More and more people want to know about others who are conquering dementia.
In my books on dementia I mention Christine Bryden, a little lady who was a high flying executive with the Australian government until diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at the age of 46. She’d written two books by the time I ‘discovered’ her and when I emailed for permission to quote from them she said, ‘Use anything you like!’
We’ve corresponded over time, and last November we met here, in Wales, when she and her husband, Paul, were on the last leg of their speaking tour and holiday in the UK. She’s coped with dementia for twenty years now, and aims to encourage others with her talks and books: she said she was writing another one. From her books you’ll see that Christine and her husband are lively Christians, which is, perhaps, why the books aren’t as well known in the secular market as they could be. (‘Who will I be when I die’, and ‘Dancing with Dementia.’)
She told me that when her consultant looks at her brain scan he tells her that she shouldn’t be able to function as well as she does. ‘What do you reckon?’ I asked . ‘It’s the Holy Spirit’, she replied.
In an interview with the Daily Mail she describes how the brain ‘rewires’, finding its way around damaged areas. It’s so encouraging to read – see it here at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2674496/Woman-survived-20-years-dementia-new-love-astonishes-doctors.html. At conferences and exhibitions people come and talk to us about their journeys with dementia, both as caregivers and the person with the condition. It’s good to be able to point to stories of hope. And there’s more than one.