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Showing posts from August, 2020

A successful weekend

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I was a little concerned at the beginning of the weekend just because the forecast was for rain and low temperatures which isn't a great combination where Ash is concerned as, on those days, he can usually be found wandering around the house wondering what to do and being irritable with anyone who crosses his path (that would be me then).  However, apart from Saturday which had to be carefully managed, the weekend has been just wonderful as far as he's concerned and all because our lovely neighbour appeared on the doorstep to say that he was about to take a chainsaw to a fallen tree and did Ash want to go and help.   NOTHING could have been better and Ash spent all of yesterday barrowing logs backwards and forwards, taking photos and generally feeling useful.  His self esteem went through the roof and he was capable once again.  This morning saw him extending our log shelter and moving some of the new wood into it and there's still more to do.  In fact, if I'm very lu…

Cooking for one

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Sorry about the lack of posts over the past two days.  No crises either with Ash or myself but a problem with my left eye which left me struggling to focus for a while.  All sorted now so normal service is resumed and I've been thinking what to write about which isn't always easy as I have so many topics whirring around in my head that I can struggle to pick just one.  That's been the case here where I could choose between birthday celebrations, friends and cooking amongst others but have decided to go with cooking and save the rest for another day.So, 'what about cooking?' I hear you ask.  The reason for the topic is that I realised when I got home from the hospital yesterday with eyes still streaming from the drops which had been added that, even though I couldn't see properly, I wasn't dreading cooking supper as I once would have.  I had to do the cooking obviously because Ash can't remember how to turn the oven on nowadays, he can't cope if his…

Just when I think I've found a solution .......

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I had such a lovely day yesterday that I'm smiling as I tell you about it.  The morning was taken up with a trip to our local town which was in the middle of market day and when we'd bought what we'd gone for I suggested we had coffee at one of the cafes overlooking the market auction which was in full swing.  Ash agreed and we sat for half an hour in the window of the cafe watching and commenting while the world passed in front of us almost as we would have done in the old days.  Got back home to find a friend waiting for the coffee we'd arranged and I'd forgotten about but it wasn't too late and the lovely thing was that Ash was so full of life after the trip to town that he not only talked to said friend but also showed her the photos he'd taken of the market in action.  Oh my goodness, for a short time I had my husband back and it was so lovely.   Even in the afternoon when he decided not to come with me to visit friends and see their new garden room h…

Staying sane in a tilting world

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There are some things you can learn about dementia, facts you can look up, strategies you can read about, but there are some things which have to be experienced to be believed.  I've written in the past about dishcloths piling up behind my back, about pork pies lurking in cupboards rather than sitting quietly in the fridge where they should be and so on and I've learned to live with those without comment or even surprise but currently there are three habits which are driving me crazy.  The first is the pile of logs in the shed which seems to grow higher by the week.  You might think this is nothing to get frazzled about but the thing is that we have a perfectly good log shelter as well as a storage 'thing' that Ash built under the veranda.  If the logs are in either of those two places we both know when the stock needs replenishing.  If the logs are hidden away in the shed however Ash in particular forgets they're there and keeps insisting I order more.  I used to…

A possible way forward

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Yesterday I went to talk to someone in the village about carers.  How to find them, how it works and how that route might just save my sanity even if it's just for one day a week.  Found out lots of useful information and today have made some phone calls to get us started on the path to getting at least some of my life back.  That, combined with two hours this morning having coffee with two of my very best and oldest friends, means I'm starting to feel a little more like me.   Not only that but when I got home from the coffee Ash had gone out to visit an old friend who lives up the road and has his own difficulties so I had the house to myself for an hour or so which added to my feeling of well being.  Am out tomorrow walking with friends which was a weekly event but recently I've had to cancel sometimes because Ash has been struggling.  Am how hoping that if you all wish hard enough for me I might, this time, manage to get there.Don't forget you can sign up to have t…

An up and down sort of day

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Shopping this morning and the trip had potential for disaster because I forgot the list!  Once upon a time Ash was in charge of grocery shopping and did it all, from drawing up the list to going to the supermarket, coming home, putting it all away and then using what he'd bought to cook our meals.  Now his role involves pushing the trolley around the shop and crossing items off the list as I add them to the growing pile so if I forget the list 50% of his part in the trip is gone which meant that, when I realised what I'd done halfway to town, I thought I was in trouble.  In reality the lack of a list made things easier for him but it meant I had to wrack my brain to remember what was on it and make sure we didn't need a return journey in a couple of days time.  Now we're home I'm quite proud of the fact that I only forgot two things, both of which I can easily get tomorrow when I'm out so the day is going much better than expected.  The whole thing once again t…

Another new opportunity

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Am very excited today because Alzauthors has just promoted this blog on social media.  I was asked a few months ago to write something for just this moment and here it is for everyone to read.  It's been a difficult couple of weeks but right now I'm feeling really good about myself.  If you'd like to find out what I wrote and also find out more about Alzauthors then relax into a chair, click on the link and settle down for a read.  https://alzauthors.com/2020/08/18/blogger-jane-robinson-shares-life-with-dementia-in-memory-for-two/ Don't forget you can sign up to have this delivered straight into your inbox, just remember to click on the validation email (which may be in your junk mail/trash box).  You can share specific posts with others by clicking on the 3 dots at the top right hand corner of the page, you can share the blog by copying and pasting the web address www.memoryfortwo.com or you can email me at memoryfortwo@gmail.com if you have anything you want to say pr…

Grey or technicolour, it's up to you

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I've realised recently that my life is lived in colours.  When I was younger everything was in technicolour helped along by Ash who was always ready for an adventure, always ready for the next caper and always ready for a new fun experience.  Then life got serious and things became quite black, especially when dementia first came knocking and, almost simultaneously, our circumstances took a tumble in more ways than we could ever have imagined.  For a while it seemed that nothing could go right but inch by inch we dragged ourselves out of the abyss  and got back on our feet but life was grey.  Then dementia really took hold and we were back to black again from where I thought we would never emerge.  Recently though life has crept back into technicolour; apart from the odd hiccup my strategies seem to be working and, as long as I don't drop my guard, Ash is content in his world which means I have time to focus on me, on the weight loss, the exercise, the healthy eating and in t…

It's a new day .......

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..... and my head's in the right place once again so all is (almost) right in our world.  Ash is happy and relaxed, the dog-walking check list is working and we're back on track.  When I look back I think we've been building up to yesterday's outburst over the last couple of weeks and it was obviously necessary for Ash to get rid of some of his frustration.  It's happened before and it's almost as though he comes to boiling point and needs a release for all those feelings so he prods, pushes and goads me until I snap and give him an excuse to shout at me until it's all out of his system and he can relax a little.  The problem is that he's left feeling better (eventually) and me?  Well I just feel drained and exhausted afterwards as well as guilty that I let it get to that point in the first place.  I really should know better but sometimes it all gets too much and a controlled anger takes over.  Anger that he doesn't acknowledge how much I do, anger…

Challenges raise their ugly heads again

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I hope by now that you're thinking I'm the most positive person some of you have never met but I've discovered that there are limits to my positivity and today has been full of challenges.  The morning began badly and got worse to the point where we were shouting at each other in one of those now rare circular arguments that enter your life the minute dementia comes calling.  I should have known better and usually I do but this morning for some reason I allowed myself to be prodded and pushed into a discussion that went nowhere other than a downward spiral and all because of the chalk board for recording dog walks.  If you remember I'd introduced it when Max, who's 11, was left aching from all the walks he was taken on each time Ash didn't know what to do with himself.  The chalkboard was to help limit the number of daily walks and Ash has resisted it every step of the way.  In fact only yesterday he stormed out of the house on his own because he wanted to go o…

Update on a work in progress

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The 6 year old went home this afternoon and before I collapse in a heap on the sofa I thought I'd give you a quick update on my life.  Those of you who know me might be surprised to hear that the running continues although I have to admit that, in the face of exhaustion this week, it's been mainly walks but I've still gone out each morning for exercise so that's good.  When the 6 year old isn't with us I run one day, walk the next, run the next etc and find the running getting easier as each week passes.  I'm not running any further than I was or any faster or for any longer but I'm running and for someone with as little staying power as me that's a miracle in itself.  The healthy eating continues too and the result is that I've dropped two dress sizes in four months and am still heading downwards.  In fact last week I bought a pair of black jeans in what I thought was a size very much too small (they're my goal) but have discovered I can get i…

Last week's challenges are behind us.

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This is a very short post because the 6 year old is here for the week and my energy levels aren't what they were but Ash and I have had such a nice day that I wanted to tell you about it.  The 6 year old went to play with friends this morning so the two of us went shopping and to the bank both of which provided lots and lots of opportunities for people watching which, as a family, was always our favourite hobby.  Jake and I still do it but Ash doesn't always notice as much as he used to and so sits quietly while we watch.  Today however he was on very good form which made us both happy, the bank didn't faze him and the supermarket shopping went without a hitch.  In fact he's been so chilled today that he took the dog for a walk late this afternoon and didn't bother putting his shoes on.  For years and years if not at work Ash rarely wore shoes and could walk almost anywhere with nothing on his feet.  Then dementia came calling and the times he went barefoot became…

Let's not dwell on the challenges

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Last week was difficult and I wrote about some of it, then on Friday it got worse.  The dog who, if you remember, is the love of Ash's life had been poorly all week so I knew the reason for it and then on Friday he spent the day at the vets so I was expecting things to be challenging but knowing all that didn't make it any easier.  On Friday then, I was going to tell you all about those difficulties and challenges but ran out of time so I thought on Saturday I'd write about it but I was on my way to Jake's for a 24 hr break so I ran out of time and decided I'd write about it yesterday but again ran out of time.  Now I'm here, sat at my computer and have discovered that the traumas of last week are no longer important or relevant.  The dog is on the road to recovery, Ash is settled and I've had 24 hours with the peace and quiet of my own company so am once again ready to face the world.  The lesson I've learned here then is that nothing lasts forever, t…

Downward slide?

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Had a difficult couple of days with Ash where he's been more confused than usual and less able so now waiting to see whether it's just a blip or a slide down the slippery slope.  When Jake was little I once described his childhood as lurching from one phase to the next with each lurch coming just as I'd become used to the current one and this experience with dementia seems to be very similar but in reverse.  With Jake each phase saw him become more capable, develop more skills and, if I'm honest, turned him into a useful and funny human being.  Dementia on the other hand sees us travelling in the opposite direction so that the things Ash could do last week aren't necessarily on the list of things he can do this week and the sad thing is that he realises it and it frightens him.  Yesterday, for the first time since his diagnosis, he talked about what's happening to him and how it makes him feel and it's obvious that he's scared but there's nothing ei…

New clothes, new me

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At the weekend I ordered a skirt.  Those of you who don't know me might wonder why I mention it but those of you who do will probably now be sitting down with the shock of this news.  I've rarely worn skirts and certainly not in the last 20+ years but all the running and the healthy eating are working their magic with the result that the weight continues to fall off revealing a slimmish me underneath.  There's still a way to go but I'm now slimmer than I've been for years and years and, not only that, I feel better about myself than I've felt for years and years so on Saturday when I found myself gazing longingly at a skirt of a type I've hankered after for ever I took the plunge and ordered it.  It arrived this afternoon, I tried it on and, although I didn't look quite as slim as I'd hoped, I loved it.  Not only that but it's not black!! Instead it's a very lovely green and I now find myself looking at tops to go with it.  I'm not sure …

A pie in the cupboard

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Yesterday I was feeling proud of myself for being involved in a chat for a radio podcast and not making a fool of myself whereas today I'm feeling proud of myself for disposing of a pork pie without making a fuss.  Such are the ups and downs of life with dementia.
Tell us about the pork pie I hear you say and so I will but, to be honest, even if I didn't hear you begging I'd still tell you because it's all a little bizarre.  Each week on the way back from grocery shopping we call at the butchers and I buy three pork pies.  We get home and two of them go in the freezer while one stays in the fridge and then Ash works his way through them during the week right up until we buy another three and start the whole routine again.  Usually three are enough but sometimes he doesn't eat all three and so we have spares, only two or three weeks ago we ran short and I had to go and buy an extra one half way through the week which was a little strange but I puzzled about it for a …

The 'D' Word

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Sat down about an hour ago to write this post but decided instead to practice my procrastination skills, flicking from Google to Twitter to Facebook before bringing up my emails and finding one from Pete Hill who hosts The 'D' Word on TDW Radio and who, you may remember, I talked to three weeks ago.  He was emailing to tell me the chat was now available online and to give me the link.  I've listened to it first and didn't sound anywhere near as bad as I thought I might so I'm now willing to share it with you and to wait for your comments as long as you're gentle with me.  If you want to hear what I had to say or just want to hear what I sound like then you can click on this link   https://www.ukhealthradio.com/blog/program/the-d-word/

One thing I will say is that, if you'd told me in the really dark days following Ash's diagnosis, that one day in the future I'd find myself with a life as full of new experiences as this one is becoming I would never …

Dementia isn't all about compromise

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I might have told you this story before but one Easter weekend several years ago Ash suggested we went for a walk with the dog.  It was pouring with rain and the wind was howling but he was so enthusiastic that I couldn't bring myself to say no so out we went in the car, stopping on the way for coffee to warm us up before we ventured out properly.  I dawdled so slowly from the warm coffee shop to the car that Ash snapped at me and almost shouted 'would you rather be at home in front of the fire?'  To this day I have no idea exactly how he expected me to reply because as far as I could see the answer was obvious but, as an awful lot of us have discovered over the years, marriage is a compromise and so I got in the car and off we went for that walk which was invigorating if nothing else.  Now however I'm discovering that, although dementia brings a great deal of compromise in its wake, in some ways it also brings freedom.  Yesterday there was something I really wanted to…