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Palm Beach Gardens, FL – In sickness and in health: caring for a spouse with a severe illness can challenge the strength of any relationship. Marie Pinschmidt is the author of Life Interrupted: When the Doctor Becomes the Patient, the story of her marriage to Dr. Norman Pinschmidt, who passed away in 2000 of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a rare degenerative brain disorder.
“It’s a story of the life we built together and how we dealt with life’s challenges one breath at a time,” says Pinschmidt.
A professor of ophthalmology at Tulane University Medical School, Dr. Pinschmidt suffered a heart attack at the age of 59. Worsening matters, while in intensive care, he suffered a stroke. Though he would recuperate from the stroke, Dr. Pinschmidt could no longer move his eyes vertically. Forced to retire from his practice, an eye doctor betrayed by his eyes, his wife Marie would become his caregiver.
“My husband was blessed with a wonderful outlook on life, accepting what you couldn’t change,” says Pinschmidt. “I spent my time taking care of him, but he always encouraged me to work on my art, to learn new things and to feel fulfilled. After he passed away, for the first time in my life I didn’t have any responsibility to anyone. I decided to write a memoir.”
That memoir, Life Interrupted: When the Doctor Becomes the Patient explores the overwhelming challenges, decisions, and responsibilities she and her husband experienced throughout their long relationship, offering practical advice and support for both caregivers and those they care for. Pinschmidt encourages readers not to feel defeated when life’s unexpected tragedies strike.
“Norman would never want to bring any glory or recognition to himself, but I believe he would be proud I wrote this book because it might help others,” says Pinschmidt.
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