Being Strong With Family Illness

Today is the day it is confirmed my dearest daddy has early onset Dementia. I have very mixed feelings to be honest I don’t think it has hit me at all. There is of course a huge back story I will briefly touch on and it will explain why I just disappeared. My poor dad has been through so much since November and nearly died so many times I am of the full believe he was a cat in a previous life there is no getting rid of him. I was given the worst choice of my life in November, 9am 12 hours since dad’s colon perforated, all organs failing and he was dying. I was told he would die in 2 hours if we left it or we could do a surgery that the doctors gave him a 60% rate of dying anyway. It is only me and dad since I was 2 years old, he is my life and no matter where we went we were together, 24 hrs previous he was walking a mile with our dog and cutting the hedge. The doctors who don’t know him telling me to leave him and let him go in peace, I’m sitting in the recusation area of A&E in my big Ted Baker dress coming from work with the toughest decision of my life and begging for answers nobody could answer. I make the decision to operate but I know as powerful as world of medicine is this was my dad’s choice in the end, I know if he wanted to fight it he would and nobody would take that from him and no matter what happened it was his decision.

Being Strong

4 hour surgery, colostomy bag, 21 day coma, heart attack, pneumonia a few times and cellulitis a few times he is now in a nursing home as combined with everything he has lost his mobility and is in a wheelchair. He hasn’t obviously been himself since, the best way to describe it is I have lost my dad and have a different version and I was told it was mild cognitive impairment due to a lack of oxygen to the brain when he was in the coma. However more recently he has become very angry even with me, getting very paranoid and having some delusions, I see him every day so I wasn’t doing the whole what year is it dad but I did notice confusion too. He was assessed and they believe his brain function has gotten worse and it is developing into early onset Dementia. I’m not saying it was a shock as I know him so well I knew something wasn’t right but it was a heartbreak, my poor dad even nursed his own sister for years with it, he would even be heartbroken. I now have to process it all and go into my dad and pretend I’m fine and I don’t feel my world is crumbling.


I have the best friends around me to get me through and I know people are going through worse and I have to get on with it but I was always think back to that decision of doing the surgery or not that day in November and blaming myself for letting him go through all this, there is so much that rolls around your brain at a time like this and I know so many people are going through it and are not honest with their feelings. This is not a pity party by any means it is just a way to let it all and for people who going through thing similar know it is ok to not be ok it is just we need to find a way to channel the stress and be productive. So going forward I’m going to turn this into more of a lifestyle vibe with things I’m doing, vitamins I’m taking and things I’m eating etc. It’s going to be a little more random but I need to get back writing again (even if it is just myself reading it) and do things that will take my mind of the craziness going on around me, we can do this together.

Laura Finnegan


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