We are more than half way through Dementia Awarness Month, and continue to share stories from people with dementia, including many DAI members. Our blog today is written by one of our newer board members, Terrie (Theresa) Montgomery, who lives in the USA.
Thank you Terrie!
“Where there is a will, there is a way. If there is a chance in a million that you can do something, anything, to keep what you want from ending, do it. Pry the door open or, if need be, wedge your foot in that door and keep it open.” (Pauline Kael)
It was in 2015, that I was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The first thing I had to do was being able to accept it and live with it. So far, I have. But when it becomes more difficult is when we are juggling multiple diagnosis. Not only myself, but there are quite a few others living with some form of Dementia and whalla out of no where, they too are trying to stay afloat. Some of us fall victim of being diagnosed with not only one, but two, three and more. I am part of that MORE. That is why it is so important to have or develop a sense of humor and more importantly hold on to our Faith.
Some may say, a sense of humor? Faith? What will that do? Having Dementia with other diseases and ailments added to it is far from funny, humorous or welcoming. Yes, I totally agree but what can we do about it? Simply put, we CAN be open to ACCEPTANCE. Yes, ACCEPTANCE, which prompts us to have a game plan, a adjustable attitude and a willingness to always believe there’s is a solution.” That is where the Faith part comes into play.
None of us is exempt from things happening to us. None of us is exempt from being diagnosed with Dementia or any other disease. Life Happens. Of course we ALL know that there are preventive measures we can do to reduce us from certain medical conditions and diseases but we also know that Dementia like the Coronavirus does not have a respect of person. At this current second another person has been diagnosed with Dementia and possibly another disease or ailment.
Worldwide, around 55 million people have dementia, with over 60% living in low- and middle-income countries. As the proportion of older people in the population is increasing in nearly every country, this number is expected to rise to 78 million in 2030 and 139 million in 2050. (Google latest global statistics of Dementia).
The numbers listed are quite staggering. Hence, more of us need to be able to try our best to fight, to be well informed of clinical trails. To advocate for ourself as a patient as well as advocate for our human rights to be treated respectfully and seriously. Speaking of being treated respectfully and seriously is applicable to others that are living with Dementia as well It is very therapeutic to uplift others that are living with a form of Dementia.
Yes, encourage those that are in our circle to keep fighting, remain engage, continue to build up one another and NEVER tear down one another. All of us need peer support and kindness across the board. “Nothing About Us Without Us!” is a slogan used to communicate the idea that no policy should be decided by any representative without the full and direct participation of members of the group affected by that policy. From Wikipedia,
The reason why I am sharing this is to encourage others, that are like me as well as caretakers. It is no joke to live with Dementia, but it is achievable. It is no picnic for others to judge, prejudge, or make assumptions in trying to predict or give a personal assessment where a person is in their disease or mental state. That can only be evaluated by a professional neurologist or physician. It is imperative that everyone within the circle of some one living with Dementia has ALL of their affairs in order. That can be difficult but yet necessary.
I must admit, that I am NOT perfect or 100% ready for the unknown but I am 100% ready to enjoy each second of a brand new day! Some of us has a full plate of circumstances beyond our control and some of us have (Fill in the blank).
However, I will not allow anything or any one steal my joy and neither will it steal any one else joy if we remain focused on the good in our life. Focus on the legacy we will leave behind but most importantly focus on the now, this second, this minute, this day! Make sure it is NOT wasted.
Instead, park our illnesses, park our Dementia, park worldly events and definitely park everything that make us sad. Grab ALL the joy, positiveness, happy thoughts, happy steps, and precious memories we are going to make today.
If I can do it….WE CAN DO IT!
Why not? Every day is a gift ..enjoy it! We are only going to travel this route once. Everything is in Acceptance status for today and every day! Right now at this moment, I am feeling my finest! It can’t get any better than that if we keep our positive attitude on track!
Acceptance keeps Everything on track…..
Theresa (Terrie) Montgomery 9/13/21
Living with Younger Onset Alzheimer’s Disease
DAI Board Member
DAA Advisory Board Member