Friday, 6 August 2010


I posted a similar news story back in February 2009, but I'm linking to this new one because the probability of me developing Dementia, myself, seems to be increasing each time they release a study.

First they said that inactivity could lead to Diabetes, Depression and Dementia. Today's report is that you are more likely to get Dementia if you have had Diabetes and Depression.

Do they just look at "D" conditions, do you think?

If they cite Dandruff next I'm going to go ahead and book myself a room in Mum's Care Home.


Y | O | Y said...

I worry about this all the time. Whenever I forget something, I think, "Oh my god, it's starting!"

Sheilagh said...

The odd's are stacked for me:(
I'm Diabetic, I am Depressed and my dad had Dementia for fifteen years. I wish I hadn'r seen this in the news..

Greg said...

Hi Y|O|Y

I think what's getting to me is the thought "who would be there for me?" If I had been out of contact in 2007, like my Sister, my Mum would have probably died before anyone intervened. Who's going to notice that I'm not myself? Who's going to search for the best possible home for me? Who's going to move into my house and care for me the way you did for your Mom?

I wouldn't worry about the forgetting, though. I think that's natural. As you'll have experienced with your Mom, true dementia clears whole swathes in the brain, so that you don't even notice what's gone. I don't think we'll actually know if we are struck by it.

The article I just linked to suggests that we keep learning things throughout life, as if the mind were a muscle we need to exercise. I'm less worried about forgetfulness and more worried that I'm not able to read very much these days. One of the chief horrors of watching Mum slide into dementia was watching her lose interests alongside her abilities.

I think I need to get away, to start travelling, just to keep my brain active and experiencing new things. I need to break out of these calcifying routines I've developed. And I need to read my books whilst I still have capacity. At my last count I had well over 500 unread on my reading pile. Even if I could get back to the speed I read them at University, they would take a decade to get through, and I'm still buying them.

Nice to hear from you, G x

Greg said...

Hi Sheilagh

Like you say, it's a matter of odds, which means that it's by no means a certainty - merely more statistically likely than some other people. Meantime let's try and enjoy ourselves and live the life we're granted.

Perhaps we should, however, plan for the worst, just in case, by alerting our loved ones to the possibility and creating Living Wills or whatever. I'm thinking of putting a pack together with information about Power of Attorney and different types of care, just in case I become incapacitated. I'm not sure who'd be there to act on the information on my behalf. Anyone out there want a husband who might lose his marbles in the next 20 years (if the cholesterol + heart + liver + kidneys don't get him first)?

Lily said...

I'd volunteer but I've already got one! I've told my kids to find me a good home if I go doolally. I too suspect that I may, I have struggled with depression (although not diabetes) and dementia runs in the family I think - mum, a couple of her aunts, my paternal grandmother...arrgh!

Greg said...

Haha.... Thank you, Lily. Well, nothing is certain with genes, but perhaps we'll end up in the same Home some day. In the meantime, I think you're doing as much as you can by improving your health through diet and exercise, finding a good place for your Mum, so that you aren't so worried for her, and escaping this gloomy August for the Mediterranean.

At least your kids have seen what happened to their Grandmother and what you had to do for her, so they will have some insight and resources if it does happen to you (which ISN'T a certainty). I have no family of my own, nobody helping me with Mum, no partner to notice that I'm becoming unreliable. The only consolation I have is that I'll most likely be completely oblivious to my own decline, should it happen (if it hasn't started already)

Lily said...

Ah but you're forgetting about us - your loyal followers, if you keep blogging we'll notice any decline and steam in to the rescue, won't we guys? Or... maybe its time to check out the dating sites?

LSL said...

I like that last paragraph you wrote to Y|O|Y. Highly agree - for myself, too. :)