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Feeling VERY proud of myself

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Right at the beginning of all this I talked to a lady in the village whose husband had dementia (I didn't know and it was almost my very first ever conversation with her) and she told me how at that point she was doing everything; chopping logs, getting the coal in, decorating, all those jobs that are usually shared out in a relationship.  I couldn't imagine it and had no idea where I would begin with most of the things Ash did.  At the end of last week the pull switch in the bathroom stopped working so we went to buy a replacement unit and yesterday tried to fit it.  Ash took the old one down and put the new one in its place but no joy, still no light.  We were however covered in dust (house built circa 1830 so no plasterboard ceilings for us) and it was getting dark so, rather than grope around in the gloom, we decided to leave it until daylight and then get someone to look at it.  Last night I studied the instructions for myself and this morning decided to have another go. …

Makes a nice change

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Last night I looked through the tv programmes on offer and felt a sense of deep unease - a serious lack of quiz shows between 7 and 9pm on every channel.  What on earth were we going to do?  The last time this happened Ash sat white faced and panic stricken through the whole evening and that wasn't an experience I wanted to repeat so I gave it some thought and had a look through the paper before telling him about the absence of normal viewing.  Then said I'd seen something else we might like (no detail so no chance of him having to think about whether he'd like it or not) and switched on a programme about wild life and sea life in the South Pacific.  Well what a success that was.  He watched spell bound through the whole thing even when I fell asleep then, when I woke up, he proceeded to tell me about all the things I'd missed.  Haven't seen him that animated for ages.  Lovely to see and lovely to have something to talk about other than answers to questions on quiz…

Another milestone

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Sometimes something happens that can seem totally insignificant to the outside world but when it happens to you it comes like a blow to the stomach.  There've been lots of these small events over the past few years as Ash has gradually morphed into another being, one unrecognisable from the man I used to know and this morning yet another one came out of nowhere and knocked me sideways.  We'd planned to go over to my mum's house to check on everything but then I looked at the forecast again and didn't like the look of Storm Dennis so went off to find Ash and tell him I thought it might be better to go another day.  Now this is a man who liked nothing better than to take his truck out into the snow and see how many times he could get it to spin on the (empty) icy roads;  the man who took one look at the 'black' sign at the top of a ski slope and unthinkingly turned his skis in the direction of the bottom; who taught himself to surf in the middle of the ocean in F…

Friends come out in force

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I thought you might like to know that, thanks to friends, our hot water difficulties are resolved.  After the blog went out last night lots of local friends got in touch offering the use of showers, baths, hair washing facilities and even temporary accommodation and all of them offered with the understanding that Ash probably wouldn't cope (which he wouldn't).  I would cope very well however so my mind was instantly relieved of thoughts on how I would manage without washing my hair for 4 days.  Now I just had to make sure Ash kept clean and we'd be ok (we can still use the washing machine so clothes aren't a problem).  Then a friend messaged me to say she and her husband had an unoccupied flat not far from us where we were welcome to go and have as many baths as we wanted/needed until our hot water was back on again.  I told Ash and the smile that lit up his face told me this would work.  The place is empty and anonymous, we would be able to drop in whenever we wanted …

Life is currently full of chaos and calm

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We have no hot water.  In fact, not only that, but we currently have no hot water tank instead there is an empty space where the tank used to be and a gap showing us what the loft looks like.  The problems began last week when hot water slowed to a trickle within a couple of minutes meaning baths were centimetres deep/shallow and anyone needing a shower (me) had to be in and out within two minutes.  I contacted our wonderful, reliable (I know, how unbelievable is that?) plumber who came out to look and announced that we needed a whole new tank.  Expensive but necessary so he ordered it and came today to fit it.  Unfortunately he ordered the wrong tank, a mistake not discovered until the old one was in the middle of the bedroom floor.  A replacement's been ordered but won't be here until Monday and in the meantime we have heating but no hot water and all I can do is fret about how I'm going to wash my hair.  Ash on the other hand isn't fretting at all which at first sur…

Focusing on the new

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So I've made the decision not to celebrate Valentine's Day this year and knew Ash wouldn't notice on the day but, as we headed around the supermarket this morning, I braced myself for the usual comments, questions and jokes. How to bat them away?  How to explain without hurting his feelings? Even though I knew he really wouldn't mind, in fact would barely register that it wasn't happening, we were surrounded by red; red chocolate wrappers, red roses, red cards, the works and I felt I should have that explanation ready just in case.  How we fool ourselves, those of us in a relationship affected by dementia.  Of course he didn't comment, of course he didn't make the usual jokes.  He doesn't notice the world around him any more or, if he does, he certainly doesn't connect any of it to 'us'.  In the past he would have joked about the whole thing but he would still have made it special, now though 'we' play no part in his life and that…