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Diagnosis

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Topics: 
communication, men and dementia

The consultant came out to me and when we were in my house, he said, “Have you got anyone here with you?” I said, “No...why? Do I need someone here? Just tell me.”

And then he said, “Well, Paul,... you’ve got early onset Alzheimer’s.” I said, 'No ​no not me.' It was just a total rebuff. "I think you’re wrong, I’m fit as a fiddle. There’s nothing wrong with me."

So the consultant said, "I haven’t been wrong in 24 years." There was a long silence...and that was the start of it all.

For the next two or three weeks I was in total denial, my sons were away then, they weren’t living with me, it was just my girlfriend around, though I was living by myself. So, I just went onto the booze stage. I went to another pub (not our local pub) and I thought, "No, I’m not accepting this."

It’s a bombshell. About two and a half weeks later my mate came along to the pub and he said "Paul, you’re killing yourself. Everybody’s talking about you."

I realised at that point that Mossley Hill Hospital postd​iagnostic group had been phoning me up, but I’d shunned them as I didn’t want to take part in anything. I thought, well I haven’t got it so I’m not sitting around with a load of old dodderers. I’m me, I’m not like them.

But eventually I realised I had to do something, so I went to Mossley Hill and joined up with the postd​iagnostic group. But, I kept it secret. I didn’t tell anybody for 9 months. 

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Holly Richardson

In my second year of medical school at the University of Nottingham, I was set the task of researching an aspect of clinical communication skills that interested me.

Justine Schneider

There is something apposite about a university – which runs on brain power – becoming dementia-friendly. It recognises that human beings have value beyond their intellectual capacity.  How can an institution whose purpose lies in developing intellectual potential also be dementia-friendly?

Anonymous

I recently attended a presentation at the IMH about the ways in which adult children face the challenges of looking after a parent who has dementia.