The image in the mirror is familiar, however less than before, the eyes seem a little strange, pinched, pained and less bright.
To explain, I have been diagnosed with (MCI) mild cognitive impairment this affects one in five people over the aged of 65, and as I will be 78 in three months-time I’m no exception to this devastating rule.
Ten percent of MCI suffers go onto developing dementia or alzheimer’s, there is no way of knowing who will, or who won’t, it’s a toss of the coin.
The consultant I have been seeing since earlier this year, has been guiding me through the process of trying to ward off my symptoms, which are obviously very short- term memory, anger, short temper, and now disorientation, feeling giddy and unsteadiness, I’ve had several falls, the last time I fell two weeks ago, I dislocated my jaw.
After two brain scans the last one at the University College hospital nuclear medicine department in London, added to the dementia and alzheimer’s diagnosis, my doctor now believes I have Lewy Bodies Disease which can be an extension of some of the Dementia, and has similar symptoms to Parkinson’s disease, hence my falling and unsteadiness.
Amongst all the drugs that I’m on, my consultant has given me a further one to add to the collection, this I must say has helped my condition slightly, although my sleep only last a few hours a night, for two or three hours. I’m plagued by nightmares, when I wake up I’m relieved.
Occasionally the medication has seemed to help, some days my speech is quicker and my search for the words are slightly easier, before my speech was very laboured.
I now attend a mental health clinic once a week, as I am not allowed to drive again since the DVLA asked me to return my licence to them. I’m picked up by an ambulance (thanks to the brilliant NHS) and taken with other people that have the same problem as myself to the clinic.
So, what will the outcome be? The consultant cannot tell me in the short term, in the long term with the diagnosis that I have, it probably does not look good.
I am not feeling sorry for myself I’ve had a wonderful life, travelling the world, and meeting people in the top echelons of governments, leaders of countries, and the occasional royals. The people I feel sorry for are my nearest and dearest, my saintly wife who has to put up with my rages, my wandering around during the night, and my falling over, my children are magnificent in their support and my three grandchildren are the loveliest and adoring people that anybody could wish for.
This love and attention from my family will drive me on, as I will continue to fight off the ill effects that some days manifests itself to its fullest. Maybe soon another drug will arrive, as unsung heroes of research laboratories are constantly trying to find new cures. I have agreed to any research programmes that I would need me.