When the man from Monty Python shares his tale.

https://www.flickr.com/photo/brizzlebornandbred/14391022818

On Easter Sunday my husband thrust his iPhone in my face  happily yelping out; “It’s the Monty Python man, the one with dementia, he is in the paper again”.

Dementia, fronto-temporal dementia and the language variant; primary progressive aphasia, are not diseases I would wish upon anyone. In fact I would never ever wish illness on a person. And yet when a famous person such as Terry Jones suffers this disease it provides a great platform for raising awareness amongst the public.

The article my husband brandished under my nose describes fantastically how people with PPA can lose their ability to communicate, whilst remaining otherwise fit and able to undertake other activities such as walking, watching familiar movies, going to restaurants and maintaining relationships. The article highlights the close relationship that Michael Palin has with his old friend; the value of non-verbal communication and the pleasure of continuing to partake in normal social relationships. The journalist also flags the pitfalls- Terry is now unable to express his opinions, he has changed – no longer able to lead a conversation. In addition he is rather impulsive and he may not have full insight to his condition. This is the nature of PPA. I am so impressed his friends continue to maintain contact, having regular catch ups in restaurants and so forth. Not everyone has that supportive social circle. I suspect it is still rather difficult for him and his family and friends- they may not be sure they are doing the right things, that there is not some other conversation strategy that may work better. Not knowing what someone is actually thinking and feeling is, according to many of my patients and their families, one of the hardest things.

The family have made public their wish to share his tale in order to increase awareness. What a fantastic family. I am always amazed and humbled by how keen people are to help future generations – to contribute to the research and spread the word. These are people who inspire me!

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/apr/16/monty-python-terry-jones-learning-to-live-with-dementia

Advertisements

2 thoughts on “When the man from Monty Python shares his tale.

  1. Awful diseases but fantastic to see some media exposure and as you say, hear about friendships being maintained regardless. And that “they may not be sure they are doing the right things, that there is not some other conversation strategy that may work better” is precisely the area I’m hoping to do a PhD in… (fingers crossed I find funding so I might help people like this in future!) 🙂

    Like

    1. Hi Nicola,
      Thank you for your message. Interesting to hear about your ideas for a PhD- where are you based? If your near UCL did you know there is a doctoral event on the 24th May to chat to clinicians about possible ideas for PhD funding? Anna

      Like

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 )

Twitter picture

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

Facebook photo

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

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s