The New Face of Dementia

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It was a typical Sunday in April, 2002 in my parents backyard. I am one of ten children to Mr. & Mrs. Myers. Every Sunday we brought our children and spouses to my parents for dinner. What a wonderful time we had. This day I didn’t feel just right. I was not quite sure as to why. After enjoying family we went home. Typical Sunday evening where we all prepared for Monday morning. I feel asleep on the sofa in my sitting room. I awoke and look at the clock it was 5:30am. I thought to myself I have one hour before I have to get up for work I need to go to bed. I could not lift myself. I could not move. In a whisper a called my husband and he heard me. Sometime during the night I had a stroke. I was completely paralyze on my left side. I was 48 years old.

Fast forward to 2010. Although I recovered from my stroke, I knew something else was not quite right. On several occasions I found myself driving around knowing I was completely lost. Frustrated as to why I could not find a place a drove to everyday. I then began writing myself notes to remember things, but I continuously forgot I wrote the notes. I could no longer function on my job. I talked with my husband and quit my job. I made an appointment with a neurologist and was tested extensively. The test result came back Vascular Dementia. My brain was damaged by the stroke. Episodes of walking away and sitting a starring out of a window became the norm.

Then my oldest son decided to teach me how to make movies. This skill blossomed into many things. I was lucite enough to decide to fight this issue. The most difficult thing to master again was reading and comprehension. This took a least a year of forcing myself to read. I also questioned myself about what I read.

Fast forward to 2012. Two years after my diagnosis, my husband passed. I felt forced more than ever to have a good quality of life. Old things have passed away and now everything is new. This is my life now. My life was not bad or good. Just life.

Now 2014. I started volunteering at Erickson Elementary School. The children have been good for me. I worked very hard on learning all 32 of the names. I also started a website. That was the biggest challenge. Every time my brain said I could not understand or go any further I pushed on. The website was completed and is designed to assist people in navigating life toughest challenges. I had just previously went throughout that with the lost of my husband. Weighingin.net is a source of accomplishment for me. Maintaining the website keeps me busy. I am always in learning mode. There is always something new to learn. The website for me is a sign that it is not over until it’s over. And now, I am also a Community Blogger. Blogging forces me to think constantly about my next subject. I am thinking all the time about what would interest people. Including time with family, I have a full and complete life. The key is to always continue learning.

The new face of Dementia is people like me. People who take our medication daily, but we have not given up on life. We are people who know that Doctors work with statistics, but we are exceptions to the rule of medical thought. The life span for someone diagnosed with Vascular Dementia is four years. This year, March, 2014 will be my fourth year. I must say my emotional health good. I am grateful for my journey. I have learned not to judge people, because you can’t look at people and know what is going on in their lives. Look at my profile picture. It gives you no indication of what my story is. If anything may my story help you in being kinder and gentler to people in your interactions with them. I also want people if you know you are being forgetful don’t go into denial. See a Neurologist. Get tested. Only then will you know who the enemy is and how to fight it. There is nothing to be ashamed about. Everyone has a story. This is mine.

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