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Hello and welcome to my blog. On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short-term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget.

Me - 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)
Me – 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)

I’m 60 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I continued to work full time in the NHS until the end of March 2015, when I chose to take early retirement to enable me to enjoy being me while I’m able. I have never ‘tweeted’, ‘blogged’ or ‘facebooked’ in my life but since I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s, everything else in my life has changed, so why not this. I hope you find my ramblings of interest.

I started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. Luckily the part of my brain that allows me to type hasn’t broken and I find that easier than talking. I have calendars that take care of the future but this blog serve as a reminder of what I’ve done and said in the past – it now serves as my memory. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of understanding and research into Alzheimer’s. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we’ve been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we still have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day-to-day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. Living well with dementia is all about adapting. Adapting to new ways to enable us to live better for longer with dementia.
What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

Click on the ‘Blogs’ tab to see what you’ve missed and then click to ‘follow’ me if you’d like to receive my daily blogs in your inbox. I’ve had a break in August but I’ll be starting up again on the 1st September.

If you prefer to comment by email please feel free – wendy7713@icloud.com or you can find me on Twitter   @WendyPMitchell

Billy, my daughter's cat - a calming influence in my life.
Billy, my daughter’s cat – a calming influence in my life.

 

 

173 thoughts on “Home

  1. I just saw your story in the paper on-line I would be asking the tribunal to call the HP who did the report to attend because you want answers to questions. The HP will probably not turn up so ask for the report to be thrown out and you be given the maximum time for the PIP award. They won’t do this saying something like we have a medical person here who can answer any questions you have, like ” How many books/pages/paragraphs or sentences have you read on the illness?” “What makes you more qualified than the specialist who diagnosed my condition?” ” What field of medicine do you specialise in?” The medical person on the panel can only assume or offer no answers to the questions. as they cannot know what the person has or hasn’t read their qualifications or any field of medicine they hold a specialist qualification in. As this quote from under siege 2 so aptly says: Assumption is the mother of all f**k ups

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Wendy, I read the article in the York Press and was saddened to hear of the difficulties you are facing. If there is any way I can help or support you I would be happy to pitch in. I know we briefly spoke on Twitter about physio referrals, such assessments could be very helpful in supporting your application. You could also ask for referrals to Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy – maybe Hull has an integrated community team via GP Referral or Social Services – it would all add value to an appeal. I wish you good luck with your appeal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Wendy, I am called Evie. Me and my mum love reading your blogs. We are both friends if Gemma’s and I especially love the parts in your blogs about billy. Thank you Wendy 😍 X

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have just watched your video via Facebook. You have provided me with a much needed tool to show my 2 Sons just how much their Nanny loves them. They are very sad that she no longer remembers their names/them. However, your video clearly explains that their Nanny will always feel their love and love them inside.

    I’m hoping that other Family members will also find great comfort in your video.

    Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello there, I have just watched your video too and can’t thank you enough for helping me to understand more about young onset- my aunty has just been diagnosed, I am determined to keep stocking up her emotional bookcase! Best wishes and warm regards to you- how wonderful of you to share your experiences and journey to help others!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I work with people with all stages of dementia, you are such an inspiring woman, you brought me to tears, Photos are a lovely way to remember. You bookcase is a good way of describing dementia memories, I use a filing cabinet, with files going in and out.
    The people I look after are like you, very much alive, but as I call it muddled but still one.
    Thank you so much
    Love to you. X X
    Lisa

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved your simple but precise description of dementia using the flat packed bookcase reminded me a bit of IKEA. I think my mum has the early signs of dementia she is 80 years old and we are going to the memory clinic next week for assessment, she is very anxious about it all but your explanation has helped me to understand dementia much better and I thank you because in turn I will understand my mum better if she is diagnosed with dementia. You are one inspirational lady keep up your blog it’s really interesting. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve just found your blog through the Alzheimer fb page, and wanted to say how much I admire you in what you are doing! Long may you ‘blog’ and share your daily life with so many people, who I am sure will take comfort and enjoyment from what you say and do 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Wendy I am a teacher of Health Occupations, medical terminology and Certified Nursing assistant at a small high school in Idaho, U.S. I would like to use your experiences, challenges, and knowledge about alzheimer’s to educate my students. I find you to be a very inspiring person, your true life stories and experiences will help many to understand this horrible disease.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Hello, Wendy….a friend posted your blog information on fb. I don’t have anyone ‘close to me’ with Dementia, that I know of ‘o), but I watched the movie of Glen Campbell, and Still Alice, and a neighbor told us that she’s been diagnosed. I am 66 and live in Canada with my husband of nearly 48 years, and we have 11 children. You are an inspiration, Wendy. I love people, and those who care about others are the Heroes of Life, I believe. Thank you for caring to share your journey. It is appreciated!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Wendy I an in Newfoundland Canada. I just shared your wonderful video. ‘ I saw a woman of incredible wisdom and intelligence giving words from the inside of a disease that is affecting many families. Your generous openness is helping us to understand how it feels. I am so touched by your courage. Love Jane Grant

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I watched my mom with dementia. I knew so little about it. It wasn’t until mom had progressed much further that the doctors finally told us what was happening. Mom never had a chance to prepare. To help her find a way to keep memories alive. What you are doing is amazing and brave . Opening up your life to help others understand. It’s so important people are made more aware. I wish you and your family all the very best and thank you again xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have been encouraged.
    My mom in law has Alzheimer’s and is in the later stages. She does not recognize anyone. We had a strained relationship and I could not connect with her before she was diagnosed. I drive 60 mile round trip every week to spend time with her. I lotion her up, do her hair and tell her how much I appreciated her taking care of my babies when I couldn’t. When I sit next to her I put my head on her shoulder and she rocks me and hums I feel we connecting in an emotional way that is tucked deep within us. Is this just my wishful thinking or the emotional bookcase.

    Love wins,
    Bonnie

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hello Wendy, I am a Brit living in Quebec, Canada and watched your video on facebook. I also once worked for the NHS, as a mental health counsellor. Your video is an inspiration.

    I can guess you have probably heard it all before but I wanted to share with you a nutritional website in the USA, run by a medical Doctor. He is passionate about nutrition backed by science. He reviews thousands of research papers and simplifies the information in videos. He also lists all the research papers he has used. I send it in the hope that it may be of use to you. All the best for the future Wendy.

    Stephen

    http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=dementia&fwp_content_type=video

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hello my name is Mary I just watched your video on Facebook my father-in-law has dementia and is a very sad disease God bless you for sharing and thank you so much Mary from Alberta Canada

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi
    I have just seen your video on Facebook. I work with many individuals who have differing degrees of dementia. I found your video to be open, honest and frank. Thank you very much for making it. Hopefully it will help to inform others who have no personal experience of dementia. I love your memory room. What a great idea.
    Caroline

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hello Wendy,

    I have just seen your video on Facebook.

    Thank you for the insight you have given me. The bookcase reference is fantastic and really helped me to understand what a family friend is currently going through.

    Thanks again!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Hello Wendy, I just watched your video via Facebook. It was really moving and enlightening. I am just about to become involved as leader with the Bookchat project, run by Volunteering Kirklees (I live in Halifax). It runs bibliotherapy sessions for people with dementia, carers etc. I’ve been doing research on early onset dementia (just also finished ‘Still Alice’ and ‘Elizabeth is Missing’) and found your blog really interesting and useful.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. U recently came over your blog when i saw your movie on facebook. I look forward to keep reading it. I work with alzheimers patients here i Norway, and i am soon becoming a nurse(next summer).
    Lots of hugs from Bergen, Norway;)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Dear Wendy I’ve just been steered to your site by a health visitor. My wife Janet who was 59 in November was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers in early 2013! Call it early, its come on with a vengeance that’s for sure! She can not dress her self now and I help her take her clothes of her ready for bed. She can not cook or make hot drinks and now her speech is going down hill fast and as for writing, forget it she can not write her name now. She can not read anymore were she use to love reading. Thankfully she can still sit on the loo okay and I’m assuming she can clean her self after. She can shower herself at present and I supper vice her to make she does it right. I don’t remember the actual date of the day we were told at my Doctors surgery but I remember the time with pin point accuracy! When I got to reception the receptionist said would we mind a trainee Doctor being present and I said no. we went upstairs and waited in the waiting room and when we were called in we went into what I can only describe as a store cupboard with a desk up one the end with the junior sitting at it with his back to me and Jan sitting on my side. He was looking at a computer screen and I could see those words that I hate with a vengeance! Alzheimers! He spun round in his chair and said ah yes you’ve got Alzheimers and with that the Female Doctor came in and said were are we and I said he’s just told us and we left and are world fell apart and we both hugged each other on the pavement and cried like I’m doing now. My wife is slowly getting more depressed and upset keeps crying and wants to die! There’s nobody around us in the same boat as my wife. Two other couples of husbands of the same age are both in homes now and don’t know there partners. We are going to a Christmas party organised by the Admiral nurse next week and she said there will be people of Jan’s age there. All the best. Andy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It;s such a familiar story Andy. Being diagnosed is appalling, being diagnosed badly is criminal. I hope you both find support -living alone as I do, can sometime be a blessing as I have to find ways to manage which is keeping me active longer and I can type because that part of my brain hasn’t been affected.
      Where abouts in the country do you live? If you prefer to email me, please feel free
      wendy7713@icloud.com

      Lots of love to you and your wife.x

      Like

      1. Hi Wendy, I’ve just put Jan in the bath as she loves the bath and bed as there both places were she can slip away. I live in Hove East Sussex next to Brighton. Like yourself I’ve got two girls. They do what they can to help out like my sister in law but there just doesn’t seem to be anything for people of Jan’s age that’s why I’m hoping this Christmas party with the Admiral nurses there might be other people in the same boat. I’m sorry nothing against old people but Jan needs people of her age. We went to a day centre place in a care home the other day to see what it was like, we took one step in the door and she said it stinks of wee and I’m not coming here! it was awful! I’m only 59 as well and its as if are lives have been squashed! we worked so hard for a lovely retirement and for what!! She seems to have gone down hill this week and Weve discussed going to Switzerland but there are times she’s my Jan again. She’s on a trial drug but we were told the other day the results are going to be published early next year but its not looking good. Ive tried to get her on another drug trial but her MMS is only 11 now and they told me trial companies are looking for 20 and above, but with people not being diagnosed early enough how are they ever going to find a cure. They have told me were at least 20 years behind Cancer. Jan had a cancer scare the other year, started having a period out of the blue and the hospital told us it could be cancer of the womb, but when we got the all clear Jan cried and they thought she was over joyed until we said no Jan was hoping for a quick death were she could say good bye knowing who she was speaking to and holding my hand knowing who I was.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Sorry to hear about your wife, My wife Audrey was told she had M C I in 2011 but then in 2014 we were told she as early onset Alzheimers what a shock she is only 51 it is hard to get your haed round but there is not much help out there for her with been so young Allthe best to you both

      Like

  20. Yes there’s nothing for Jan of people her age, fingers crossed for Admiral Nurses. Cheers and take care. Were just going into singing for the brain which she loves.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have seen your Facebook video, and shared it on my FB page. I really appreciate your bookcase analogy. My maternal Grandmother had Alzheimer’s Disease. She was 60 when we started recognize that there was something amiss. My amazing Grandfather spent his retirement years caring for her, in their home, until she passed away peacefully in her sleep at age 75 in 1985. Some of her large family stopped visiting once she no longer recognized them. My parents kept us all visiting regularly to the end, to support my Grandfather, and to continue showing our love for our Grandmother. Hearing what you said about your emotional awareness makes me so glad that we never stopped visiting and speaking to her. She was our lovely Grandmother, still, to the last day. Interestingly, none of my Grandmother’s 5 siblings or 7 daughters had/have the disease, yet I still worry about being the next victim in our family. I do not find research or statistics comforting, but reading real life experiences like yours are reassuring to me. Thank you for being brave and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Wendy, I found your video via Dementia Support on Facebook. Your video and blog has moved me to absolute tears but has given me hope. My Mom has lost two brother’s to Lewey Body’s dementia and Alzheimers and another one currently living with Alzheimers. My Mom says she is certain that even though they don’t remember that someone visited… they remember the feeling! I’m so glad that everyone at the group home loves my Uncle… I think that is what keeps him going. Thank you so much for your sharing your story, and more than that, sharing your positivity. It always astounds me and encourages me when people facing adversity remain positive 🙂 Wishing you many more bright days ahead x

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Hi Wendy , I work in an elderly daycare centre, I watched your video on Facebook and found it very moving. Every day is a learning day working with people with Dementia. I have not had the privilege of working with anyone with an early diagnosis who can talk through their experiences and feelings about what is happening to them. Thank you for this

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Hello.I’m Japanese crinical phychologist Ohta hiroyuki.I’m 46years old,male.
    I’ve seen you with Tanno in Japanese TV.
    I thought your group is wonderful.
    Your activity gave me energy.
    I’m learning English.
    So,I would very happy if I could get your reply in your free time.
    Thank you.See you.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dear Wendy, I just came across your blog when I was looking for other blogger about Alzheimer’s disease. My mother suffers from Alzheimer’s. She lives with me, my husband and two daughters (in the Netherlands) and we will take care of her as long as this is possible. She is in a more advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. We manage to guide and help her with love and humor, but still there is a lot of frustration because this disease leaves you so powerless. So I turned these feelings into something creative and started to write a blog (in Dutch and in English) about my experiences as home care giver. In this way I hope to raise awareness to Alzheimer’s and perhaps my experiences can help/support others.

    I would like to ask you if it’s okay to put a link of your blog on my wordpress website? It is an eye opener for a lot of people to read about your experiences as an Alzheimer’s patient. Your courage, positivity and stamina will inspire others and that is so important.

    Kind regards,
    Marianne

    My blog: https://openyoureyestoalzheimer.wordpress.com/

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Hi Wendy
    I have just seen your video on Facebook.
    I live in Australia and my mum was diagnosed with dementia a few years ago.
    Dad cares for her in their home.
    I loved the idea of your memory room as mum loves looking at photos of our family.
    I recently gave ber a memory book with prompts such as ‘Tell me about your childhod friend’.
    It is heartbreaking to watch the changes that occur.
    Thank you for your blog
    Christine

    Liked by 1 person

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