• Expert Q&A: Rare dementias - Tues 3 March, 3-4pm

    Our next expert Q&A will be on the topic of rare dementias. It will be hosted by Nikki and Seb from Rare Dementia Support. If you have any questions about rare dementias, they will be here to answer them on Tuesday 3 March between 3-4pm.

    You can either post your question >here< or email them to us at talkingpoint@alzheimers.org.uk and we'll be happy to ask them on your behalf.

Coronation Street

Michael E

Registered User
Apr 14, 2005
619
Ronda Spain
The story line played so sympathetically and by Johnny Briggs as Mike Baldwin is brilliant. Clearly Johnny has taken the trouble to research this sickness instead of just taking the money. He has obviously taken advice and possibly visited sufferers or has personal knowledge. Clearly for him - as well as real life sufferers - this is a terminal story line and he is taking it as an acting challenge and I have to admit he is bringing tears to my eyes.

The Alzheimer's society appears to have given excellent information to the Producers and story line editors and they are giving it wonderful and comprehensive coverage. What seems so important to me is that it is being presented as an illness that can affect an attractive, intelligent, streetwise character like 'Mike~Baldwin' and not just the very old and possibly senile.....

I think we should all express our thanks - gratitude to the producers and editors of this show - even for the cynical people in TV it is nice sometimes to be told that what you are doing is - helpful - good- important.

This is the biggest opportunity we all have to make this bloody sickness more acceptable, more interesting, more important, more worthwhile of research, more politically correct than ever before... Coronation Street is a very important show. It has enormous power and popular appeal - we must help the Ad society to make the most of this wonderful opportunity.

Sorry I have gone on a bit - too much wine and tears but this could be a turning point and believe me - producers, actors, story editors all like to be told that what they are doing is good....

love

Michael
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Well, I watched Coronation Street this evening for the first time since about 1964.

I agree with Michael - the storyline is well laid and well played. I'll watch some more!

But where are Ena Sharples, Minnie Caldwell and Martha Longhurst?
 

connie

Registered User
Mar 7, 2004
9,519
Frinton-on-Sea
Brucie, they are still in the Snug somewhere, enjoying a glass of milk stout.

I do agree with how sensitively, yet accurately, the storyline is progressing.
Whilst Lionel's difficulities are more mobility led, he sat down with me on Saturday and sobbed (just like Mike tonight) - "I do not understand what is happening to me"

Shall watch with interest, Connie
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya all,
I watched it, but just found it too close to home. I don't know that I can stick with the story line - what a wimp!
Amy
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Thank you, Michael and Amy!

First, Michael - I have to wholeheartedly agree that the 'Corrie' storyline is doing some good - if only for me! I have been visiting this site for some weeks and finally decided after watching the episode tonight (and unable to sleep AGAIN!!!) to start doing something to get myself some support. I am sure the society and the site will be under some pressure this week..... (and as a by-the-by I am a huge Corrie fan, huge NW industrial England passionado!) - and yes, I believe Johnny Briggs has excelled himself as he has never been allowed to before.... what great he can do. I don't know enough (yet) to know just how accurate the storyline/portrayal is.... but to raise awareness, support etc etc from such prime time viewing I hope can only be a good thing.....

I also wanted to pick up on Amy's comment about being a 'wimp'. This is precisely how I have felt since my mother's diagnosis was first suggested a few weeks ago. Can't cope, won't cope, kinda thing. I have sat through the last two episodes of Corrie with tears streaming down my face with my young son and husband and they have asked me if I want to turn it off (them being huge Corrie fans themselves). What we have tried to do is use the storyline as 'discussion point'. In fact, it has started to help me to cry. To try to explain to my son (how can you?) what is happening to 'Grandma'.

Amy, and anyone else out there, I want to shut off from the world at times, let alone something which may trigger tears or anger on the TV. I am overwhelmed. Some days, I don't want to think about it. I go through the motions of 'checking in'. Sometimes, like now, in the middle of the night I feel immersed in it. Amy, I don't know what your experience is so far, nor what confronts me, but surely we have a 'duty' to ourselves to say this isn't right for me just now... please tell me it's ok to feel a total wimp at times.....
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Tender Face,
So pleased that you have made the decision to get some support, this is a brilliant place to do it, wish I had found it at the start of my mum's illness! Others will give you ideas about what else you can do, just ask questions or make comments and someone will reply quite soon.

You and your family are now beginning a new part of your mum's journey; it isn't all bad though, there will still be good times, but different. All of us on here wish this disease hadn't happened to our loved one, we all wish that they were healthy and we could have our normal life back, but it aint like that. So make the most of every opportunity; take lots of photos, go with the flow, rather than trying to fight it, continue to love your mum just as she is. My mum is in advanced stages; I love her to bits, though it breaks my heart, but the dementia has not robbed me of that relationship, nor will it rob you and your family.

I'll tell us "It is OK to be a wimp somedays". It isn't being a wimp really. It is pacing yourself, knowing what you are emotionally able to stand up to day by day. For me Coronation Street brings back memories of where we have already been; for others it is where they are now, and for others a place they yet have to visit. I remember mum crying the day she was told by a consultant that she had been having mini strokes, just like Johnny Briggs last night; she soon forgot it though, I didn't.

Right, must get ready for work. Nice chatting. Take care.
Amy
 

Lulu

Registered User
Nov 28, 2004
391
I am like Bruce, not having seen Corrie since Minnie, Ena and Martha were sitting in the Snug. Is there an omnibus edition does anyone know?
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Is there an omnibus edition does anyone know?
What, an omnibus version that covers the period since we last saw it in the 1960s...? ;)

One thing that the Coronation Street programme will not cover, for very practical reasons, is the timespan of dementia. It would be unrealistic to expect more - indeed the fact of this drama being played out on prime time TV is in itself a triumph.

Mike Baldwin is what - 65 years of age? So is my wife Jan, who is 15 years into her time with dementia. She passed Mike's stage at least 8 years ago, and may yet live a further 10 years, or even more. She may yet outlive me, and I'm younger than she is. Mike will be gone in a few weeks.

A character last night talked of the strain of having been with Mike for a day. That was a very true situation; people not acquainted with the illness feel that at first.

After 15 years the real meaning of strain becomes apparent, along with the real implications of dementia.
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
I think, Amy, that at the moment I must be a wimp. Had tea at my mother in laws on Sunday. Corra came on and I went and read the paper in the kitchen instead of watching it. I just couldn't face it. Perhaps it was because I was in company and didn't want to get upset in front of people. The doctors told me Dad has got an infection in his blood now. He is deteriorating. Yesterday two of his visitors were ex policemen ( he was in the police for 35 years). They were talking about past times and I think that my Dad enjoyed listening to them. He seems to understand what people say but finds it so very very difficult to say anything himself that makes sense. I,m finding it so difficult to cope with at the moment. Most of his care is good but his morphine isn't being given regularly. I can't understand why. When someone is dying with cancer surely one of the most important things is to keep them painfree if possible. The AD is bad enough to cope with ,without seeing him in pain. Just because he can't tell them when he has pain, it is obvious by his face and body language. Some of the staff are very good. I know that when I see certain nurses on duty he will be comfortable but others don't seem so good and we have to ask for his pain relief. Seeing the consultant this afternoon. Zan
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,453
Hiya Zan,
You are no wimp! The pain that you have suffered these last few months, and are continuing to do so. You are a star. You are hanging in there with your dad. It would be ludicrous to watch something that you knew would make the hurt even more intense, unless you're a masochist! (Is that the right one, I always get sadist and masochist mixed up).
Keep fighting for them to get the pain relief right for your dad. Did you get anywhere with the hospice?
You are doing brilliantly; everyone who cares, would find it difficult to cope in the situation you are in. Might not be much use, but you know that we are here for you.
With love,
Amy
 

Countryboy

Registered User
Mar 17, 2005
1,433
Cornwall
Coronation Street reply

To anyone out there diagnosed with Alzheimer’s I think the Coronation Street
Story writers are taking the “mick” I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in March/ April 2000 and still work full time ok I know were not all the same sorry to all those who think the show is great
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Hi Tony

what fantastic news!

It's not so much that the show is great [though some will think so], but that it has the gumption to include a storyline that includes Alzheimer's.

Any publicity at all is good, I think. It will help us all, those who have Alzheimer's and also their carers.

It is also hugely important for someone such as yourself to point out that stories can be very different in real life.

I repeat Joanne's mantra, and not for the first time "When you have seen one person who has Alzheimer's - you have seen one person who has Alzheimer's" - that is to say, each case will be different.

Best wishes, and do please keep posting here to give us all a reality check!
 

DickG

Registered User
Feb 26, 2006
558
84
Stow-on-the-Wold
Hi Tender Face

So you want to shut yourself off from the world - don't we all at times. Please don't for your shared experiences will help all of us as ours may help you. I wish that TP had been around six years ago as it would have been of great help to me when I was in your position with my wfe Mary. Your experiences will in many respect be unique but we all have much in common. When Mary was diagnosed we shed many tears and when we were completely teared out we vowed that we would shed no more tears until......... So far we have kept those vows.

I would add a warning to this posting - at the moment I am at a high point on the AD rollercoaster and I fully expect the decent before long when you will be treated to me in full wimp mode, 'til then I will enjoy the moment.

Sorry to be so chipper

Hugs

Dick
 

zan

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
96
57
staffordshire
Thankyou Amy - it's good to know that people care - it's like finding a new family on this site. The consultant has started Dad on a morphine pump so hopefully he will not be suffering this awful pain. I just hope he dosn't pull the needle out as he tries to pull every thing out that they put in. He suggested not giving antibiotics for the infection but I said I would prefer him to have them. The main aim at the moment is to try to keep him comfortable and I don't think that you can be comfortable with an infection. I certainly don't want to risk more fits as my Dad looked so scared and upset just before and after the last one. I am torn . I don't want my Dad to suffer any longer but I want him around a bit more. He must have been a bit restless earlier. He had no pyjama top on and the nurse said he had pulled it off and wouldn't keep it on. He looked quite peaceful and settled with his arms folded across his chest. It reminded me of when he falls asleep in a chair in the summer sun. Perhaps that was where he thought he was and why he wanted his top off. The nurses were good today. A lovely student nurse told me that they had put his CD on when he was restless and it had helped. He isn't eating anything now so things arn't good at all ( probably a gross understatement) but , strangely, I sometimes look at him when he is comfortable and he looks well. He has lived a healthy life - not smoking or drinking - and , apart from the alzheimers and now cancer he has been very healthy. If that sounds like nonsense , I mean 70 years of good health before these things struck. My Mum was ill from a very young age when she had a childhood illness that affected her heart so that is what I am comparing Dad's previous health with. I'll end there as I was supposed to be watching TV with my hubbie but was drawn to the computer. Take care all. Love Zan
 

Norman

Registered User
Oct 9, 2003
4,348
Birmingham Hades
I am in a mood where I am trying to be tolerant and to accept life as it comes.
To practice what I preach "day by day"
I have just passed through a very rough passage where I was convinced that I could not carry on any longer.
I just wanted to run away,vanish down a big hole and pull the top over my head.
To improve matters I caught a UTI and a chest infection,that helped a bundle.
With the help of my TP family I have weathered the latest storm and I am grateful for that.
I have settled back again into my caring role and renewed my vows to look after Peg until I am unable to do so,and to further the cause of all Dementia sufferers.
I am so grateful for the help and support that I have received from this great big TP family.
I hope that my contributions have helped a little and that I am able to carry on and repay the support that I have received over the years.
Regarding Corrie,I find it very upsetting,but it doesn't register at all with Peg.
In fact she asks "what's wrong with him"?.
Norman :)
 
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Margarita

Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
10,824
london
Am not following the story line, but one of the ladies at mum care home, said oh look Mick Baldwin in Coronation Street is going to pop off with a heart Attack.........oh well .



One thing that the Coronation Street programme will not cover, for very practical reasons, is the timespan of dementia
Well bruce this was a Quick Negative ending ,They could of gone as far as talking about medication, (yes a favourite quote of mine)

They did when dot in east ender got cancer .
 

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
5,379
NW England
Corrie stuff

First, thanks all for your comments - either directly to me or continuing the thread - they all help.

Mick, I think your response especially helped me recognise just where I am at. I am feeling foolish because I know so little. Cancer has already destroyed most of my close family, but I have always felt I have had so much awareness or support or information to hand - and having knowledge gives some kind of control. Dementia is such a big unknown for me (as I guess for much of the population until we actually come across it for ourselves or our loved ones?). I feel floored because I just don't know really what to expect. And one thing I am sure of is that no-one (personally or professionally or heavenly) can provide me with the crystal ball I really need just now.

Mum (from whence the term 'Tender Face') has battled various cancers for the last 18 years. She is affectionately and respectfully known amongst those left as the 'creaking gate' - first amongst her generation to be diagnosed, still survives, when others have.. well, gone to another place. At each diagnosis, I feel I have been fully aware of what to expect - risks versus prognosis etc. Now we have this... this great unknown. And it is scarier than anything I have faced with her.

Her 'decline' from being merely 'forgetful' to where she is now seems have been in steep decline over recent months, even the last few weeks. (We still await accurate diagnosis - more on that in another thread). I appreciate that Corrie's Mike Baldwin storyline may be shown in soap-time, rather than real-time. Your reality gives me hope that gate might creak a lot longer still.....

Back to the thread, and the Corrie portrayal.... and after confessing to feeling foolish, may I now move on to feeling a knee-jerk reactionist?! (I'll start the unofficial Corrie fan club in the tea-room sometime!!!) If anyone watched Leanne's (Jane Danson's?) performance last night and didn't howl - with anger or laughter or both ..... even amongst my tears I have recalled today the classic and perfectly delivered line, 'I've hid the knives'.

That was me - a couple of weeks ago. Turn the gas off! Move the knives! Lock her in! Corrie may or may not have got it right in terms of Mike, but as a 'reluctant carer' (to put it nicely - Leanne not me!) I thought the moment was pure comi-tragedy - but perhaps I saw too much of myself and my reactions in it.
 

Brucie

Registered User
Jan 31, 2004
12,413
near London
Margarita

one of the ladies at mum care home, said oh look Mick Baldwin in Coronation Street is going to pop off with a heart Attack.
As I understand it he will pass on from pneumonia some time before Summer.

This is quite common in real life as the immune system starts to fail - Alzheimer's is not how it is normally registered.

Given the mass of medications in use either to slow down progression of the dementia or in handling behavioural and other health problems, it would not really be possible for Corrie to handle that adequately, though I hope there will be some pointed comments about Nice!