I was diagnosed July 13, 2005. I was just 55 years old.
You might find it interesting that my initial reaction to my diagnosis was relief. It’s so ironic that we knew so little about dementia in general. Our thoughts were, “At least it’s not Alzheimer’s, its only vascular dementia.” We were so naïve.
I feel the doctors ignore my disease. They have prescribed medication for 10 years and not once did any of them ask about the condition.
And when it came to my friends and acquaintances, some stayed on and didn’t miss a beat, but most distanced themselves to the point of avoidance.
My kids accepted and treated me exactly as they always had, and my siblings and in-laws were the same. My parents probably chose to ignore my diagnosis.
It’s a difficult path we walk and if people would just treat us with the respect and dignity we deserve, it would help me feel more positive.
January 24, 2019: Alzheimer’s Awareness Month: Interview with Gord Grant (via Global Regina)
HERE ARE MY TIPS TO HELP YOU UNDERSTAND:
- Inform yourself about dementia.
- Please treat me like the person I have always been – I am still that person.
- Please allow me a bit more time to process information so I can express my thoughts.
- Dementia is not contagious – you will not catch it from me.
- The stigma surrounding dementia can create painful situations when old friends and acquaintances choose to ignore me.
George and Patti
Kenn and Ronda