We all have a lot of people in in our lives, some we consider life long friends, regular acquaintances, work colleagues and people who enter our lives for fleeting moments.
When I was diagnosed and started to tell people about my diagnosis I was surprised at the different reactions from different people.
Those close to me and who see me on a daily basis have been nothing short of angels. Those less close, but who still see me, have shown varying reactions from total support to total ignorance. I do most of the things I’ve always done yet they choose to detach themselves from me and use my condition to administer comments which I simply ignore.
There have been those who don’t understand the diagnosis – after all, how could I possibly have dementia and not fit the stereotypical picture some people have? A lack of awareness leads some people to suddenly feel embarrassed to talk to me. I’m trying to address that and make people feel more comfortable to talk about it and ask questions if they want to.
Those I felt most concern for were those friends and family who don’t see me and our only contact is by text or email. So then I decided to start this blog. I wanted to dispel the myths that may have entered their heads, after all, they couldn’t see me. I wanted to show them I was still me – maybe a slightly ‘different’ me sometimes but I could still communicate via the written word and show them I was OK. My intellect is still intact. I’m still able to articulate via the written word, so it must be difficult for some of them to fully grasp the situation.
I couldn’t say this eloquently in spoken word without a script as my thought processes are slow; I forget the simplest of words and I simply wouldn’t remember all I had to say. – those are the symptoms they don’t see.
I’m living with dementia and deal with everything it throws at me. For those around me it must seem like a maze of confusion and ‘not knowing’.
All I can say to all of you sharing my journey is thank you for all your love, support and positive thinking
For those few who have chosen, through ignorance, or are too embarrassed to communicate or have made cruel remarks – all I have to say to you is that you’re missing out on a valuable lesson in positive survival with a condition that may one day affect your life or that of your love ones.