by Doug Valentine, BSc Eng, window cleaner, Frome, Somerset, UK
The truth is I cannot remember exactly when early stage dementia started for me, because the onset was so very gradual and undramatic. I understand that it is fairly normal to not become aware until the symptoms reach a certain level. In my own case drinking daily quantities of alcohol that obliviated all my senses also contributed to my lack of awareness. My feeling is that it would have been detectable to me at age forty – or perhaps before, if I hadn’t chosen to numb myself in the way that I did. I feel that it was definitely discernable to me by my mid forties.
How can I say this? Well by then it was becoming a struggle to remember things from the day before with any accuracy, and sometimes not at all. I recall my life around that time being a sort of terror – that I might forget something vital, that may harm one of my customers and therefore also harm my business and my family, and so I wrote everything down on lists and carried multiple messages to myself in my pocket. I was not honest with myself about this, telling myself that this is just what happens, as we get older. These memory issues added to my already high stress levels, because I couldn’t talk to anyone or admit what was going on. I felt that if I did, I would have to cease working in my business, with all the financial implications that that might have for my family. So I chose to hide it and not seek any help. I also put my head in the sand with regard to considering what could have caused it. The above average alcohol consumption, as well as above average caffeine consumption, continued as before, without any thoughts of cutting it down or perhaps more sensibly giving it up!
In my mid fifties, my daughter introduced me to the Universal Medicine presentations. I was immediately struck by the sense that Serge Benhayon was making to me across many subjects, but particularly on the subject of health. Inspired by this common sense, I started to question many of the choices I had been making – and making for a very long time. For example, if alcohol is a poison, which also anaesthetises all my senses – and it is – why had I been putting it in my body daily for so many years? And if caffeine races and stresses my physiology – which it does – why do I need to do that to myself several times a day? Was my high blood pressure related to my use of these two drugs? Were my memory issues also related to how I was choosing to live?
After pondering these questions for a while it became more and more clear to me that I needed to give up both these drugs completely and unreservedly. I came to feel certain that not doing so would be very harmful to my health, which was already in bad shape. And so, the words “never another drop shall pass my lips” were spoken and to my great surprise I had no problem with giving up alcohol, even though it had always called me back to it very strongly whenever I had tried to take a brief break from it before. Although I never thought that I was an alcoholic, probably because I didn’t need to drink during the day, there is no doubt that it owned me to quite some degree. Giving up caffeine actually proved to be harder than giving up the alcohol, which I would never have guessed. It took me months to give up caffeine, because every time I reached around 4 days, the withdrawal headache reached a point where I would cave in and have a coffee to relieve the headache. As now appears very obvious, this transpired to be a very foolish thing to do, each time resetting me to the beginning of the process, whereas if I had managed just to tolerate the headache for another few days, I would have avoided months of headaches and frustration, going around in a cycle that was leading nowhere.
Over the next few months my health slowly improved and somewhere around the six months mark, I noticed that my head felt very much clearer and the fog that had previously filled it had gone. I reckoned that the last time my head had felt so clear was when I was a teenager. I also found that I had gradually ceased writing myself lists and messages, and what really convinced me that I had healed was when my wife asked me something about yesterday and my recollection often seemed to be clearer than hers, which was a first for a very long time.
So with huge gratitude and appreciation to Serge Benhayon and to Universal Medicine for revealing to me what the choices I was making, including drinking alcohol and coffee, were actually doing to me, I declared quietly to myself that my early stage dementia was healed. I have no doubts whatsoever that without Universal Medicine, I would be a fully diagnosed dementia patient today.
From listening to Serge Benhayon, what I have come to understand about dementia is that it is related to presence or more to the point, lack of presence. Presence meaning to be with yourself, with whatever you are doing. Serge also introduced me to the concept of checking out, meaning to choose to not be present with yourself. So for example, if while I chop vegetables, I am thinking about the week ahead or a meeting coming up on Friday, instead of my mind being with my body while it is chopping, it is off in the future. Therefore I would be checking out, I would be not present with myself as I chop. Choosing to think about yesterday whilst doing any task is also checking out, because we have chosen not to be present with ourselves in that moment. So it is a really simple concept – if we choose to be in the past or the future rather than in the present moment, we are checking out, and the more that we do this, the more we are sowing the seeds of our own dementia.
As dementia progresses, it is well understood that the person’s clarity regarding who they are talking to and what is going on becomes less and less over time, until they have only rare lucid moments. If we look at this with respect to the presence and checking out paradigm, this fits and makes total sense. As the disease progresses, the person is less and less present, but is this what happens or is it actually the other way around? In other words, could the choice to check out and not be present, be the cause of dementia?
Dementia affects over 830,000 people in the UK. Around 23 million of the UK population have a close friend or family member with dementia, and we are not many years away from everyone in the UK being personally affected by dementia, either directly or indirectly. As well as the huge personal cost, dementia costs the UK economy £23 billion a year, which is far more than double the combined costs of cancer and heart disease. Breaking the numbers down, each dementia patient costs the UK economy £27,647 each year, compared to each cancer patient £5,999 and each heart patient £3,455. (1) Unfortunately the problem is not a stable one, but rather a rapidly growing and developing one. The number of people worldwide suffering with dementia is forecast to double within the next 20 years. (2) All the organisations looking into this are focused on how to manage the coming crisis and no one appears to be considering possible causes. For example the main focus of the UK Department of Health Dementia report (November 2013) (3) is on the fact that less than half of dementia cases are diagnosed and when they are, the post-diagnosis support is inadequate. So the problem is even worse than we think it is already and the Health System is already struggling to cope with the 50% of the people with dementia who have been diagnosed.
So with each dementia patient costing £27,647 each year and rising (and this is just one of many diseases), it is not hard to see why the health systems around the world are heading for bankruptcy, as has been predicted by Serge Benhayon.
The next huge problem is that no one in medicine or in dementia research anywhere on the planet understands the cause of dementia or why it is growing so fast. None of the reports I have looked through even mention cause, except the World Health Organisation (WHO) Dementia Report, which only goes as far as to state: “Dementia is not a normal part of ageing”. (4,5) This is a fairly obvious conclusion, and if it is not a normal part of ageing, there must be something about the way we are living that is causing dementia. Therefore, when someone (namely Serge Benhayon) is proposing what might be the cause of dementia, perhaps we should at least investigate it, bearing in mind that we are heading for the bankruptcy of health systems everywhere, and a lot of checked out people.
I have also learned from Universal Medicine a technique called conscious presence, which if practiced increases one’s level of presence and therefore reduces checking out. I feel it could be a very powerful technique to share with those suffering from dementia and particularly those suffering from early stage dementia. So not only have Universal Medicine proposed the cause of dementia, they have also given us a technique to assist us to avoid or prevent it, as well as possibly even recover from it, if we have it in its early stages.
I have tested the simple hypothesis proposed by Serge Benhayon that dementia is caused by choosing to check out and not be present with myself, and that it can be helped by practising conscious presence, and have found it to be true for me. I am a case study of one, and there are many people like me, who could benefit from this simple loving wisdom and turn their lives around, with the help of Universal Medicine.
- Costs and dementia statistics quoted from: http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/dementia-statistics/
- Growth in dementia statistics quoted from: http://www.alz.co.uk/research/statistics
- UK Department of Health – State of the Nation Dementia report. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/262139/Dementia.pdf
- WHO Dementia Report – overview http://www.alz.co.uk/WHO-dementia-report
- WHO Dementia Report – full report http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2012/9789241564458_eng.pdf