Dr. Oz devastated as mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, says he 'completely missed the signs' until it was 'fairly late'
Dr. Mehmet Oz revealed in a devastating Instagram post on Monday, September 9, that his mother, Suna Oz, was showing signs of Alzheimer’s disease.
"I recently found out that my mom, Suna, has Alzheimer’s disease. Hearing the official diagnosis was devastating. But just as painful for me was the realization that the signs were there all along — I had just been overlooking them," he captioned in an extensive post, sharing photos of himself with his mother.
He further revealed in the post that when his mother became increasingly stubborn, he attributed it to her age. Even his sister did not speak up when she noticed Suna putting on makeup differently than she did in the past. His mother also began giving away many of their belongings to strangers but at the time he thought she "was just trying to lighten her load" following his father's death in February.
Although there were other signs too, the failing health of the 81-year-old being one, Dr. Oz said that both he and his sibling missed the obvious. “If the right word was, ‘You look beautiful today,’ she would use, ‘You look pretty prettier today.’ I missed those clues,” he told the People Magazine. “Alzheimer’s is like a snake in the grass. You don’t see it. You only see the effects of it suddenly. And if there’s a wind blowing the grass, you don’t even notice the grass moving strangely. It sneaks up on you.”
Suna was eventually taken to a doctor where she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Soon after she flew to Turkey where she is currently under the care of her daughter.
“She’s aware, but she’s forgetting some things,” he said. “Daphne [Dr. Oz’s daughter] had a baby girl 20 days ago and I called mom to tell her. She knows Daphne, but she couldn’t quite process that Daphne had a child.”
“These are not normal things from my mom. And that’s the most painful part of this whole process because I end up losing my mom twice,” he added. “The woman that I love whose bright eyes were there for every experience I’ve ever had as a child — those eyes are starting to dim. The light that made her who she was is starting to go out.”
An emotional Dr. Oz said eventually his mother's "body will still be there... but it won’t be the same as loving my mom" and, before he knew it, the day would come when he would have to "actually bury the person.”
Dr. Oz will share the news of his mother's ailment on Monday’s episode of 'The Dr. Oz Show," - a decision he said he took after much deliberation. “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,” he said.
“The worst lies are the ones we tell ourselves,” he added. “Everyone in my family probably could’ve figured this out, myself included. But my wishful thinking was that it was just mom being a little bit older, she’s stressed out, my dad was ill. And so we lost our truth.”