Media – the good and frustrating elements

I’ve now done much media work on telly, radio and print. People often ask me if I get nervous but bizarrely, I don’t. People often have such a low expectation of what can be achieved by someone with dementia that when I deliver something it appears to surprise people so it’s a bonus.

During August, ITVs THis Morning programme, contacted the Alzheimer’s society asking if me and my daughters would appear on the programme after they’d read my article in the Telegraph.

It just so happened that me and Sarah were free after a bit of diary juggling, but sadly the logistics of trying to get Gemma to join us proved impossible. It did mean a 4am get up……..silence on the other end of the phone when the realisation dawned on Sarah😱 as it was down in the London studio.

On the way down we spoke of what Sarah might be asked and the responses she needed ready. Unless you’ve done these things before, you don’t realise how the minutes speed by or how difficult it is to say the words you want to say.

The researchers at the studio sorted out all our travel. It was Sarah’s first venture into TV land so she was very excited.

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We had our own dressing room to wait in and a lovely lady kept us supplied with tea and breakfast. ‘Make up’ for me takes all of 2 seconds whereas Sarah enjoyed having the full works and 30mins later came out looking brilliant. She had a great time people spotting. What she hadn’t expected was the nerves as the time drew closure. Bless her, once we were taken into the studio, she was convinced she was going to have a panic attack and that everyone could hear her heart thump. There was me sat quite unaware beside her – ha!

Needless to say she was brilliant. They showed a picture of me and Gemma ahead of the interview which made up for Gemma not being there.

Me and Sarah on This Morning
Me and Sarah on This Morning

However, I’ve now realised that you rarely say all the words you want to say as one question leads you off on another track. This interview didn’t go as planned. We didn’t have time to speak of the value of being involved in research and me and Sarah spoke very little in the interview as Dr Chris, Eamon and Ruth spoke a lot. However, this would once have annoyed the hell out of me. It still annoys me but I now also see the value of just being there and openly talking. We wanted to mention the Memory Walks and that we did. There was a spike in registrations during and after the interview so job done. York Memory walk has even closed to registrations now so very pleased with that – we still need more volunteers though!

https://www.memorywalk.org.uk

The audience are unaware of what I want to say and didn’t. The kind comments that people take the trouble to email, contact through the blog or Tweet make it all worth while. One such comment from the many this time made the frustrations of this media appearance very worth while…….

“I don’t feel quite so scared now. Thankyou. I will be following your blog”

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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.

3 thoughts on “Media – the good and frustrating elements

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