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Success! but followed by a little confusion

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I starting writing this afternoon and had begun to tell you about what a success yesterday had been.  The shopping trip had been a triumph with Ash taking a completely different role to his usual one.  Normally he passively pushes the trolley round while holding the list and crossing items off as I add them to the ever growing pile.  Yesterday S pushed the trolley, told Ash what item to look for from the list and he identified the brand we usually buy.  He was right almost every single time and his confidence built with every find.  Not only that but they used his bank card to pay the bill which was yet another thing he was so proud of. S had sent me a detailed email last night telling me what they'd done, the subjects they'd talked about and the fact that Ash didn't seem to slow down at all.  Last week by mid afternoon he was mixing his words up and getting confused but not yesterday so I was going to tell you that too.   Those were all the things I was going to tell you a

How things have changed

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I had such a lovely morning out drinking coffee with friends that I almost forgot the new normal that is my life nowadays.  That feeling didn't last long of course. In a previous life Ash used to do the grocery shopping.  He would go through the cupboards, draw up the list, go to the supermarket, fill the trolley and do everything else that came with keeping us fed and watered including cooking all the meals.  Then we started going to the supermarket together, then he put the weekly basics on the list and I added the rest, then I drew up the whole list and on and on until we got to where we are now. S is coming tomorrow and, because I'm having a very lovely and very busy birthday week, she's doing the shopping with Ash.  Of course I knew I would have to write out a detailed list, remembering to put every last thing on it rather than relying on having me to fill in the gaps as I suddenly remember an essential that isn't on the all important slip of paper that Ash carries

A birthday

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 It is/was my birthday today and I have had a very lovely time.  You may remember that last year Ash's nod to the day was to look at the date on the clock, say 'oh, it's your birthday today' and that was it.  This year brought with it even less response than that.  He didn't notice the cards or the presents which were dotted around and showed no interest in where I was going this afternoon except to say that he didn't want to come and being slightly grumpy when I got home but, unlike last year, I found I wasn't sad at all.   You'll probably know by now that, as a family, we always made the most of special days.  Birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Christmas, all of those were a cause for celebration.  Presents were always a surprise and laughter was always part of the celebration so, when dementia came calling and Ash started to lose interest, I wasn't quite sure what to do.   Of course I mentioned my quandary here and one particul

Knocked sideways once again

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Most of the time I think I cope quite well with what's happening to us.  For various reasons I'm fitter, healthier and happier than I've been in a very long time.  We've got into a bit of a rhythm with this new way of life and as long as Ash is settled and calm then I'm mostly contented with  my lot.  What I've discovered though is that it doesn't take much to knock me off track. Every Monday we drive into town for a market day visit to our favourite cafe where we sit in the window with our drinks and watch the world go by.  Ash has got to the stage where he's comfortable enough to either just sit or to pass comment on what he can see through the window and it's a nice way of spending an hour. This morning, as we walked in Ash saw someone he knew.  Someone he knew from his working life and whom I'd never set eyes on in my life.  They had a lovely chat, both pleased to see the other, and then we moved into our regular window seat where I left Ash

Recycling fun

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Last week I decided a clear out of my office was long overdue so I gathered bin liners, rubber gloves and cloths together, took a deep breath and got started. I went through teetering piles of paperwork which had been in danger of toppling over, sorted through shelves, cleaned out drawers and put each item either in the recycling box, through the shredder or in a pile for throwing out.  So far, so good.  Eventually I could see the surface of my desk, I found documents I thought might have been lost for ever and, gradually, as the room started to clear so did my brain. I was finally satisfied that it was as good as it was going to get so I placed the pile for throwing out in a bin liner along with the paper from the shredder and gave Ash that bag to put into the general waste bin (black) and the other stuff into the recycling bin (grey).  Remember those two things because they are significant to this story. The next day I took some magazines out to the grey bin, lifted the lid and found

The magic continues

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 I have a horrible feeling that I wrote a post very like this just after L started with us so I forgive you if you're thinking 'here we go again'.  All I can say is that this time it all feels different and, although I'm trying to keep a lid on my hopes, they are rising little by little just because Ash is so, so happy. Last night he managed to stay awake most of the evening watching his favourite quiz show and answering questions which was lovely to see.  He was up at 1am in a confused state but when I went to him he wasn't anxious or stressed and soon went back to sleep.  This morning the brain fog was less than usual and cleared quicker than usual and so it went on.  He has smiled more, laughed more, joked more and even given me a hug which is something that hasn't happened since I came home from my week away in May.  Now do you see why I'm optimistic? S emailed me a detailed description of their day and it seems that they had lots of fun, much of it conc

A life less stressful

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I've had the most wonderful day today.   Firstly 'S' the new carer arrived not only on time but, in fact, a few minutes early and it quickly became obvious that she was there much more in the role of a friend rather than someone who was being paid to look after Ash.  I have no idea whether the feel good factor will continue but the signs are very positive so at the moment I'm just going with the flow.   With support for Ash in place then I escaped and made the most of a present given to me by friends for my birthday last year.  This was a visit to a spa, a gift which, due to covid, lockdown and caring difficulties, I haven't been able to use before now but this afternoon I was ready to make the most of it.  I used the sauna then lowered myself into the icy plunge pool, moved onto the hot tub and then did it all again twice more.  I'm particularly proud of my bravery in getting into the plunge pool but what I remember most is smiling the whole afternoon, well the