Calke Abbey, and the Memory Clinic

Earlier in the week we walked round Calke Abbey House.  We have been going there for about a year but had yet to visit the House itself.  ‘Don’t go too early in the season’ we were advised ‘it is freezing’.  So once we felt it had warmed enough we got our tickets and entered the house.  The house is wonderful, full of rooms randomly littered with ‘junk’.  Furniture, items of curiosity, toys, stuffed birds, fossils, rocks and books scattered everywhere.  Very few of the rooms are set out into a representation of a liveable state.  There is a kind of reality to seeing the rooms cluttered and packed with curious as they were left.  The house never got electricity until the 1960’s and remains behind the times.

We had been round the house and having gone through the cellars came out into the courtyard by the stables.  My phone rang and it was Nicky from the Memory Clinic returning my call.  ‘Do you have time to speak she asked’, I looked around there was a woman over in the far corner talking with Mr Hs, and I answered ‘yes’.  She then explained that Professor Lindsay had retired and the new consultant had been passed my case. The new consultant again is involved with academic teaching and research.  However, the reason that they will not treat people out of area is because of the associated services that are offered, such as additional support for applying for benefits, support etc.  I can understand what she is saying but I feel totally abandoned.  I don’t want to have to go through starting again with another set of Doctors, more tests saying the same thing.  I feel upset as she is talking, I realise she is the messenger of ‘sorry you are not in our area-not our problem’.  I am sitting on a ledge leaning against the stone of the building in the courtyard, a tear escapes my eye.  I can’t believe that I am getting upset that she is telling me the door to the Younger Persons Memory Clinic is closed to me now.  I think I am scared of the change.  There is no way I want to go to Queens Hospital at Burton, so I will have to go to Derby Royal Infirmary.  They have no Younger Persons Memory Clinic which means I will be treated in a predominantly geriatric unit with Dementia patients.  I am not geriatric, I do not have dementia, and I am scared of being with people who do.  I don’t want to see a possibly older version of me.  There is no involvement with research there, and I am guessing no possible options for new treatments.

There seems little choice but to accept that I have to transfer my treatment to Derby RI.

As I sat and talked on the phone, I pressed the button on my camera and took a photograph. It remains an image of that conversation.

Author: Gill

I photograph things that take my eye.

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