Vascular dementia is a dementia that occurs because of mini and/or major strokes damaging the brain. It is an insidious disease that steals capabilities, memory and personality.
Over the last years, it crept up on my husband, Bill, like the proverbial thief in the night and I am writing his story, not only for the sake of our family history, or for the information of the wider community but because, when I researched the word dementia nobody told me exactly how it would be for Bill and me.
I knew Izaac for 13 years. We met when I was 63 and he was 69. From that day there was a bond between us. In later years Zac said that it was providential that we met when we did, and that was when the seed of love was planted, which slowly grew, blossomed and continued to flourish.
The meadows were purring in tune with my mind, occupied in recognising the perfumes of the night. How alive was I!
The sun finally bowed into the sky on fire, my body crouched under a tea-tree, a tear of joy tickled my nose- “ I exist” I cried out.” Today I am free. A bright new day." In the distance, the humming of the ocean.
I was diagnosed with dementia by a psych-geriatrician in Hobart in April of 2008; my diagnosis was dementia probable Alzheimer’s.
She based this diagnosis on my test scores previously given to me by a Neuro-psychologist, the Mini-Mental and other dementia tests. She started me on Aricept that day. I continue to see her on a regular (every 6 months) basis. At those visits, she evaluates any progression of the disease.
For me, Younger Onset Dementia first raised its ugly head in the 1980s when my husband was diagnosed with Fronto Temporal Dementia. He was 52 and died at 66 in 1999.
Four years later my daughter Lisa, then 43, was diagnosed with the same type of dementia. She had become difficult to live with and had separated from her husband and was living with her daughter aged 15 and son 12. Her driving was erratic and she eventually had a driving accident and I found out there was no insurance when I received a bill for $12,500 from the other party’s insurance company.
I write this on behalf of my son whose wife Jodie developed Dementia/Alzheimer’s in her late 40’s after being told her symptoms were menopausal.
Sadly pathology, brain scans and a battery of other testing proved otherwise and we set out on a road thwart with obstacles, joy, discovery, wonder, puzzlement, unbelievable sadness and a whole new learning for all concerned.