers to take care of themselves first. An excerpt:

Leeza: Bad news has no regard for timing. Your bubble of domestic bliss is not immune, nor is your job or career. I was happily mothering my children and producing and hosting my own talk show on Paramount’s Stage 26 when Mom’s stage went dark. My anxiety spread to every aspect of my life and as much as I tried to present a facade of calm and acceptance, my persona never lasted past my driveway and once home, I became as tightly wound up as an angry fist. I snapped at the kids, withdrew from my husband and stayed up until dawn searching and searching for the latest treatments, the slimmest hope.

As Mom declined, I was trapped on a tilt-a-whirl of emotion. I managed to convince myself that if I just did more, she would be O.K. The talk show ended its run and I immediately went on to the next stop on my career train, hosting the nightly entertainment news magazine Extra. I was all coifed and poised in front of the camera as I delivered the latest celebrity headlines, but the minute the lights went out on the stage, I fell apart. I spent most afternoons leaving through the back door of the lot to wander the neighborhood streets trying to reclaim some control over myself. But bad news can’t be controlled and I realized that I was no match for its increasing shadow over my life. My marriage was strained to the breaking point and I was depressed. I needed to let go of the way things were and accept this beast which had pulled up a chair to my dinner table.

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