I think it was early 2014 when I started to notice that I was having problems with day to day activities.
I was working on the wards at my local Hospital and I started to notice that I was going to the Clinic room, Kitchen etc and forgetting what I had gone there for. I was forgetting regular tasks, what day it was, or the date and I was getting lost around the Hospital. At home I would also get confused if the coffee and sugar jars weren’t put back in the same place and I was putting things away in the wrong place but I just put it down to getting older.
As time went on I was noticing things more. My Father was diagnosed with throat cancer in August 1990 and I had rung twice a week for a chat and in January 2015 while on a weeks holiday, I realised that I hadn’t rung in over a week. During that time I realised that I could no longer safely work on the wards and on my return to work I asked for a transfer to Outpatients, citing my COPD as the reason as I didn’t know what effect the problems I was having would impact on my job.
Once on Outpatients it took me a long time to learn how things worked and colleagues names, it probably took me a year and I still couldn’t get some names right. I had set alarms on my phone to remind me to ring my Dad, which worked for a while but then I found that if I didn’t ring immediately, I would forget.
Things changed in 2016 when I watched a Panorama programme on TV called Living with Dementia. I had 2 Grandmothers who had had Dementia and I had looked after many people with Dementia over nearly 20 years but up to that point I still thought my difficulties were down to ageing.
While watching that programme, alarm bells rang in my head, I could see myself in some of the things I was watching. I watched it again the next day and realised that I needed to go to my GP and seek their advice.