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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 61 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.

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.

 

 

255 thoughts on “Home

  1. Thats really good. I was just thinking that perhaps people with dementia could be helped to reach their core being, free from memories, and even relatives, and be able to let go, rather than trying to hold on.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Firstly congratulations on a superb book. My copy arrived this morning and I’ve finished it , in a day ! I work in the field of older people’s health and thought I ” knew” dementia . You’ve inspired me with renewed passion and I can’t wait to get back to work and share your story . Keep well and of course thank you .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great that you say you are living with dementia rather than suffering from it . The original meaning of the word suffering is allow / accept / live with . As in the Bible ‘ suffer the little children …’
    I think it’s good to stick with the original meaning in many ways .
    You are doing a great job

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  4. Hi Wendy, I’ve just listened to thee podcast of the Radio 4 adaptation of your book. Not only is it informative and educational, it also happens to be a beautiful piece of writing. I’m Inspired and motivated by what I have heard.
    Thank you dear lady.
    X

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My partner has just been diagnosed with early onset dementia, I had heard about your book and wanted to listen to you reading it to such a large audience, but lost the courage to leave it on because I thought it might be distressing for my partner. It is such a painful time for us and, like you. I have to read and learn as much as I can but he doesn’t want to know anything about it, although he is a very intelligent person. I shall download your book so at some time we can listen to it together. It’s early days and we have a lot to learn.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Am going to see my parents this weekend who live in Beverley. My mother has Alzheimer’s and I will look out for your book when I get there and hope that my mother is able to read it. I definitely will.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Wendy your reading on radio 4 this week have made me laugh and cry but mostly made me think. I am caring for my mum and we have had some dismal times recently but your words have given me hope and a better understanding of what mum is going through and why she does some of the things she does. Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Wendy, I just wanted to thank you for your wonderful book. I’m no stranger to dementia, my late mum had it and now my best friend Max has been diagnosed with it at the age of 54. Your writing has touched and inspired me. xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dear Wendy, I am now on chapter 12 of your book that I am listening to in Audible.
    My husband has not yet been diagnosed with Alzeihmer but I suspect that is the cause of his memory loss. I am very panicky about it because my two daughters live abroad and have busy ives.. I was very inspired by your love towards your daughters that made you decide you did not want them to be your carers….. I had been feeling very sorry for myself and wished that they live nearer and share the care of my husband and myself…. Your brave struggle to do it solo has inspired me… No, it is not fair to put this burden on their shoulders…
    At the moment I am trying to plan as far as I can to make it possible to remain in our home as long as possible….
    Thank you for letting me and your other readers into your life with Alzeihmers and the ingenious ways you have found to cope with it….
    It is true that one has not got to throw the towel the minute one is diagnosed.
    Like you I like to record my experiences in a diary and I will do so .
    Thank you again for the lessons contained in your beautiful and inspiring book
    Veronica18

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  10. Hi Wendy, listening to some of your book on Radio 4 last week made me laugh and cry. My dear old mum of 80 is going through the process of being diagnosed, we think, with Alzheimer’s. Her mother had it as did my father in law. I was a nurse and my husband is a GP but nothing prepares you for a parent with dementia. Now having read your book over 2 days I have a little more understanding of your perspective which will I hope help me enormously with my mum. Thank you so much for your bravery and determination to make the most of what you feel and to share it with others so that we may learn more. I will follow your blog with interest. Alison

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      1. I was diagnosed with early stage dementia about 8 months ago.
        We had moved into a city centre apartment in Manchester when we retired 14 years ago,aged 60, as we wanted to do lots of travelling and felt it was more secure leaving our apartment unlike many who opt for a house on the coast or countryside.
        This decision has proved to be the right one ,in fact a real bonus .
        We are amazed at the wonderful service we get from the NHS here ,from specialist nurses who regularly come to see us in our home , also groups that we can attend on a regular basis .
        My carer,my husband also has access to support groups and specialist nurses.
        The medical centre and our caring GP,s are very supportive too..we just feel so blessed!
        I had cancer 7 years ago and were also blessed with the most incredible care from Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Christie ,both on our ‘doorstep ‘
        I do at times feel a bit down ,saying why me?,but then I realise it should be why not
        Dorothy Thomas

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Just finished your book Wendy. It is brilliant, thank you for writing it and sharing your experiences. Do you still manage to get out in your garden? I am a gardener you see so I wondered!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Siobhan😊 Yes I love to potter in the garden although I’m not as good as I use to be as I forget where I’ve planted everything -ha! Can’t wait to start planting summer seeds…😊

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  12. I have just finished reading your wonderful book: its positivity is truly inspiring and I just wish we’d had some of the insights you’ve given us to make life for our late Mum, a little easier. Thank you for sharing and enlightening us all from the other side.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Wendy, I am about to finish your book and I wanted to tell you how much strength and inspiration it gave me. My mother in law lived with alzeimer years ago and I tried to help as much as I could and your book would have been a huge relief at that time … but I keep thinking that you’re right, whatever we do as long as full of love is the best we can … no regret … my mother had a stroke accident as well years ago and since then struggles. One day I visited she wouldn’t recognise me but had a huge smile on her face seeing me. At the time it broke my heart and the nurse kindly took me away a couple of minutes as I was shaking. Now I understand having read you, she couldnt put a name on my face but she knew by instinct I was someone she loved deeply. And that’s what is important. That brought a huge sense of relief and emotion of course. So thank you Wendy. And even if everyone already said it I’ll join them, you’re such an inspiration, i wish you and your daughters all the best, I’ll keep following you Bea xx

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  14. Dear Mrs Mitchell

    I’m an early octganerian and don’t have dementia though I’ve long been a donor for Brains for Dementia here in London where I live, hence your book’s title drew me towards buying the tome.

    I have a great love of words and what strikes me powerfully about reading your book – apart from your wonderful selflessness, courage and intelligence – is that you too clearly have a feeling for words. Unfailngly you do what all good writers do, viz paint vivid pictures so that the reader virtually ‘lives’ the scenarios you variously depict. Several times as I absorbed your narrative I wondered why you’ve not written anything before the onset of your present condition. (Probably far too busy earning a living and occoupied as a single mum with bringing up your family I guess.) With the abundant skills you obviously have in this connection the more I was consumed by your amazing and moving story; increasingly I kept asking myself why is it that this is the first I’ve heard of you. I muse as to whether or not the prospect of writing ever occurred to you in your younger self….

    What an immense privilege it is to be able to convey these thoughts to you and how generous to volunteer your email address for such purpose – part of what I meant in commenting about your selflessness.

    I’m not merely dispirited but staggered that in the early part of the twenty-first century we seem to know so little about this disease. You are doing a gigantic service in helping redress this situation. If I had sixteen hats I’d take off every one of them to you in tribute to a truly remarkable lady.

    Warmest best wishes

    DH

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  15. I have just finished your wonderful book it’s so inspiring yet heartbreaking at the same time , my husband was diagnosed in 2013 with Dementia , and is now getting lots of support groups etc but I find there’s not much known about it and have been really fearful and worried your book has given me so much to cling to and understand , and I love the way you say dementia has a beginning middle and end I think we are in the middle but this book will help me reach the end better more aware of what’s to come , I have also read still Alice and found that book inspiring also thank you for all your strength and tenacity, and I wish you both and your delightful daughters all the best with love and thanks . Michele WillinghamXx

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dear Wendy

    I loved your book, it was so honest and thoughtful.

    I’ve spent time as a volunteer befriender with people living with dementia, through a very small charity in north London. It still amazes me how little is known about dementia – and how it affects the lives of so many.

    I really admire you for all the work you’re dong to raise awareness, we need people like you!

    All the best to you and your family.

    Luisa

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I have just finished your book and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I work in social care and am a Dementia Awareness Facilitator. What you have so beautifully written has inspired me and I will be recommending your book to my colleagues.Thank you for sharing your journey, I have enjoyed reading it. You are an inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I have just finished reading your book. Mum was diagnosed early last year and this has given me a much better insight into what has been happening to her and why some things are so much harder than others. Thought provoking and inspiring. Thankyou so much

    Liked by 1 person

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