Posts

'Me' time

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I discovered today that 'me' time can be found in the unlikeliest situations.  It can be found in the car, in the supermarket, queuing outside the fruit and veg shop, in fact it can be found at the moment anywhere out of the house where I can be on my own.  In the dim and distant past 'me' time would almost always be at a day spa where I could lie in peace and read my book or enjoy a head massage so soothing it put me to sleep; when I was working on a project a long way from home 'me' time could be found on the 5 hour journey to check everything was working as it should; for a while it could be found in an evening once a week when Ash went to the local pub quiz but the thing was I didn't really need 'me' time.  What I needed was time for 'us', time when we could be away from the stresses and strains of work and one of the reasons we went on holiday so often was just so we could be together.  Now however I need to escape the 'us' bit …

Staying fit in difficult times

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I've always been the unfit one in this family and while Ash and Jake were out running, playing football, tramping through the hills, balancing on body boards/surf boards/windsurfers etc I much preferred sitting at home with a good book (not any old book you understand, life's too short to read a bad book).  Every so often I would be persuaded to join them so I did go walking, I did get my bike out, I did ski and I did swim but if I was perfectly honest I was much more at home with a book in my hand and that's how life was for years and years.  Recently however you might have noticed that I've started to get out in the fresh air and my twice weekly walks in the Lincolnshire Wolds have saved my sanity.  I've been able to escape (both physically and mentally), to have thoughts on subjects other than dementia, I've got to the point where I can climb a small hill without getting out of breath, I've looked forward each week to discovering a new footpath or a new …

A discovery

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I discovered this morning that I can stay optimistic, positive and calm in all of this as long as life trundles along according to plan.  If everything moves along smoothly and consistently I'm ok but as soon as something happens which takes me by surprise I'mm still amazed at how easily I can fall apart.  It happened this morning with something so insignificant that it's not worth reporting but just that one small thing sent me into free fall and made me realise what life must be like for Ash on a permanent basis.  At the beginning of this, and thanks to Penny Garner at Contented dementia, Jake and I learned all about the benefits of making life easier for Ash, of making sure he didn't have to make decisions unless he wanted to, of insuring that the trials and tribulations of daily life didn't affect him and through all of that he began to relax and have confidence in himself to the point where he could function better than he had in a very long time.  Recently I&…

The Mystery of the Missing Dog Food

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Life has been really calm here over the past week, there's been no dashing around, no driving out to meet friends for coffee, no rucksack packing to go off for a three hour walk, nothing but peace, quiet and a completely laid back attitude which has worked brilliantly as far as Ash is concerned but then came the mystery of the missing dog food.  Max the dog, much to his disgust, is on a diet and so currently has a mixture of two types of dried food.  To make life easier, every few days I fill a plastic container with a combination of the two foods then fasten on the lid where I've stuck instructions on how much to feed him and the days which can be ticked when he's been fed.  That way Ash can still be in charge of meal times but I will know when Max has eaten so both of us are happy.  Max isn't but that's only because he'd like to go back to the old regime where he can eat his tea then sit in front of Ash with large dark eyes pretending he hasn't eaten anyt…

Calm follows confusion

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If yesterday was a day of confusion today we seem to be back on track with only one question about whether it was ok to sit out in the garden.  It obviously was but almost as soon as we agreed that the sun went in and the point became irrelevant.  So this is quite a boring post with no drama, no hysterics, no highs and no lows but don't suppose it will be any the worse for that.  It was with no little trepidation that I'd mentioned when we got up that all the clocks needed putting forward one hour but Ash picked up on it and managed with only a small amount of effort and very little stress to reset them so we began the day with his self esteem on a high which is always a help, he then took the dog for his morning walk and I did the afternoon outing so we seem to be in a nice little routine there and all is well in our world at the moment.  No idea how long it will last but am making the most of it while it does although I'm interested to see whether the new way of living w…

Confusion reigns today

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Today hasn't been quite so full of joy as yesterday mainly because Ash has been confused and I've been cleaning both of which may be inextricably linked but I'd like to think not.  I thought I had the confusion under control but this morning he really couldn't get his head around the number of times he was allowed to take the dog for a walk or where he could go both of which seemed perfectly clear to him yesterday and just shows how dementia messes with the brain.  Wendy Mitchell, author of 'Somebody I Used to Know' (a highly recommended read), says that it's a bit like having fairy lights inside your head, sometimes they work and sometimes they don't and sometimes some of them work and sometimes none of them do and today it seemed as though quite a few of Ash's lights weren't working.  Anyway we've muddled through the day separately; I had a virtual coffee and chat with a friend first thing while Ash walked the dog somewhere around the vill…