This combination of dementia and success is a very strange concept. The last thing you expect after being handed a diagnosis of dementia is success is a different way……
But I was fortunate to meet Anna Wharton, my lovely writing buddy. Without her help, patience and understanding, my book would never have materialised.
So with the success of the book has come many new opportunities, many new ventures. Book Festivals have become another ‘suduko’ in my armoury against dementia.
I have always loved the written word and since this wretched diagnosis, the written word has taken on a whole new meaning and importance. I’m sure I’ve said many times, that I can type far quicker than I can think and speak the words – the words I WANT to say, not just ramblings. When I type dementia is locked away behind bars, trying desperately to hinder the process but can’t just reach out enough to stop me.
I’ve been very lucky to have been invited to many book festivals, but I’ve realised there are three types.
Firstly where I speak alone and read extracts from my book
Secondly where I’m interviewed badly and ramblings come out of my mouth instead of the words I want to say because they havn’t understood the challenges being interviewed for someone with dementia, brings to the table.
Thirdly, where I’m interviewed by very clever people who have done their homework and know what words to feed me in order to get the sentences I want to say. These are all sentences I’ve said before either in my blog or on TV or radio, so they seem to be hidden away in my subconscious waiting to be released.
So which do I prefer? Well the latter two are rather hit and miss unless I know the person and feel safe in their hands. I’m on stage with Anna Wharton next Tuesday evening in Tunbridge Wells and feel totally at ease. When they go well, they go really well as many have. But the one I prefer is being alone on stage with my own words.
Sometimes when I try and just speak my brain can momentarily block, turning it into a disconnected hole of emptiness…the reason for talking, for being there, disappearing into a haze. That’s when the ramblings appear. They’re often still ok, but not quite the words I want to say.
So when I’m alone on stage, I have my words in front of me, typed by my unhindered dementia mind and exactly the points I want to make. I could never speak those words in the order they appear if I didn’t have them to hand. Yes, I could show the reality of my rambling self but that would seem like a waste of the time when I have a captured audience in front of me.
I want them to hear the important bits, the serious bits but also the funny side to dementia and I can only do that well if I’m left to my own devices…..