KNOXVILLE — For such a strong figure, Pat Summitt was feeling almost helpless.
Months of erratic behavior had left Tennessee women’s basketball coach bewildered, scared and asking herself “What’s wrong with me?”
Summitt went to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., in May. She underwent a series of tests and received a stunning answer. The diagnosis was early onset dementia, Alzheimer’s type.
Her initial reaction to learning she had a progressive condition that could impair her mental acuity was one of anger and denial. Since then, she’s moved forward in more Summitt-like fashion, formulating a plan involving medication and mental activities, such as reading and doing puzzles at night before going to sleep. She’s also taken a hopeful stance about her future.