On day seven of DAI's World Alzheimer’s Month #WAM2018 series of #Hello my name is blogs, we share one of our UK members stories of living with dementia. Thank you Carol for writing your very first blog for DAI for this series to help us raise awareness. You and your husband Brian are an inspiration to us all.
This is me... Getting on with life!
Hello, my name is Carol and I am aged 61. I was diagnosed with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease in December 2015.
I had various problems and issues for over twenty years, which began in my mid thirties.
When I received my diagnosis it was therefore not such a dreadful thing, but a huge relief that there was actually a valid reason for what was going on.
I could now understand and deal with this new life. I could seek further help and advice, read up on literature and ask questions to know what this thing is and how to deal with it.
From this moment on I could plan my life around my dementia, and put in place strategies to help me cope with the symptoms. The one amazing thing to come out of this was a personality change, which turned me as a person upside down, and actually made me a better person.
I used to be very shy, quiet and introvert. From a very early age I can remember being painfully shy, I would never speak out at school, make friends or speak out about anything. If I did, I would be ridiculed and laughed at. It was a very difficult time and one I choose to forget.
But now, since my dementia, I am outgoing, make many new friends and speak at conferences, meetings and anything really that comes up. I write poetry, stories and try new things all the time.
This is the new me, and I must say, I love the new me and all that has come with it, other than the dementia of course. But without that I would still be the old me.
I have a wonderful husband, Brian, who is also my carer. He is amazing in all that he does for me. At first, yes we had problems. He would try to do things for me rather than help me to do them. We had a few minor arguments and he eventually asked how I would like him to help. We had a great discussion and things got sorted. Now we make a fantastic pair. I ask for help when I need it and Brian watches me covertly to see if I am struggling. He will often offer his help, other times he just watches and makes sure I am ok and most importantly safe.
Without Brian in my life I dare say I would slide down that slippery slope would not achieve what I do, I would not faster than Sonic the Hedgehog on ice.
So, this is me, with my dementia, and my wonderful husband Brian, getting on with life to the best of our abilities.
We have a great life even with DEMENTIA. You can too.
Carol Fordyce © 2018