Friends – different reactions to a diagnosis

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.



About wendy7713

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. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of 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 sill 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. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

6 thoughts on “Friends – different reactions to a diagnosis

  1. we understand Wendy – your friend Warren. We know there are many who do not and those who are embarassed etc. you are a shining light


  2. Wendy I see so much of my own journey with Dementia in your blog. Like you my intellect seems intact and I still work as a counsellor although I am 75, but I can’t learn new names, new gadgets, numbers have left me entirely and my spatial awareness is poor. On my bad days I am like the mad woman in the attic sure there are maggots in packets, seeing insects crawling everywhere and no I’m not a drinker. But I’m still me and the friends who know this are my greatest support as are my family. Here’s to enjoying the good days . Shelagh


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.