Beginning Life With Dementia

Leah Health Guide
  • When it comes to dementia, most literature is from the caregiver's point of view...or research.  I suppose that shouldn't surprise me since most people with dementia wouldn't be in much of a position to write--either physically or psychologically.  And then, there's me.  I love to write.  Loved to read.  Loved to live life as a normal person with the occasional lapse of memory.  "Oh, that must have slipped my mind!" or "Having a senior moment!" ...  And now I am living the nightmare of learning to live the rest of my life with a new partner--dementia.  Unfortunately, my husband has to live with the new partner, too.

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    When I heard the...prognosis...verdict...what is that word for when the doctor tells you what you have?

    Well, anyway, when I was told I have vascular dementia, I saw it as a death sentence.  Then I started looking into it and found that it was more like a life sentence...  There was some good news.  Being vascular dementia, I have a better chance of maintaining a more normal life for a longer period of time than other forms of dementia and alzheimers.  It's important that I keep my glucose and blood pressure levels within normal levels to stay off any further mini strokes (or worse yet, strokes). 


    When I first found out about it, my first thoughts were for my husband of almost three years.  "What have I gotten him into?" I lamented.  I grieved over the loss of our future.  I was a wreck for about a month.  But, I continued to research and found OurAlzheimer'  It felt like home.  The contributing authors have been so informative and kind.  I am making friends--even if they are (only) internet friends.  With their encouragement, I continue to write.  And it feels good.  And, a bonus, the more I write, the better I get.  Isn't that novel?  Just like exercise, I guess. 


    I'm now over the 'Poor Husband' stage and am becoming more proactive.  With my husband's help and encouragement, I am exercising my brain in as many ways as possible.  I must say, though, it is not easy.  I get frustrated easily.  Lately I am becoming a little "snappish", something I have never had a problem with before.  In some ways, though, my increased attitude has a positive side.  Today, I was able to call a company which has been nothing but a problem for us, and I was quite...shall I say...assertive! (In the past, I've been a little mamsy-pamsy about everything, always afraid to make someone mad.)  So, maybe, starting to live with this dementia is not so bad after all...

Published On: September 11, 2007