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Hello and welcome to my blog. On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young onset dementia. I may not have much of a short-term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget.

Me - 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)
Me – 59 years young with my wonderful daughters:)

I’m 62 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I continued to work full time in the NHS until the end of March 2015, when I chose to take early retirement to enable me to enjoy being me while I’m able. I have never ‘tweeted’, ‘blogged’ or ‘facebooked’ in my life but since I was diagnosed, everything else in my life has changed, so why not this. I hope you find my ramblings of interest.

I started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. Luckily the part of my brain that allows me to type hasn’t broken yet and I find that easier than talking. I have calendars that take care of the future but this blog serves as a reminder of what I’ve done and said in the past – it now serves as my memory. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness.

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 still 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. Living as well as you can with dementia is all about adapting. Adapting to new ways to enable us to live better for longer with dementia.

I can type as though dementia never entered my world as that part of my brain has not yet been affected, but that often works against me as people question my diagnosis. All I can say is, live a day in my shoes and I’m sure the reality will dawn.

What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

I’m now the proud author of the Sunday Times Best Seller, Somebody I Used to Know, which just goes to show, you should never give up on yourself.

Click on the ‘Blogs’ tab to see what you’ve missed and then click to ‘follow’ me if you’d like to receive my daily blogs in your inbox.

If you prefer to comment by email please feel free – wendy7713@icloud.com or you can find me on Twitter   @WendyPMitchell

Billy, my daughter's cat - a calming influence in my life. Billy, my daughter’s cat – a calming influence in my life.

 

 

799 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hello Wendy, as so many writers before I also say: I just finished your book. I subscribed to your blog. Reading your book has been very helpful for me in the attempt of understanding my friend, maybe a bit. She‘s turned 70 in July and has been diagnosed with Alzheimers 6 yrs. ago. Before, while we were still both working people, we might have met once in a while, talking on the phone every other week, or less. She now has turned to me that way, that she might call me nearly every day (at least) asking to meet with her. I try to meet her once a week, going for a walk, for a nice cup of tea, sometimes for lunch. We never, at no point, talked about her ‘illness’. When she got diagnosed, her daughter told me, she decided to ignore it. She sometimes gets very agitaited and also aggresive towards her husband, never yet in my direction. We have hearty laughs and she gives me a lot of affection. Altough I also must say, I’m sometimes exhausted after the about 2 hours of our meeting. I know, this all isn’t new for you to hear, but it does help me, talking to you about it. Thank you for listening to me and God bless you! I will do my best, to be her friend as long as she needs me.

    I am writing to you from Germany, so if there are mistakes in my writing, sorry for that.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I told my friend about your book. She would love to read it too but is unable to read it in English. Is the book in German translation available?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Wendy, I’ve just read your book and I wanted to tell you how much I admire your attitude. You’ve inspired me to appreciate the little things that are so often taken for granted. Thank you so much. I wish you all the best. Collette

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely and thought provoking read of your book. My wife slipped into dementia. 2011 I became aware of it but a daughter says it was creeping up on her much earlier. Think our scenario a different progression and cardiac arrest in 2015 released her while still able to engage on and off with daily Life. Still if I had your book then I might have done better. I am sure it will bring comfort and reassurance to many. Thank you for your efforts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Wendy
    I am a woman from Denmark, who just read your amazing book. Thank you for your book, and your great work. Thank you for sharing your life and learning the world about the disease. You have made a big difference. Wish you all the best ♥️ From Luna

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fabulous book!!! It has helped me to be a better daughter to my mother who suffers from dementia. The information you’ve shared gives me good insight into her feelings, fears, even the sensitivity to noise!!! I will likely read it again very soon. Thank you and I pray you are well and enjoying life on your good days. God bless you.

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  6. Dear Wendy. Thank you for your amazing book. I have found it inspirational. My mother was diagnosed with dementia when she was 82, 14 years ago, and lived untill she was 92. Those 10 years were a time of change, never knowing how things would progress. Love got us though. As you show so wonderfully in your book. I would have loved to have had your insights then, as I felt my Mum and I were on a voyage together with little information or support available But now I will share your book with anyone I know who is living with dementia, so they have the support of your knowledge of dementia that you have shared so movingly and intelligently. Thank you. Sarah Sander-Jackson.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Wendy
    I have just finished your book and re-read it twice more straight after. It was an amazing read and very insightful into the world of someone living with dementia. I manage care homes for people living with dementia who are no longer able to live at home and I am now recommending your book to my team as a learning tool. Thank you for taking the time to write it.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello Wendy, I loved your book, truly inspiring! I would love to hear any comments you have around the language used in dementia. How for someone living with dementia feels the tide is perhaps changing and how you feel your voice is making a difference to policy and society.
    Kind regards
    Jenny

    Like

    1. Me thinks that’s a blog in itself 😂….sometimes we seem to be making headway but then in a blink of a eye it can seem like we’ve taken 10 steps back…I’ve written quite a lot around language – the main being around trying to change the language of clinicians from saying there’s nothing they can do to ‘there’s so much you CAN still do’……thank you for your kind comments 🤗🙏

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      1. Thank you Wendy for your prompt reply. I look forward to reading more from you in the near future. I have recently started an MSc in dementia studies. I hope that through my learning I will be able to contribute to the changing tide – towards a more inclusive and dementia friendly society – where people don’t feel stigmatised and isolated. Thank you Wendy again, you are an inspiration!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Hello Wendy,
    I heard you speak at the Cheltenham literature festival. As others have said you are inspirational.
    I read your book and wrote little post-it notes each time I came across something that I don’t want to forget! I thought that you would like this.
    I learnt so much from you. This is despite being a GP myself and having cared for my mother who died from dementia.
    I have a summary of 10 post-it notes that I will use to teach my training doctors when we look at dementia. My favourite note says “book shelves”.
    Thank-you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello Wendy,

    I just finished your lovely book, in Swedish. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your story and experiences. That helps me a lot to understand.

    You are an amazing woman and many have a lot to learn from you.

    Thank you so much!

    Warm huggs from Martina in Sweden.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I wish I had read this years ago when my grandmother was starting life with dementia. As you would probably say, better late than never. Your service to others is inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I have just finished reading your book and I found it very real, raw and confronting so thank you for making me so aware of what’s going on in my Mother’s head.
    I care for my Mum who has Dementia and most days we get along fine but some days I feel all she wants to do is start a fight with me but your book has helped me to understand that maybe those days she is so confused and scared.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Dear Wendy.
    I am on holiday and have just finished your wonderful book i feel it will inspire individuals and families for years to come. You are amazing .Thankyou for sharing your experiences with us.
    Love Wendy

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi Wendy,
    Come here from Twitter, then had a read of intro. But no type of dementia mentioned. I’m 63, had a provisional diagnosis of dementia, most likely Lewy Body. Me and wife quite certain it is LBD though from symptoms. Nightmares are terribly bad now, in the days too. I had to take early retirement 3 years ago as I couldn’t function properly. Now mostly house bound and bed bound. It sucks, it really does. Look forward to learning more about your journey.

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      1. Thanks Wendy,
        Yes, I have! Wife follows as my main helper. But I still wonder what variant you have. I have heard you speak of memory issues, and it appears you no longer drive. But you’re still travelling and able to articulate to give talks. I’m just curious as my mental abilities vary wildly from day to day. And articulating difficult so a conversation is awfully slow or impossible. Writing allows me to get thoughts down, albeit slowly, then review and revise, before sending.

        Do you have LBD diagnosis, another form, or unspecified dementia??

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      2. Thanks Wendy! No more questions for now. I had my LBD diagnosis only a few months ago, though we knew there was something strange going on a couple of years ago when investigations started. I had an ME diagnosis a few years ago, which is what caused the early retirement 3 years ago. Initially muscular and fatigue, then memory, concentration and organisational skills all started to decline. Sadly, the ME leaves me very much disabled now by chronic muscular pain, terrible balance and I am under a strict and heavy pain control scheme of medication. ME very much clouded the issue of dementia, making people more reluctant to investigate. My wife is stubborn and stuck her ground, which is just as well. I am now on Prometax 9mg daily dose patches which my wife thinks makes my alert spells more functional for me. Hallucinations have subsided a little too. But conversely my horrible dreams, day and night, seem to have become worse and sleep for us both more disturbed.

        Lewy Body.org does not seem very responsive to my personal approaches, so difficult to find any who shares or can help with good advice on my mixed diagnosis. It’s a problem because I could be unique!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You said you were on Twitter? Might be an idea to tweet asking if anyone is in the same situation? You never know. If you include me in the tweet I’ll see it and retweet for you. 🙄

        Like

  15. Hello Wendy,
    Having finished your book I really missed having you in my daily life so was very happy to discover that I could keep alongside you by signing up for your daily blogs.
    You fill me with admiration & it warms my heart to know your two beautiful daughters are there beside you on your journey. Your ability to find something each & every day to enjoy should be a lesson for us all. God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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