On Day 11 of the #DAI #WAM2018 #Hello my name is blog series, we feature DAI member Myrna Norman from Canada. This series is not only raising awareness of the many lived experiences of dementia, it is highlighting the challenges, as well as the reality that so many people continue to live positive lives, alongside dementia.
Thank you Myrna, from all of us at DAI, and from the global dementia communtiy, for inviting us into your world.
Living well with dementia
Hello, My name is Myrna and I am a Person Living Well With Dementia. I was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Dementia about 10 years ago. My personality, well some of my thoughts and my abilities to control my anger, had changed. My memory was in tact but I knew something was very wrong with me.
As with many of us, my general practitioner just told me that my tests had shown Frontol Temporal Dementia and that I should get my affairs in order. But, he did ask it I had any questions.
WTF was my first thought.
What was Frontol Temporal Dementia? If I had questions, first I had to have some education as to what to question.
My husband was going to be away for a few weeks and in hindsight that was a good thing. I got some information, made up an envelope and suggested that he read this on the plane and discuss the issues with our son. During this time, I went into a deep despair. I wailed, sniffled, screamed, had a visit to self pity, and tried to educate myself.
Several times during my husbands absence, we did speak on the telephone. My husband shared with loved ones. Still what happens next.
A family meeting was called, an appointment was made with a lawyer, and arrangements were finalized. The probability of 8 years and unable to do stairs would require selling our new house and moving. We moved along as quickly as we could. It took time and about a year later, after we had sold our house, much of our larger style furniture sold, major downsizing was accomplished.
Finding the Alzheimer’s Society and taking part in a support group helped immensely.
Finding DAI opened so many doors, for instance, meeting others travelling the same journey, education, and more than words can express.
Now I am a DAI member (for years) Facilitator, Purple Angel Ambassador, a participant in the Canada Dementia Strategy held this year in our capital of Ottawa – about 4000 miles from my home. I met Kate Swaffer. I met many others who I had read online, talked with online, even laughed and cried with online.
My life with dementia has brought me more joy than sorrow. My name is Myrna and I have dementia. I am scared but I am happy.