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March 2, 2018

Community Correspondent: Still Alice

My yesterdays are disappearing and my tomorrows are uncertain

By Steve, Leeds Older People’s Forum Community Correspondent

Hi my Name is Steve I’m 69 years old and I would like to explain what it is like to experience a decline in your ability to think, remember and make decisions.

I found it very interesting the way Gary A. a member of US against Alzheimer’s explains about the condition:

“Early stage Alzheimer’s begins with episodes of memory lapse progressing to a diminished ability to reason and problem solve at a level achieved in the past.  As you re-evaluate what you now have control over, you must adjust in order to meet your needs via different pathways than you had previously.  Your choices are different and unfamiliar.” *

Carpe Diem

This is my third year of treatment and they still do not know the type of Dementia I have due to the complexity of my case. Still, you must learn to live with it and seize the day.

Still Alice

On 14th February 2018 I went to the West Yorkshire Play House to see a play about Dementia. It’s a heart-breaking story, and the cast perform it with grace and commitment.

No one more so than Sharon Small, who, in a wonderfully unguarded performance, captures the increasing frustration and panic of a capable woman.

As the illness takes hold, she gets lost in her own house and goes to work in her dressing gown; “I miss myself,” she says simply.

What Do I Live For?

My yesterdays are disappearing and my tomorrows are uncertain, so what do I live for? I live for each day. I live in the moment. Some tomorrow soon, I will forget that I stood before you and gave this speech.

But just because I forget it some tomorrow doesn’t mean that I didn’t live every second of it today. I will forget today, but that doesn’t mean that today didn’t matter.

It was just at this point in the play I realised that this was a pivotal point in the play for me this was a story of my own journey with Dementia.

Seize The Day

I urge you to go and see this play as every three minutes someone will be diagnosed with dementia. Everyone is busy, and I understand this along with other commitments you will always find a reason not to do something. Listen to the voice in your head and go you will not be disappointed.

This is one memory I will try to remember for as long as I can.