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What caused my dementia? This is a question that goes around and around, but without any resounding answer. However, I do think I know when the problems started and it started long before the signs and symptoms truly took a hold.
It was in the mid 1990’s and we were on holiday in a place called, Floirac. A beautiful, picturesque village, nestled in the french country side, close the meandering Dordogne river.
One day, as we enjoyed the tranquillity within the valley beside the river, I was bitten, or stung on my right leg. By what, I will never know, but the reaction to this was dramatic. I remember feeling hot, shivery, sore and my skin was itching and so sensitive. I tried just let it go, but my leg started to swell and my throat was hurting and thick. I was taken to the local doctor, after which I don’t remember much. I was given medication, but again, I have no idea what this was, but it helped and my recovery seemed good.
During the following years, I was always aware of not feeling quite right, something was not he same. Then shingles hit me for the first time. It was bad, but not major, but the strange thing is, I got shingles again, three times over the next two years. This got worse with each episode and with the final bout, it was badly affecting everything on my left side including my face. The doctor said, ‘it is unusual to get it more than once!’
After this, I’m not sure how long, but I started having physical problems, I was having pains in my right arm, leg, groin and face. I was becoming dizzy, and seemed to be falling apart. My control was being lost.
Finally ending up in the QE Birmingham, I was diagnosed with Neuralgic Amyotrophy.
Since then I have had serve physical problems; no use or feeling in my right leg, little use of my right arm, or hand. Sever pains right down my right side and face. In later years I lost use of my bladder and bowels. My speech became more affect and eyesight became constantly blurred.
I was forced to retire from teaching.
In the passed twenty of more years, I have had several progressive diagnoses, including Epilepsy,
Menieres and finally, Dementia.
I have tried to be active both physically and mentally as I could, but for several years before Dementia, I had become isolated, passive and detached from life.
Do I think this was the start of my dementia…without a doubt and I think I should have done more, or got more help, so now it is up to me.
Question: What I would like to know is, do you think you know when your problems with dementia started? Not necessarily the time that the signs and symptoms started to appear, but something before that, that something that was always there, you knew about it, but never really paid the attention to it. Do you know what I mean… you had that inkling… but?