So we now had a diagnosis, I was relieved really! It meant I knew what was wrong with Paul, If I’m honest I had the gut feeling it was going to be Dementia related,but sadly it was a shock to Paul. We gave ourselves a couple of weeks to get our head around things and tell the family and I did an internet overload, I mean I Googled every site I possibly could to do with Dementia. We felt very comfortable talking about Alzheimer’s so it was never going to be a secret. We told all our close friends and work colegues and after everyone’s initial shock at the fact Paul was so young we just carried on as usual….well we tried to at least. We were now regular visitors to the Rice Memory Clinic in Bath, and what a friendly lovely place that is. Paul has tests roughly every six months. They are called MMSE tests and they test your mental abilities including your memory abilities and monitor the progression of the disease. If you were to look at the results on a graft over time they should show a gentle steady downward slope.
It was within our first month of diagnosis that I was contacted by the Alzheimer’s Society, via the Rice Clinic, and they sent a lovely chap named Mike to visit us and talk about how we were coping & what support & help do we need, he has now become Paul’s support worker. Mike has supported Paul as well as asessing his Alzheimer’s each home visit but without us really knowing!!
During the visits to the Rice Clinic & reading all the literature & leaflets we were given by the Alzheimer’s Society it stood out a mile to me that all the pictures of the people were old, grey and close up photos of hands were wrinkly…..portraying that Alzheimer’s & Dementia was a disease for the elderly. Hmm if young people in their mid fifties can develop Dementia then what could I do to try and change people’s perspective & raise awareness to this horrible disease, I wasn’t sure but I’m going to have a dam good try!