Home

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.

 

 

489 thoughts on “Home

  1. Hi Wendy…I just finished reading your book and I wanted to say thank you for writing it. My father-in-law died with dementia and a sister-in-law is living with it. After reading your book my eyes were opened to so much of what they were, and are, living with on a daily basis. Oh the challenges…you have been so brave, so determined and so smart to figure out ways to outsmart the disease when it has tried to rob you of so many of your everyday activities. Thank you for not throwing in the towel and just giving up. I know your story has inspired and given hope to many. May God bless you and walk with you every day of this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Wendy, I just have finished reading your book. It is so mind opening! As a Personal Carer worker I have clients with dementia and your book gave me a new perspective on how to connect with them. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Wendy, Thank you so much for all you are contributing to our understanding of dementia. My mother has been living with, and trying to hide her condition for several years. You have helped me understand the time periods when she is “ away” mentally, and our relationship is better than it has ever been. I support your strength and courage in this important cause!! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have recently been told that I have symptoms of Dementia and that I should prepare myself for the future….. I don’t feel that this is the future for me, and I believe that this has caused me many questions in my present life as well as about my future…. I have slowed down on my activities, especially at the request of my husband, but I believe this has been more of a problem than a benefit. My friends don’t understand my distance and appear questionable but remain available. My husband and I have become distant, he seems to feel that I don’t understand why I question his necessity to tell me how to apply myself to everyday functions. ????? Please advise….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Alice……those closet to us often find it the hardest ….concentrate on what you CAN do and ignore what you can’t. There’s always a way to adapt. Your husband might understand more if he read my book, Somebody I Used to Know. Sending hugs.xx

      Like

      1. There are many different types of dementia, Alzheimers is just one, there’s also Vascular, Lewy Body. Frontptemporel and many more. Alzheimer’s is just the most common form of dementia.

        Like

  5. Hi Wendy I have just finished reading your book and was so moved by it. My mother had Alzheimer’s. Your book gave me more understanding of what she would have gone through. I have been frightened myself of getting it but you have given me a lot of hope. I am so thankful for the information you have given.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Wendy like Lizzie my mum has Alzheimer and I also worry about it affecting me especially as I have always had trouble recognising people or recalling their name.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for your beautiful book, Wendy. I have been listening to it on Audible. My mom has dementia, and you have helped me understand what she is going through. I understand now why she writes everything down and goes over and over things. While I have cried over some of the things that you have written about, I am so grateful and hopeful now for the future. I love my mom beyond words, and anything that helps me help her is a blessing. YOU are a blessing, Wendy. God bless you and thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Wendy. My mum was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at 60 she’s now 70. My aunt sent me your book today and I haven’t put it down yet I’ve read over 100 pages.
    Very moving xx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Wendy, I just finished reading your book, it made me smile, laugh, and cry so many times. Such a moving account and so so important. It should be required reading for anyone working in health care …and customer services …or really anyone!

    Wishing you all of the best,

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Wendy. Thank you for helping me understand what my darling sister is going through. I have read your book . And have suggested my sister read it too, to help her maybe a little, know she is not alone. She is today 68 years young, I am 64 as of yesterday, and i will be requesting a test before too long, my sister has been diagnosed 2 years now thank you again. You have my hearts gratitude..

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! I have just finished reading your book as part of me beginning my journey to a social work degree and it was such an eye opening insight that I could have never imagined. You are truly inspiring – that you should never give up in life, you should always keep going no matter what. I hope you have really helped people who know others with Dementia and I congratulate you on such an amazing life you live. Your daughters must be proud and I thank you again for giving me this opportunity to learn more about this condition that I would have never come across otherwise. It was an amazing read. I hope your future continues to fulfil your wishes xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Omg Wendy you are such an inspiration, just finished your book which I have had to save to read on my holidays so I received no intruptions it was Utterly amazing , everyone looking and caring for a relative or nursing staff can learn from this .. I nursed for 30 years and would like to hope I helped dementia people to feel safe . As well as my special mam I lost two year ago to the cruel illness .
    Thank you so much .
    Love to your two girls helping you Iive your life as you no best and being at hand when needed such an amazing bond between mams a girls , miss mine so much …
    Carry on fighting you good cause Wendy such a trooper xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Just started reading your book. You are so amazing and I love your positive outlook. My sister was diagnosed with dementia 3 years ago but she is in denial. We live in different states in the US, and she lives alone. She’s still driving but is having increasing challenges with operating her phones, tv and computer. Thankfully she has a friend that takes her to her doctors appointments so I can get an update of how she’s doing. I think she would benefit from inhome help with household chores a few days per week, but she is totally resistant. It’s a challenge living so far away from her. Thank you for sharing your story. It is so helpful to so many!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Thank you Wendy. I have just finished reading your book. My sister was diagnosed with dementia and all the things that confused me and often made me frustrated…you have made me realise how proud I am of my sister for putting in place things to make her life bearable and organised. I don’t want this to be the elephant in the room. I want people to know and understand my beautiful, loving and passionate sister is still the same person. I live in Australia and in a heart beat would love to meet you. You are an amazing lady. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Wendy, Hello. I just finished your book and am in awe quite frankly of your bravery and strength. You have put yourself out here and in doing so have educated more than dry academia ever could in my opinion. Thank you. Wishing you many more “cuppas” and sunny days.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Wendy, how are you? I hope today is a good day for you.
    I have just finished reading your book. It has moved me deeply and Has inspired me greatly. My Nana had Alzheimer’s and unfortunately passed in 2002. From reading your book, 16 years after her death, I now feel I have an understanding and a glimpse at what life was like for her. Your book back then would have given me the strength and understanding to support her and help her to live her life to the full. I take great comfort in your words regarding how the memory may fade but the emotion never leaves….this validates for me that her smile when loved ones came to visit was genuine and a reality we could embrace with her. Thank you dearly for enlightening me with this. Thank you for the work you have done, the research you have benefitted and for the wonderful, caring woman that you are. Keep living your best life xxxx

    Like

  17. Hello Wendy
    I heard your book on Radio4 which made me want to read it. I found it both moving and enjoyable. not too much of a contradiction I hope. I enjoyed reading of your enthusiasm,determination and resourcefulness. Parts such as explaining to your colleagues about your dementia were a positive education. Thank you for producing such a valuable and inspiring book.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. YOUR LOVELY BOOK (AND ONE CALLED STILL ALICE) HAVE SO HELPED ME COME TO TERMS WITH THIS HELLUVA CHALLENGE! I PREVIOUSLY HAD A FANTASTIC LIFE –
    TRAVELLING THE WORLD WORKING IN ORPHANAGES AND TEACHING ENGLISH AND BEING CONFIDENT AND HAPPY. NOW THE FACEBOOK REPLIES AND INFORMATION HELP ME NO END. I WISH I HAD WRITTEN THIS: I’VE GOT USED TO MY ARTHRITIS, TO MY DENTURES I’M RESIGNED. i CAN COPE WITH MY BIFOCALS – BUT gOD I MISS MY MIND. IF IT WEREN’T FOR THE SMALL G IN GOD, I WOULD CLAIM IT AS MINE!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I read the article published just recently in the New York times about your journey with Alzheimer’s which lead me to your blog. I have information which will help you and some of the people who follow you. Six years ago my husband Dennis N Crouse who is a scientist began researching ways to help his mother who had late onset Alzheimer’s. After reading the scientific literature for a few years (now he has been 6 years of reading the literature) he found ways to help his mother. Being a scientist he knew he needed to find the cause of the disease before he could find a treatment for his mother. The progression of the disease in my mother in law has stopped and there have been gains in my mother in laws short term memory and her overall functioning. She has been drinking silica rich mineral water for 2 years, has eliminated some major sources of aluminum and has added a few supplements to promote brain health. Aluminum is a causal factor of Alzheimer’s and the good news is Silica rich mineral water is effective at removing aluminum from our bodies and brains. My husband was compelled to write a book and I am passionate about sharing this information. The first chapter of my husbands book is available at our website. The title of the book is Prevent Alzheimer’s Autism and Stroke with 7 Supplements, 7 Lifestyle choices and a Dissolved Mineral.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hi Wendy,

    I hope you don’t mind me reaching out to you via your blog / website. I am a psychology postgraduate in ageing research with the University of New South Wales, Sydney, exploring the lived experience of ageing with a team of researchers led by Professor Jill Bennett. Our research here at UNSW includes unique ways (with immersive visualisation technology) of conveying stories of those living with dementia (please see link to our website – added to the field below).

    We are a team of researchers whose expertise is providing virtual environments through experimental art, conveying the subjective experience and stories of individuals who has shared something about their own personal struggles. We want to collaborate with individuals such as yourself to share the experience of living with dementia. The aim of our research project is to provide a voice to those whose perceptual changes has significantly affected the way they need to live and the various adaptations they have made in their routine and life. Secondly, we hope to create an environment where people can momentarily ‘walk in another’s shoes’ and therefore better understand what it might be like living with dementia. Finally, we feel that it is important to reduce stigma that is unfortunately often associated with ageing or having dementia.

    Your book, advocacy work and daily tweets about dementia have been an inspiration to our research team. We would really love the opportunity of connecting with you and would invite you to collaborate with us on our project that we are currently working on. I am planning on being in London in November (6th – 12th) for a conference and I would be honoured to come and visit with you, if you had an hour free, at a time that is convenient to you. Please let us know if you would like to meet or hear more about our project. Many thanks & best regards, Natasha

    Like

  21. I just finished your amazing book. Thank you so much for sharing your insights and your experience. I admire your courage and your strength in the face of adversity. I will draw on your example as I move through my own challenges.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It was an absolute privilege to hear you talk this morning at Appledore Book Festival in North Devon. It was wonderful to hear your unrelentingly positive attitude towards dealing with whatever life throws at you, which is now Alzheimer’s. You are an amazingly resilient woman and whatever the future has in store for you I know you will always have a huge body of friends and goodwill to support you. I know my mother had just started a conversation with you after the talk when our taxi arrived. She would have loved to have had more chance to talk. I think you are really brave to put yourself out there and with humour as well and long may it continue! The fact that you are so open is so unusual. A few people announce they have dementia but you are tackling it head on describing your symptoms and with practical suggestions as to how to deal with them. Brilliant the book is a bestseller but hardly a surprise! I am so looking forward to reading it. I am sure researchers are going to find your input vital. All the very best wishes for the future. xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.