Dementia Success Stories:
“How we made a difference for self and those around us AFTER diagnosis”
A dementia brain-storming project by participants of PWD Perspective newsletter
Compiled and edited by Truthful L. Kindness (yes it is legal name)
- Label: Karen Francis
- Previous/current occupation(s?): Social work (MSW), kitchen and bath designer/interior deisgn
- Nation, & state if desired: Pennsylvania, US
- Age at tentative diagnosis: 46
- Year of diagnosis: 46
- How long for definitive diagnosis:
- Type of dementia: not specified – I have seizures, short term memory loss; problems with concentration/thinking, depth perception and balance as a result of a traumatic brain injury
- Since diagnosis, what one or more action, success, or accomplishment do you take pride in? I am consulting for 2 companies as their “dementia expert” since I’ve spent most of my professional life working with the dementia population. I continue to run support groups and part of the Alzheimer’s Association public policy committee for Pennsylvania. I am still Co-Chair of the Adult and Aging Advisory Committee for Lehigh County. The year after my head injury, I organized a caregiver conference with over 400 in attendance.
- t think she realizes that I taught other people about disease, illness, injury to the brain before I sustained the TBI. I understand what has happened to me. My neurologist says that sometimes she thinks the depression I feel is because I understand what has happened to me, I understand my prognosis. She always tells me to stop thinking so much and relax.
- What do you wish your specialist Physician knew about dementia? My neurologist says that sometimes she thinks the depression I feel is because I understand what has happened to me, I understand my prognosis. I understand the radiology report and findings. I understand how poorly I have done on my cognitive exams. I think she really knows me as we were friends/colleagues before I needed to start seeing her.
- What do you wish your family knew about dementia? I think my children fully understand that I am changed and know because they’ve been around me more than anyone else in my life, what challenges I face. I don’t think my sisters or my mother believe there is anything wrong because my wounds have healed on the outside. I know that boyfriend who has known me since we were 11 years old and knows me a well as my family is in denial. He really doesn’t understand what the doctors have told him. He too thinks that because I can still talk about things we did when we were in school and church when we were kids , because I can still have an intelligent conversation (most of the time) and talk about things I have known, learned over the years, that there is nothing wrong with my brain. My MRI say differently.
- Date (Year-Mo-Date)…3/9/2015
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