A light bulb moment

I have read the book 'Contented Dementia' by Oliver James twice and the things I've learnt from the book have saved my sanity on a number of occasions.  Each time I've read it we've been at a different stage of this 'journey' and each time I've learnt something new but yesterday I had my first light bulb moment for a while.  For the true explanation of this you will need to read the book but as I've understood it Penny Garner tells us that each of our life experiences are recorded as a photograph in our brain and when we need a reference for a new experience, we delve into the 'photograph album' which we hold in our heads.  She goes on to say 'Dementia introduces an entirely new type of photograph in which the facts of what has just occurred are not stored although the feelings associated with the missing facts are stored'.  Eventually feelings become very much more important than facts for the person with dementia and they use those feelings to make sense of what's happening in their lives right now.  Yesterday I told you about how, out of a sense of injustice on my part, I told Ash exactly why I'd been late waking up (short version, he'd been coughing so I'd got up to make him a cup of tea and then couldn't get back to sleep).  He'd seemed to understand and had been so much like his old self all morning while we shopped for groceries that I was pleased I told him.  Then I left and went to visit my mum.  He was still ok when I got back, had noticed that I was home at almost the exact time I'd written on the note left next to the kettle and I thought nothing more of the morning's conversation.  Later in the evening though he suddenly asked 'can I drink tea'?  I said that of course he could drink tea and then it came out.  Apparently he'd spent all day drinking water because he thought he wasn't allowed tea and I realised that he didn't remember the actual conversation but in his head there was a problem with drinking a cup of tea and he was remembering a feeling of being in the wrong even though I really hadn't meant it like that and suddenly that section of the book made so much sense.   There's a definite lesson for me in this and I promise to try and remember it.

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