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New EWGPWD member Carol Hargreaves introduces herself and writes about her diagnosis

Monday 21 November 2016

​​When I was told I had dementia I thought my world was over, after coping with bipolar I felt I was dealing with life as best as I could. Bipolar is a horrible illness. Also sadly I had to go through the mental health way as my own doctor was off ill. I was sectioned and no one would listen to me, even though I was taking a lot of mini strokes it was still put down to bipolar. I know my own body. As time went on and me still in hospital my doctor came back, thank goodness. She started on the right road and I got all the scans I required and was diagnosed with vascular dementia.

Sadly, things did not get easier. I now feel I lost three years of my life as the so called prof. took me into a room with a doctor I had never met before. I was told I had dementia and to get all my affairs in order and I might get a good six months. I just walked right out of the hospital, my life was over. I was brought back by family and they were told the same - to always have someone with me and I would be safe.

Myself I had a partner for 30 years and it terrified him. We decided it would be best to split. I thought I was going to die of a broken heart, I felt as if my family had me wrapped in cotton wool and I went along with it. Then the suicide thoughts started to come I was always planning how I could do it properly.

Then a lovely lady came into my life. Ellen was her name. l believe she saved me. That was 8 years ago and then I got involved with Alzheimer's Scotland. I then got involved in the Scottish Dementia Working Group (SDWG) and I can honestly say for the last 3 years my life has changed dramatically for the best. I love my group and try to be involved in as much as I can and I believe I am a better person now. I could go on and on, but getting tired.

Best wishes, Carol Hargreaves, Member of the SDWG and the EWGPWD.