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Hello and welcome to my blog. On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young onset dementia. 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 61 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, 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 yet and I find that easier than talking. I have calendars that take care of the future but this blog serves 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.

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 as well as you can 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.

I’m now the proud author of the Sunday Times Best Seller, Somebody I Used to Know, which just goes to show, you should never give up on yourself.

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.

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.

 

 

361 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Wendy. A friend passed me your book to read and I have just finished. Such an inspirational read. My Mum is 89 and in a Care Home and has been living with Alzheimer’s for over 5 years. It robbed her of her independence after a fall and has been in care for 2 years. Your book has helped me understand what she has experienced. I take my hat off to you for your positivity in keeping this disease at bay and I hope you are still doing well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I read “Still Alice” a few years ago and was convinced I had the signs of early onset dementia. My 30 year old daughter also read it and thought she had the signs too, so I suspect I might have been overreacting. Nonetheless it ignited my interest in the subject and I started following your blog and have just finished your book. A few months into your blog, the penny dropped that the names seemed familiar and it was Billy the cat who clinched it…I bought Stuart’s old house and have lived here for the past 4 years! Anyway I am digressing, because what I wanted to say is how inspirational you are and when I am finally diagnosed with dementia, I hope it will be a slow progression which will give me the time to put in place some of the strategies you have thought of…and to remind myself that it is a beginning of a new life. Thank you. xx

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  3. Dear Wendy
    I have just finished your book on my kindle and plan to go and buy the hard copy for my husband and mother in law to read. My father in law has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s but he is 87 years young so in a slightly different place, especially as his mobility is already very impaired.I read your book hoping to get some insight into how to help my father in law and feel I have learned a great deal. Not least that I now realise my dear Mum, who passed away last year, also had dementia but I didn’t see it at the time. I am in awe of your courage and wish you all the very best. I have made lots of notes, in particular one that says “living with dementia”not “suffering from”. I plan to do more research to help my father in law feel that his life isn’t over.
    Many thanks for your positive can do attitude.
    Ginny

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Wendy,

    Although we have never met, the frankness of your book makes me feel that I know something about you.

    You continue to battle the disease with which you have been inflicted with a remarkable strength of character, turning a negative situation on its head and producing an autobiography that will educate and enlighten for generations.

    Your book is a gift not only to Alzheimer’s survivors and their carers but for everyone. It teaches us to make the most of all the love and beauty in our lives, because we will never know when we may loose it.

    Stuart

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dear Wendy,Have. Just finished your book and found it very helpful.My husband has frontal lobe and vascular dementia.I suspect he has developed it over a number of years.At times his behaviour was quite puzzling.At this time he is in a care home,as I had reached a point that I could not give him the care he needed.He also has a heart problem and diabetes.Feel guilty at times for putting him in care,but know he is in the hands of caring people,he is 76.Again,thank you for you wonderful book,and may you continue in the way that you have to be an inspiration to others.God Bless

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very kind of you Elaine, thank you. You mustn’t feel guilty – it now means you’re more able to enjoy the time when you do see him and not be exhausted.xx

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  6. Dear Wendy couldn’t leave your book down .l am a nurse over 30yrs and since my uncle developed Alzheimer’s l have taken a huge interest and fascination with it . I travelled his journey with him and l found there wasn’t a lot out there for people with dementia/Alzheimer’s and also for their careers,so after all my time spent in the medical unit l am transferring to the Dementia Assessment Unit to hopefully help make a difference in some way to bring more awareness of this disease and help loved ones and their family member cope better. Anyway l hope l can do something so looking forward to following your blog Thankyou for sharing your story and love to your daughters God bless Cecilia x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hello Wendy, I first saw you in an interview on calendar news and after listening to your story I decided to treat myself to your book. Congratulations….what a wonderful, inspirational and heart warming read, giving others hope that they too can “Live with Dementia” , adapting their life to live a new life alongside the cruel disease. It has prompted me to join Dementia friends and attend an awareness session in my local area, which I am looking forward to with interest. I enlighten myself to you, as the “Old you” a busy mum, working, a sharp memory since my working life began at 16 and Dementia often worries me as I wonder if I will tire my brain out with how hard I work it sometimes, who knows, but one thing I do know now is that it doesn’t seem half as daunting a prospect if you can adapt and learn to live with it.
    I look forward to following your adventures via your blog and wish you all the best.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear Wendy. My husband of 76 has Alzheimer’s, but is in a very happy space. However – your book has helped me to understand more of what is – or isn’t! – going on in the brain. It helps to always be positive and to have love and empathy.
    Second time round in my ‘training ‘, as I also looked after my Dad with Cerebral Vascular dementia.
    Your courage is enlightening to so many. Your experience has been a gift to many. Thank you and thinking about you, Sarah and Gemma – and Billy too.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Wendy I have just finished your book, you are a very special lady and an inspiration I am a staff Nurse and work a lot with dementia however, you have gave me so much more understanding into this disease. I hope you remain to continue with all your good work God Bless Angela

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As the wife & carer for my husband who is 86yrs old & recently diagnosed with mixed Dementia, I am trying very hard to understand more about his condition & we are just about to attend the last one of 14 CST group sessions which from my point of view has been very informative & helpful. I have also just finished reading your wonderful book which I intend to donate to the group for future carers to borrow in the hope that they will also enjoy reading it. My thoughts are with you a very remarkable lady & your family ☺ 🐝

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My husband had a small vascular stroke. He was 46. They told him at the hospital he had the brain of a 60 year old man and now has the signs of early onset dementia. Weve found noone to help us here in canada. Nobody is as young as him. Because it was a centrally located bleed he has temperature probllems. As soon as the weather starts warming up he starts to sweat profusely. He obsesses a lot now has bouts of unrealistic anger and accuses people of taking things and moving them when he cant find something. He also gets sudden blotchiness on his face and arms like a rash. If anyone has early onset dementia or had a vascular bleed at a early agr please email me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I often talk about the advantages of living alone Sharee – if someone moves things in my house they no longer exist and if I find them in a different place it’s very confusing. Outbursts of anger are often simply the only way to express the frustration that goes hand in hand with dementia. The UK has a wonderful website for Young ONset – it might be useful – https://www.youngdementiauk.org/ xx

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  12. Hi Wendy I have just read your book and want to thank you for raising awareness of this disease through your own brave and at times terrifying journey in living with dementia.
    I cried and laughed while reading your experiences and applauded how you dealt with the difficulties .
    Most importantly your insight on living life for the moment even those of us not afflicted should stop and enjoy those moments as no one knows what’s next on this rollercoaster of life.
    Thank you again as I lost my grandmother to dementia a few days after my first grandchild was born. Your insight would have been a wonderful aid in understanding what she was going through. A sense of humour is just as important as the support and strength that you and your daughters have shown through the telling of your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Maria – excellent message to Wendy. What an inspiring lady she is. We should all live for the moment and make the most of each and every day. My Dad had CV dementia and my husband now has it, along with a peppering of Alzheimer’s. Penny Garner (SPECAL) and Wendy have both been a huge help to me. Thank you.
      All the very best
      Anna

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Wendy
    I have just finished your book. I have laughed and I have cried. My lovely Mum has had Alzheimer’s for the last 17 years. I am buying your book to give to her care home and another for the hospital that I work at. Thank you. XX

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Wendy I have learnt so much from your wonderful book. I only wish I had been able to access information such as you have so beautifully and freely given six years ago. I know it would have made my mums last few years better because now I understand so much more. Your are brave and amazing and I bet your daughters are too. Love and light, Heather

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Wendy, I really understand your book in fact I do a lot of the same things you do. I worked at York hospital as a HCA for 17 years and loved every minute. I worked with Sarah when she was a student on the short stay ward. I got knocked over on a zebra crossing leaving work after a night shift and had my leg badly broken and had a brain injury (which was not picked up at first) although there was blood coming out my ear etc. I had a ct scan which didn’t show anything but shouldreallyhave had an MRI a few weeks later and never got one. I suffer from very bad memory problems, cognitive difficulties etc. I realise mine will stay static so I feel for you so much and think your an inspiration. Please say hi to Sarah for me she’s a lovely girl. I had no option in the end but to take retirement due to ill health although I managedpart time for a few years but I miss my job so much. I am now doing some volunteer work looking after an elderly gentleman who has had a stroke so his wife can go and have some metime and that helps me a bit. Good luck love.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Great read! My gran has dementia so your book really helped me to understand what she may be experiencing and feeling! You are a true inspiration 👍xx

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Wendy – I’ve just finished reading your book after it came up on my Kindle as ‘selected for you’. I don’t know why I chose to read it as i wasn’t aware of what it was about but now I know that it was meant to be.

    My mother died last March having had to live with dementia and cancer. I never really understood what was happening to her and no one explained. I was at times unable to help and found it hard to deal with. I can see now how much she tried to keep the truth away from me and my younger sister until she no longer had control over it any more and then we were totally useless at helping her. Doctors didn’t diagnose her for a long time saying it was nothing to worry about ‘it’s just a blip’ we were told. If only I’d been able to read about your journey before then I could have done more for her.

    You are an inspiration and, whilst your story is a painful reality of what so many people go through every day living with dementia, I’m in awe of your strength and determination.

    Thank you for sharing your life with such honesty and feeling and I truly wish you and your daughters many more years of joy and laughter along your continuing journey.

    Dawn 😊💖 xx

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  18. Thank you so much for sharing your life.
    I have just finished your book.
    I work in a carehome and many of the people that live there have some form of dementia.
    On a personal level my own mother had vascular dementia and now my father in law has the same diagnosis.
    Lots of things in your book made perfect sense and other things made me stand back and rethink .
    Thank you once again for sharing
    Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Wendy, I bought you book on kindle for no other reason than to gain an insight into dementia and that you did, most eloquently. Fascinating, funny, sad, hopeful and always informative. A real insightful read. Thank you for sharing your experience and helping us to try to understand. I will not forget your wise words.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Wendy
    I have just finished reading your inspirational book. I am constantly researching dementia as I work with people with a disability who also have early onset dementia some at age 30. You have given me a better understanding of the disease and I thank you for that, you are truly an amazing lady. ALL the best to you and your amazing daughters.
    Lyn

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Wendy thank you! I’ve just finished reading your book and I have a whole new understanding of dementia and those living with it. While I don’t currently know anyone with dementia, I now feel capable of interacting with compassion and an awareness I didn’t previously have. Fantastic book!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Hi Wendy, hope you are well. I found your blog through something a friend shared on Facebook. I have worked in care for only a year now after a big career change. I love it. It’s what I feel I was always meant to do. I’m currently studying for my nvq2 and I think your blog is going to help me so much. Thank you for what you’re doing. Lots of love. Melanie x

    Liked by 1 person

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