Dan's story

Dan is 42 and living with young onset Alzheimer’s disease.  He shares his story here… 

I’m not entirely sure when I first noticed something wasn’t right.  Quite some time before my GP took me seriously though. The first time I mentioned I was having trouble remembering my then GP jokingly replied that there was nothing he could give me for that.   

I was diagnosed three years ago at the age of 39 with young onset Alzheimer’s. My short-term memory is horrendous.  I can remember things from childhood in detail but a conversation a few minutes ago is gone.  This causes problems at home and at work - I work on an IT service desk in an NHS foundation trust.   My personality has changed quite dramatically too.  I was always a positive person, very optimistic, intelligent, highly educated and cheerful.  Now I am quite cynical, struggle to see the good in anything.  I try to hide all this the best I can but can’t help myself sometimes.  The future is scary.    

The monthly YoungDementia UK Sheffield group has been a godsend...I'd be lost without it.

The monthly YoungDementia UK Sheffield group has been a godsend.  I live in Rotherham but there is nothing similar in that area, so I make the journey.  At group meetings, well even before them really, I feel happy and relaxed.  I book the whole day off work for it, so that’s good before we even begin!  As soon as I enter the room, I feel safe, welcome and able to be myself without having to try and hide anything, which can be a huge effort when out in public.    

When I get home, it can feel a bit empty as I live alone though I have just recently started dating a lass who lives in Scotland.  I usually can’t remember any of the conversations we had at the group, but I do remember the fun, and the feeling of being welcomed.  It’s something to look forward to every month. 

I’d be lost without it. 

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