The diagnosis

Yesterday I found out that my Mother has been diagnosed with dementia. I think the diagnosis has come as a surprise only to my Father but me and my Sister have known for a while now. This hasn’t made the confirmation much easier to deal with but Dad, I think, is in shock. As for Mam, I’m not sure how much she really grasps what is happening by now, but looking back I think there was a point when she did realise.

We have been noticing changes for a few years now, it started when I noticed her repeating the same stories to me over and over. Then there was the Christmas dinner that I made (she had long since stopped cooking) and I kept finding her taking the potatoes out of the oven to baste and leaving them on the side before walking off. That dinner ended up being 2 hours late. By now she can’t remember the telephone number that they have had for 36 year or what she or my father did for a living.

Apparently she has Alzheimer’s, but it is unusual as the damage is all at the front of the brain. They also suspect that she may have had a stroke at some point. What I don’t understand is why it has taken so long to get to a diagnosis but today is not the day to worry about that. Today is for supporting my Dad and helping him come to terms with this diagnosis when neither of them are yet 65 and they are only 2 years into their retirement. That feels especially cruel.