Memories and dementia don't always mix
The team at the Contented Dementia Trust will tell you all about the snapshot photos that we take throughout our lives. They will also tell you about the beginning of dementia when those snapshots aren't always taken. Instead there is a memory of a feeling and that can be either a good (green) memory or a bad (red memory. The next time something happens we try to link the event to a snapshot of something similar that has happened before (I'm paraphrasing here so suggest you buy the book 'Contented Dementia' or contact them to ask for a booklet where it will all be explained properly). When a snapshot is missing then we rely on the feeling, whether it be 'green' or 'red', to make sense of what's happening in our world. I thought about this when I woke up this morning and, even though I was making a real effort to put the stresses of the last few days behind us and relax, Ash was still grumpy and uncommunicative. I then considered it all day and realised that the dementia first entered our lives when we were under enormous stress and that was when Ash would have started experiencing blanks. At that time he worried about me a lot and I think now he's worried all over again (some of the problems I'm dealing with are similar to those I was dealing with then but definitely not as long term or as serious) and he relates my moans and groans to his 'red' feelings from that time. Note to self: I am going to stop telling him how I feel or what's gone wrong today (which he only remembers as a 'red' feeling) and focus on putting work into a box which doesn't affect our day to day life. I will spend more time in the garden when not working as that always relaxes me even if my 'garden advisor' (lovely friend who really knows what she's talking about) did look at something in one of the flower beds last week and asked 'why are you watering that weed'? As you can see I'm not much of a gardener but definitely know more than I did at the beginning of all this so that's another positive.