'Life with dementia' update
Last December, just after a mega three week driving trip to the Florida Keys, Ash told the doctor at the memory clinic that we'd been to Spain for a week. In February I was away from home when he phoned me to ask me how my day had gone following that up with another phone call half an hour later to ask me how my day had gone. A couple of weeks after that we went to stay with friends and he kept asking where the bathroom was even though it was across the hall from our bedroom and we had stayed there lots of times before. Even in May when we went on holiday to Lanzarote I half thought that we would be coming home after three days. However that holiday was I think the turning point. He relaxed, regained his sense of humour and started talking again. It also gave me time to take a step back from 'us' and work out what he needed from me and others around him. I said yesterday that I have felt we've been slowly climbing out of the abyss and today I think we might have clambered onto the edge. We're not there yet and I know that it's unlikely things will ever be as they were (Ash still can't remember whether he's fed the dog or not and will show me the same photo he's found on fb again and again etc. etc.) but life is slowly returning to (almost) normal. We have just been up to Derbyshire for the day which is a two hour journey, minimum, and involves motorway driving as well as negotiating Sheffield city centre all of which Ash coped with just as he did 'BD' (before dementia). I am not the best walking companion in the Peak District, especially the Dark Peak with its hills and boulders, as I don't like heights, am unfit and, although I generally don't mind going up, I'm not too good at coming down. This was ok BD because Ash would look after me but I wasn't sure how things would be now. I really needn't have worried. If anything he took more care of me than he would have done before and insisted on finding the easiest route to the top and back whereas BD he would have decided we were going to the top and then helped me to get up and back but without too much thought going into how scared I might be. He was just as much in charge as he would have been in the good old days, read the map, used the compass and made sure we didn't stay out there too long. Not only that but he carried the refreshments. What more could I want? Now we're planning more trips and I can't wait.