Going back in time
I've been thinking today that being married to someone in the early stages of dementia is a little like being the mother of a young child. I don't mean that I have to do everything for Ash or that he can't be left on his own or even that he's incapable of doing things around the house. What I do mean is that when you have children, for a very long time your life is no longer your own. Gone are the days when you can just think about yourself, when you can eat a full meal or just snack through the evening; when you can lie in bed as long as you want; when you can just arrange to meet up with friends without a care in the world; where you can plan a trip away months in advance or, conversely, decide tonight that you are going away for a few days tomorrow; where you can eat leftovers until you really do have to go grocery shopping and, especially, where you can go for hours without thinking of anyone else but you. If you are now in a position where you care for someone with dementia have a read through that list and see how much of it feels familiar. The main difference is of course that children grow up and move on (and become useful in the process which is something you might not have realised at the time) whereas your loved one will not be growing out of this. When Jake was little all of this was sometimes overwhelming. I wasn't really a grown up and just muddled my way through it all sometimes getting it right and sometimes not. This time I like to think that all those years he was growing up I was learning from the experience and now I'm back there again maybe this time I'll get it right and know how to look after myself in the process.