Birthday celebrations - the good and the slightly more difficult

You may be bored with my birthday reporting but I'm not so here, as promised, is a more detailed description of yesterday.  I was determined it was to be a day to enjoy but my resolve was challenged very early on with the following conversation just before we got up.
Ash: is it your birthday today? me: yes Ash: I thought it was.
That was it and this from the man who loved nothing more than to plan birthday surprises for me from a bottle of champagne produced halfway through a beach walk to a new car parked right in front of the house just waiting for me to climb in to and drive up the road to a night or two at a special hotel.  So many surprises and treats over the years reduced to a question and a statement.  For a while I was overwhelmed by sadness.  Not, I hope you note, by irritation or anger or shock just sadness that the boy/man who's been by my side for the past forty four years is long gone.  A friend asked me last week if I thought Ash would find it difficult this year be…

Mission accomplished

Quick post to let you know I have the car and it really is as much fun as I hoped it would be.  Slightly rocky start to my day but collecting that car and driving it home put such a huge smile on my face that everything else faded into insignificance.  Couldn't decide whether or not to wear the purple coat with it but then remembered the line from the poem 'Warning' by Jenny Joseph that says 'When I am old I shall wear purple. With a red hat which doesn't go' and realised that I could substitute the red car for the red hat so there you have it.  We (and yes Ash did come with me) went to collect the red car with me wearing my purple coat.  Ash took the photo while I wasn't looking so you'll have to excuse the pose and wait for the full details of my day until tomorrow.
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Second birthday treat

Today began with an adventure.  Not a big adventure in the normal scheme of things but in my dementia affected life it was so out of the ordinary as to be extraordinary and very, very exciting.  So what was the exciting bit?  Friends collecting me from the house so early this morning that it was still dark was the exciting bit.  Gone are the days when I could do this without a thought or a plan in my head so I'd got up at 5.30 as soon as Ash woke and took him his cup of tea and medication.  Went back downstairs to get ready for my birthday adventure then wrote two notes for him telling him where I'd gone, one for the side of the bed and one for next to the kettle so that he didn't panic when he got up and didn't panic when he went downstairs.  My lift arrived at 6.40am on the dot and off we went to watch the sunrise.  Now my hopes weren't high as I'd seen the weather forecast but we arrived at our chosen viewing point and waited in the car to see what happened…

A difficult start shows a way forward

A very difficult start to the day when Ash woke in a blind panic because he couldn't remember a single thing about yesterday.  There are obviously an awful lot of things he doesn't remember and mostly he can laugh them off nowadays but this morning was different, a whole day had disappeared into a black hole and, although he tried and tried, he just couldn't work out where it had gone.  It seemed as though, unlike previous times, that the day just wasn't there which meant there was nothing to get hold of, just a void where there should have been at least one memory.  I had no idea what to do and no way of making him feel better so we lay in bed while his brain was in turmoil and I discovered once again how selfish I am.  There was a walk arranged you see, to be followed by lunch, and it was the very first of my birthday treats arranged with two of my oldest friends (over 50 years of friendship and counting) and I really, really didn't want to cancel.  Leaving Ash i…

The pork pie saga continues

This morning we had a visit from Mark a lovely Admiral Nurse who's there to support us and give us ideas and strategies should we need them.  The very best news as far as I was concerned is that he knows about Contented Dementia and was interested in what I'd learned from the wonderful Penny Garner and then, on top of that, he took away with him some of my business cards showing details of the blog so that he can hand them out to other families he visits.  The visit was a great success in that Ash was happy to chat about his days at work but also happy to talk a little about his dementia which is a great step forward.  He's going to call on a regular basis now because it seems to me that since we've had professionals coming into the house Ash is getting more and more confident with talking about his dementia which, in turn, is making him more relaxed about it all.Once Mark had left it was lunch time at which point Ash realised he hadn't taken a pork pie out of the…

Back on track (again)

In an email to Jake last night, when I told him about the disappearing gammon and the reappearing pork pie, I asked 'why does he put the pork pies in the DVD cupboard?'  Jake's reply was 'Dad doesn't know why he does it so let's not bother asking the question even of ourselves' and he's right of course.  There is no rhyme or reason to dementia or to a dementia affected life it just 'is' and we are where we are with it so I'm back with the realisation that the only thing that can change is the way I look at it all and the only person who can make the change is me.  Disappearing and reappearing food is not the end of the world, it doesn't change the progress of dementia and, as long as I don't let it, it doesn't have any real impact on our lives so let's put it to one side and move on.   After a slightly difficult day yesterday then, I woke this morning to the realisation that I needed to get my head straight on all of this and…

Now it's the turn of the gammon

Two or three times a week Ash mixes a  bowl of sandwich filling made to his own secret recipe and has it for breakfast and lunch every single day.  I don't know exactly what goes into it but the two main ingredients are ham and cheese so each week I buy a small gammon joint to cook and put in the fridge so that he can help himself and give him some feeling of independence.  Last Thursday there'd obviously been a run on the small joints so we bought a large one which was cut in half, one half was cooked and the other half put in the freezer.  Friday morning Ash made a brand new bowl of sandwich filling using the brand new gammon joint and all was well.  This morning I got back from my walk to be informed that he'd had to get the second joint out of the freezer and it needed cooking which meant he'd used up the first one in two days.  As with the pork pies I hunted in every cupboard in the kitchen as well as every shelf in the wine rack but to no avail.  The gammon from…