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  • Writer's pictureRobin Tthomson

When you get the Alzheimer's diagnosis…

Updated: Jan 16, 2020

When you get the Alzheimer's diagnosis…

… what happens next?

When Shoko received her diagnosis we had no real idea what lay ahead. We didn’t realise that memory loss could impact almost all areas of her life. I couldn’t imagine that one day she would lose her amazing skills in cooking…

Our doctor explained that there was no cure and no way of reversing the effects. But he suggested a drug to slow down the symptoms. Shoko started but found it had side effects. So she stopped and we looked instead for herbal remedies.

Were we in ‘denial’? Yes and no. We definitely realised this was serious, but we simply hoped the disease would not get any worse … perhaps, subconsciously, we didn’t want to explore further? It was more that we just didn’t know.

Could we, should we have done more at that time to prepare for the future? The advice we received later was to seek to live well and to take each moment and each day as it came. In a way, that is what we were doing, without a great deal of knowledge.

John Killick (Dementia Positive, Edinburgh: Luath Press Limited, 2014, p 135) comments: ‘… since dementia and non-dementia form a continuum … we should as far as possible abandon the idea of a distinct before-and-after … and give as many positive experiences to everyone as possible …

Looking back, we might have done things differently. But probably he is right and the way we carried on was the best for us.

More about this in Living with Alzheimer's – a love story

Published in January 2020 by Instant Apostle; ISBN 9781912726196. Available here to order online.

Or you can request it from your local bookshop.

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