Dementia diagnosis sidetracked both our lives

In an earlier post entitled Out in the Open, I talked about being interviewed for the CBC's Out in the Open podcast. It just aired on Sunday and I have been getting some amazingly positive reactions. 

People have said that the interview was humbling, wise and courageous, while others have just expressed how proud they are of me, which feels really good.

You never really know what the response to a piece like this is going to be, but I hope by putting myself out there, it will spark a conversation.

People never think this disease will impact them until it does. And by then, it is too late to have the proactive discussions about health, desires and wishes of your loved one because you are in reactionary mode and are barely trying to keep your head above water.

This disease immeasurably changed the course of my mother and I's lives, rendering us unable to have these types of deep philosophical discussions. We were both sidetracked and never really got to experience our lives the way we were supposed to at our ages.

I encourage each and every one of you to start talking to your loved ones while they are still of sound mind.

However, if you or someone in your family has recently been diagnosed, here are some key strategies to employ.

If you want to share you story or discuss what route you chose along the way, feel free to reach out.

I am here to listen.





Out in the Open

Today I was interviewed by a producer for CBC's Out in the Open with Piya Chattopadhyay about my mother's disease and my experiences caring for her.

This was a dream come true as I always wanted to be affiliated with the CBC, I just did not expect it to be in this capacity.

It was a bittersweet moment. It was wonderful to share my story as it has the possibility of touching people, but it is hard to reveal the intimate experiences of this disease and the choices I have had to make because of it. 

The interview made me feel vulnerable. It was like exposing a part of myself that does not otherwise get to see the light of day.

I realized that we, as caregivers, do not talk enough about what we are made to endure because of this disease. I am not sure if it is because of stigma or because the sheer act of discussing it brings emotions to the surface that are otherwise boiling just underneath.

I hope that through this small act of bravery, I will encourage others to speak up and join the discussion.

Our voices and experiences have the power to make a difference.

There is no time like the present to take action.