Putting others first helps everyone

 We have a slightly complicated clock system in our bedroom owing to the fact that we like to sleep in almost complete darkness.  First there is the clock radio which Ash bought me for my 21st birthday 37 years ago.  It tells us the time but the alarm doesn't work.  Then there is my phone which makes a noise when I need to get up.  Then there is the clock which tells us the day, date and time but is too bright to have on all night.  Generally I set my phone to wake us both at 7am, plug in the day/date/time clock when we wake up so Ash doesn't have to panic then go downstairs to make the tea (I do hope you're keeping up).  This morning I needed to be out of the house early to get to a conference for work.  Amazingly I woke before the alarm and started to creep out of bed thinking that I would get up without waking Ash but then I stopped, realising that by creeping out I wouldn't be able to plug in the day/date/time clock which in turn meant that when he woke he would have no idea where I was, what was happening and why things weren't as normal.  This would not be a good start to the day for either of us.  There were only 10 minutes to go so I crept back in to bed, waited for the alarm then got up, plugged in the day/date/time clock and all was right with the world.  In this world of dementia it really is important I've discovered to think things through.  Initially I'd thought I was doing Ash a favour by letting him have a lie in but really I was thinking about what I would have wanted.  If he had woken to a dark bedroom and no me lying next to him he would have been so frightened.  How was he to know where I was or why things were different.  The lesson here is that we need to think very hard about what we're doing and why we're doing it before we make any changes to lifestyle or routine.  Life is no longer about us, about our wants and needs.  Some people moan at great length about this state of affairs but in my experience putting Ash first every single time means that life is so much better for both of us which is, I think, a win-win situation.

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