A diagnosis

17 Apr

On 22 August 2021 I wrote

I visited Mum again this morning. And took her more homemade biscuits. She really does love her biscuits.

I told her (again) that her big sister has moved into a home. Mum seemed to have a flicker of understanding and then told me (again) that she didn’t think she would do that.

Mum had her 90th birthday earlier this year. We were still in lockdown and my brother was with her. No-one else, as we weren’t allowed more people from different households indoors at home. It really was not the greatest way to celebrate all those years. Three weeks later she was diagnosed with mixed dementia. I was surprised and yet not at all surprised by the diagnosis… I pretty much knew she had the early stages of dementia so it was a relief to have it confirmed. But the assessment was done over the phone and as I sat next to mum listening to the call, I felt she was doing so well and worried there might be no diagnosis. But at the end of the call the Dr told mum his diagnosis. The phone was passed to me and he confirmed to me mixed dementia: Alzheimer’s and vascular dementia.

I hadn’t expected this immediate diagnosis, but knew that I was not now going back to my ‘office’ and working straight away. Instead I reassured mum that dementia was just a word, she was still my same mum and I loved her and would keep her safe.

The next morning mum acknowledged she had a touch of the alzheimer’s.. and then seemed to forget about it. Occasionally now I remind her. But mostly I remind her that she is loved, that she is the best mum.

Your bonus today is the River Fleet, and this view feels as familiar to me as the back of my hand so I’m grateful I get to walk across the bridge and see the peaty brown water each time I go to visit mum.

I took a picture of Mum as she was sitting quietly in the sunshine the day before she was diagnosed. Two days after her diagnosis, she was again sitting in the sunshine, and I took another picture of her. These two pictures feel so different to me. In the first she seems carefree, and in the second, there is such a sadness in her far away look. She looks so lost.

And she was, she was beginning to be lost. To everyone, even herself.


I started writing this series of posts here, with Taking Smock of the Situation, an embroidery project I started after I realised Mum might have dementia. There I was, embroidering her old fisherman’s smock with symbols relating to her life; while her memories were slipping away, like me at a party I don’t want to be at.

Before that I blogged about whatever I was cooking and you can find my recipes here.

One Response to “A diagnosis”


  1. Taking Smock of the Situation | Shewolfinthevalley - April 19, 2023

    […] A diagnosis […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: