We're on the move again
Friday, 23 July 2021
Alzheimer's seems to have slipped out of our Covid-dominated news lately. But nothing's changed. It still affects over half a million people in the UK and many many more worldwide. There is no cure and precious little in the way of treatment. It's a terminal disease. Diagnosis is a death sentence.
My heart goes out to people who have had to deal with it during the lonely privations of lockdown…
A post-Covid push?
Monday, 21 June 2021
Hello everyone. It's been a while but the pandemic put paid to so much of "normal" life for all of us. Now that so many things and activities are opening up at last we need to raise the remaining funding for The Alzheimer's Diaries. Can you help me to find about another 150 pledgers? There is so much Alzheimer's about that I'm sure the interest is there. Moreover this book is no gloomy misery memoir…
Friday, 5 February 2021
I've always gobbled up books like Billy Bunter did doughnuts. And since I've been on my own I've read more than ever. This is partly because now I read at mealtimes - works so well with iPad propped - and I'm a very slow eater. Lockdowns have added even more reading time, of course, because I'm not going out to interview people or to review shows. I'm currently averaging about three a week including…
Thursday, 28 January 2021
As we stagger into a new year I keep thinking of all the families struggling with Alzheimer's at this appallingly difficult time. I can think of few worse situations than having a confused, disabled loved one in a care home, nursing home, hospital or lonely at home, bereft of all family contact. And I am deeply thankful that - if Nick really had to get this hideous disease and die - it happened in…
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
So as I approach my second Nick-less Christmas, The Alzheimer's Diairies is written and ready to roll. Lockdown and other Covid-related restrictions have at least meant lots of time to sit at my desk and address myself to projects. I'm lucky too in that my home "office" - actually the third bedroom - overlooks the garden and a sports field beyond. I can see and hear dozens of trees and the birds…
Tuesday, 27 October 2020
In my home office I had, until this week, a deep plastic filing box marked "Medical Stuff" - paperwork, his and mine.
Probably time to go through it and throw out everything obsolete (or something), I thought. The paper was twelve inches deep: letters from Lewisham Hospital, from the consultant psychiatrist, the occupational therapist, the podiatrist, the palliative care nurse and so on and on…
Wednesday, 21 October 2020
Yesterday, I had a day off from routine freelance journalism (which is beginning to come in again, thank goodness) and went to Brighton. I'd agreed to meet my third granddaughter from school and then have supper with her and her mum after work. I went down earlier in the day by train because I wanted to do some shopping and I hadn't been into Brighton city centre, which I rather like, for a while…
Alzheimer's month discount code: ALZ20
Thursday, 17 September 2020
Well, since the last update I have sailed through the last of the first year anniversaries. Nick's funeral (I wore celebratory emerald green and we played a lot of the music he loved) was on 12 September 2019. This year on the 12th, by chance, I was away for a splendid weekend on the Norfolk coast with elder son Lucas, his wife and adult daughters. We had a lot of fun and there was no time to brood…
Migraine and Alzheimer's
Sunday, 16 August 2020
For the first half of his life Nick suffered very debilitating migraines which sometimes knocked him out for a whole day a week. Could there be a connection between this and the later development of Alzheimer's? No one ever mentioned this or asked us about it. New blog in support of The Alzheimer's Diaries; a love story. http://susanelkin.co.uk/articles/alzheimers-and-migraine/
Saturday, 8 August 2020
I've been meaning to contact Crofton Books (in London, SE4) for a while. It's an impressive secondhand bookshop within Crofton Park Libary which is now run by volunteers. The owner, Jason, and I have been following each other on Twitter for some time. This week I droppped in to see him for a chat and a very pleasant experience it was too. I wanted to discuss two books with him - my Deptford teaching…
Blogs on my website
Monday, 3 August 2020
I have started an occasional blog which shares more background to The Alzheimer's Diaries: a love story including things such as how Nick and I first met, where the illness might have sprung from and so on. Here's the link: /http://susanelkin.co.uk/articles/category/life/alheimers-diaries-blogs/
As August arrives
Sunday, 2 August 2020
So here we are back in August. This time last year I was hunched and tensed, day after day , at a bedside in Lewisham hospital. it has to be said that, lockdown and loneliness aside, I am feeling far fitter and happier now than then. Of course I miss Nick acutely but I don't miss the sad shadow of his former self that he had become by last August - or the agony of dealing with those final weeks.…
Saturday, 25 July 2020
Anyone who has ever encountered Alzheimer's - or any other form of dementia - knows that this is no cure. It is stated bluntly by the professionals from day one. I presume that this truthfulness is a key part of some shared code of practice.
So research is the only hope for the 850,000 people known to have dementia in the UK at present. About two thirds of that number have Alzheimer's. Numbers…
Widening the net
Friday, 17 July 2020
Funding for The Alzheimer's Diaries: a love story is now at 31%. One third funded is in sight - thanks to all you generously supportive people.
I've just started a new blog on my website which gives more information about the genesis of this project. Do share the link as widely as you can.http://susanelkin.co.uk/articles/how-did-it-all-start/
I had an email conversation with John Suchet this…
Wednesday, 8 July 2020
Any bereaved person will tell you that the first year is studded with stumbling blocks. Each memorable date or anniversary has to be confronted head on. And head butting can hurt.
I’m now nearly at the end of my first year of widowhood. Christmas, with fifty years of shared memories, was a bit tricky. And what would have been our 51st wedding anniversary fell six days after lockdown so I had…
A year ago ...
Friday, 3 July 2020
It is exactly a year ago today (3 July) that Nick was taken to hospital, having woken in the morning unable to stand. As it turned out, he went rapidly downhill from then on and never came home again. The date stands in my mind because a) it's our second granddaughter's birthday and b) somewhat inconveniently under the circumstances I'd booked the car for its annual service.
When I decided to publish…
Monday, 22 June 2020
Nick confounded every medic he met. He fitted none of the tentative profiles for Alzheimer's. He wasn't overweight and was physically fit and active all his life. He had never smoked, drank very little and was a dab hand at anything requiring mental alertness such as word games and quizzes. Even in his final weeks doctors seemed to find it hard to believe that he was simply dying of Alzheimer's and…
Monday, 1 June 2020
When Nick, my husband, was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2017, I asked him if he'd mind if I blogged about his illness. He was a quiet, quite private sort of man and I fully expected him to be horrified. To my surprise he said: "Yes, why not? You'll do it well and it might help others".
In the event he loved it. I think it was the first time in his life he'd ever been the centre of attention. He…