Opportunities that only came my way because of dementia……

Last Sunday was 2 years to the day since I was diagnosed so this week I’ve decided to reblog some of my early ramblings. So here’s the third of the week.

I’ve had many adventures on TV and radio since being diagnosed. Most have simply given me the opportunity to raise awareness. However, my favourite was filming ‘Living with Dementia’ for the BBC and still available via the links below. This has been showed in many places, including being used as a training resource and it allowed me to meet the wonderful Keith Oliver, Christopher Devas and his wonderful wife Veronica – all who have remained wonderful friends……..

My BBC Experience……

The Alzheimer’s Society at Devon House, never think I can’t do something – they always simply ask me whether I would like to and give me the option to turn them down. Without them at the beginning I would have felt very alone which is why their proposed initiative of everyone, when first diagnosed, having access to a dementia advisor is so important.

Today, was the day they asked if I would be on the new Victoria Derbyshire programme on BBC2. It would be where our film of our ‘video dairies’ would be shown.

I travelled up last night. Sarah Hatchard from the BBC kindly arranged everything for us but Katie from the Alzheimer’s Press office was also on hand to double check we were OK. She was also chief ‘black haversack looker afterer’ as well. Her role was to make sure I didn’t go off without any of my bags afterwards -ha!

Katie was duly there to meet me when I got the BBC and immediately took control and put us all at out ease. It was soo nice to meet Keith Oliver and his wife Rosemary. I finally managed to get a copy of his book which I’ve been after for ages. They are such genuinely nice people. It was also nice to meet Joy and her husband and everyone else whose names have now disappeared from my brain……..

The whole thing was very well organised and Jim stayed with us throughout which was nice. Victoria was very professional and does an amazing job fronting the programme. It was the first time I’d seen the footage put together by Jim. I think he did an amazing job and is so talented – making the writing appear on the loo wall was classic!!

It was over before we knew it. Both Keith and I said we could have talked for hours. It was refreshingly nice for dementia to be given 20mins air time and giving such a positive light. If we made a handful of people who are worried about symptoms, go to their GP and get checked out we will have done a good job.

As we both said, it wasn’t an ‘enjoyable’ experience, but it was one that we think would have made a difference and that’s why we do all this media stuff.

Jim Reed enabled us to record what it was like living with dementia on a daily basis. The struggles we overcome and the ways we adapt to the challenges faced. We all recorded hours of footage but obviously we knew only a few minutes from each of us would be used. However, Jim kindly put everything we recorded onto a DVD. We now have something to keep and watch. I recorded an hours long conversation of me and the girls sat at the kitchen table as I thought it might be nice for them to have something of me to look back on – a great record for my daughters – maybe they’ll think differently!

I hope you found the programme enlightening………you can find it on catch up TV, IPlayer etc if you missed it or here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-31773339

or here:

http://bbc-vip.touchcast.com/embed/19837?autoplay=1

A wonderful opportunity that I would never have experienced without the diagnosis of dementia, so that can go in my list of ‘advantages of having Alzheimer’s’……

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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.

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