Three years ago my Nan finally lost her battle with life, as passed away peacefully 10 days after falling at my elder brothers 21st birthday party. It was a pretty emotional time, however, for the years leading up to her death, my nan had suffered from dementia.
I've just been looking through the BBC Website for random stories; catching up with the latest news as one does, and I came across this little video of John Suchet on the iPlayer:
I really 'get' the pain that John Suchet is going through. It was horrible watching my nan disappear when she was so physically fit. She used to go to keep fit classes before the dementia took hold. The thing that really pained me was the fact that I was growing up and turning into the person I am today, which she was growing down back into a horrible state of nothingness. I can only value the memories of my childhood, and the interesting conversations we were able to have in the brief period that I was mature enough to have them, while she was mentally sound enough to expand my vision.
Looking back, it was my mum that had to deal with the stress and the grief of losing her mother, despite her physical presence still being with us. I certainly didn't understand what was happening at the start - at the point when you have that horrible realisation of what the future holds, when a precipice opens up in front of you and all your plans and dreams of the future disappear.
As John says in his Video, we've got to a stage with cancer where people are fighting the issues, and looking to overcome the disease, whereas dementia is a painful silence. I hope that more people can speak up about their experience, not be ashamed to talk about their anger and their honest emotions. That was what really struck me about dementia. It doesn't hurt the person who's suffering as much as the carers and family. However, it's a debilitating disease, and one I hope more people join the cause to help overcome.
So please, support the Admiral Nurses, they were too late to help my family with my Nan - however, they do a fantastic job, and anything that can lessen the pain for other people who are going through what we went through is a good thing; a very good thing.