I was contacted back in June by local ITV Calendar news to see if I would be available early September for an interview at home. This is sooooo unusual for TV people to book so far ahead as often it’s a last minute booking as topics appear in the news.
However they were aware of it being World Alzheimers awareness month and obviously had plans, which was nice good to hear.
Anyway , yesterday was agreed and the bonus was that Sarah had agreed to do the piece with me. Their aim was to ask about the general stuff – about my dementia and how it affects my life and family, what I do to raise awareness, why I wrote your book, what I do to help my symptoms – all good.
It was a very dull and drizzly day so not very good for filming. We needed the sun to shine really but it wasn’t playing ball…..🙄
Sarah arrived early and the reporter Michael, from ITV Calendar news, arrived soon after and right on time……
As usual, Michael came armed with all the paraphernalia that accompanies a reporter but he was very respectful, setting up and moving things, making a note of where they were.
He was also very smiley and such a friendly person.
Once set up he asked me questioned around my coping mechanisms, the effect on family, my book and all the wonderful opportunities dementia has brought my way. He spent a long time asking questions and made me feel very relaxed. He asked what I would say to others and I’m sure I must have said this many times before but….
“It’s a bummer of a diagnosis, but if you look at it as the start of a different life, a life of adapting, it can make the diagnosis easier to handle”
If I say ‘bummer’ the rest of the sentence appears from nowhere. It was strange as I felt the old me next to me yesterday. It was a good day. We often talk to one another but I remember her presence yesterday. The reporter had watched many of the films I’ve already made and fed me key words that generated automatic answers from the automatic filing system in my head. I felt the old me being impressed and saying, ‘Wow, go girl’. As I said, it was a good day.
He then asked Sarah some questions around how we cope as a family and Sarah spoke about the importance we’d placed on talking. She was of course very good, but then I am biased 😊
He finished off by filming various bits of the downstairs – we’d already agreed that upstairs was out of bounds….and 2 hours later he left.
I’m not sure when it’s being aired but they plan to show three reports through the month, one of a couple where the husband is living with dementia, me and Sarah and finally a piece from the Hospital setting. It’s good that they’re doing something as there’s been little on the telly so far for Alzheimers month…..
As I’m typing this I’ve realised something devastating…..I forgot to take any piccies😳 – what happened there Sarah?!!! Instead I’ll put a piccie of Billy who had my company afterwards as I was on Billy duty…😻 hopefully I only fed him once……🙄
So that was in the morning, in the afternoon I had another go with Skype as I had a call with Young Dementia Research Network. Earlier in the year we held our first conference and today we were discussing the next steps and future conference.
Once again I couldn’t get skype to behave. It worked perfectly for all of 30 seconds but then I could no longer see people even though I could hear them and they could see me🙄
We spent over an hour talking, me to a blank screen 😶. We know it didn’t all go perfectly but it was the first and we learnt so much from it. The young researchers who attended had so many wonderful ideas that we want to build on them and include them in the next stage.
We have some very good plans in the pipeline for the future…….the Network is a wonderful resource for anyone that wants to learn more about Young Onset Dementia.
More details of how to join the Young Dementia Network here:
I hadn’t been anywhere to do either of these but I was exhausted by the end of the day. Maybe it was the Skype that finished me off – the frozen screen meaning I had to concentrate hard on voices for over an hour instead of having the company of animated faces……..