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Thursday, 26 October 2017

How I Am Coping With Mild Cognitive Impairment

In my article Living with Mild Cognitive Impairment: An Interview with Dementia Mummy and her Husband, I revealed that I have Mild Cognitive Impairment.

This article is about how I cope with this impairment, the problems I face and my feelings about being MCI.

My Memory and How I cope

These are the 5 best coping techniques I have for coping with MCI, I use many more, but I think these really are my top 5:
1.    I keep lists, I make a lot of lists of things I have to do and put them on our utility door where I am more likely to see them.
2.    I have reminders – some are on little postIt notes, you know those little yellow sticky things, and I place these in place I am likely to see them like on my laptop.
3.    I have a daily routine, which helps me to do as much as possible in the day.
4.    I ask my friends and family to remind me (and hope their memory is better than mine) but it also means I can ask for help when I need it.
5.    I write down instructions, because like when learning anything new my brain just can’t retain the information – directions are the worst, so I write everything down to enable me to follow the same instructions repeatedly.

My diagnosis and How I feel About it

When I was first diagnoses I was relieved that finally I had a name for it and I wasn’t essentially going crazy.  There is a reason why my brain acts the way it does and this I can actually explain to people.

Having done my do-diligence and research I understand that the odds are almost in my favour as only about 15% of MCI patients develop Alzheimer’s.

I don’t often think of the macabre, but I’m sure many others do and if I do develop further and go down the Alzheimer’s route would I really be aware of my situation?  Would I need to think of my own immortality? Will my brain have the capacity to process these thoughts?

Would I have the same thoughts and feelings or anxieties that maybe a terminal cancer patient would?  I often think back on the courage and strength Jade Goody showed in her last few months and wonder if I too would have that much dignity and courage.  Would I actually know that eventually I was going to die?  Aren’t we all going to die eventually, and we don’t rest on those thoughts.

How I Am Coping

I honestly believe that I am coping quite well and that I am demonstrating great strength and courage. I turned my negatives into positives and I promote a better awareness and understanding of MCI.  I just hope that I can influence or encourage others to raise better awareness and maybe one day we together can find a cure for illnesses like Dementia and Alzheimers.

#MCI #Awareness #Dementia #Courage
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