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Showing posts from September, 2020

We're on the up again

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Yet again I've got to the end of the day and achieved absolutely nothing, except of course that I have achieved something.  I haven't managed to clean the house or wash the car or mow the lawn or do the weeding or complete the paperwork for my new car but I have managed, yet again, to get Ash out for a cup of tea this morning.  He's almost always happy now to go out with me in the car but in the past he'd have preferred to stay there to sit and wait for me.  Now however if I can get him out of the village in the first place I just tell him that we're going for a tea/coffee and he's happy to join me which is a huge leap forward and the more he does it the more confident he becomes and the more fun we seem to have.  It's still not like it was of course; there's still a complete lack of emotional connection, if I reach for his hand he pulls away, if I try to cram too much into one trip out he panics and on and on but life is better than it was.  Not only …

Confidence building helps

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Today was, by and large, a success which I'm sure you'll be pleased to know.  My day began with a walk in the Lincolnshire Wolds with friends.  Amazing views, good company and interesting conversation followed by coffee and further chat, what more could I want?  Came home to a relaxed Ash which lulled me into a false sense of security as, ten minutes later, stress was in the air because new batteries were needed for hearing aids and apparently Ash had spent the morning turning drawers upside down looking for them.  I thought I had a stash in a safe place ready for just such an eventuality but it seems he'd found the stash weeks ago and used every battery in there but of course hadn't thought to tell me when he inserted the last two.  All of this made him feel bad and that feeling was taken out on me but I phoned the shop, ordered some more and then we set out to collect them.  By the time we arrived the stress was forgotten and we were back on track so that was only a…

And another week goes by.....

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It's Sunday again and almost time to start cooking but before I do I thought I'd see how you all are.  Our week began really well but, as someone said in a comment a few days ago, the really good times quite often precede a downward slide and this does seem to have happened here even if not in any dramatic way.  Just a gentle lessening of ability, slightly less interest in the world around us and a deepening fog at surprising moments through the day.  All of this could of course become quite depressing so I've done my very best to avoid that and wanted to tell you I've ordered my 'new' car.  As promised it's red, quite sporty, with black leather seats, black tinted windows and I'm very, very excited.  Best of all, even though I've committed to it already, I've arranged to pick it up on my birthday which is four weeks tomorrow.  Have also been on a spending spree in other directions, partly due an influx of funds, so now have a new phone and new …

PIP!!!!

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I can't believe that I haven't told you we've been successful with the PIP application.  Not only that but we've been awarded the enhanced rate and it will make such a difference to our lives.  We were ok before but what was coming in only covered bills and every day essentials whereas now we can go out for coffee or lunch and life is just that little bit brighter.  Ash seems to have picked up on this too and is all the better for it as you may have noticed from the posts of the past few days.  He still has his struggles obviously but, quite possibly because my mood is lighter, he seems a little more carefree than he has been for a very long while.We're also now 'in the system' and today had a visit from a very nice social worker who came to assess whether or not Ash had mental capacity to make decisions about his care.  What was interesting about the visit was how obvious it was that he's much further down the line than I realised.  People ask me on a …

Dementia tightens it's grip again.

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The really good run we've had of the previous few days was of course too good to last but I've been let down surprisingly gently.  Yesterday was all about the new car; Ash was enthusiastic, seemed to know what was happening and it felt as though he was playing a part in it even though that part was necessarily limited.  I'd made an appointment to look at cars this morning too, about half an hour away from home, and the discussion last night was all about that appointment, where we were going and what time we needed to be there which was lovely and unexpected.  This morning was a whole new ball game and anyone living a life affected by dementia would have seen that coming.  Ash woke up confused and the confusion continued.  He couldn't find what he needed for breakfast (it was all in the usual place in the fridge), he didn't know where to take the dog for his walk (he only ever goes one of two routes), he didn't know where I was when I was out of the house (I go…

Today - excellent in parts

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Went again to the 'big' city to return the trousers I'd bought in error on Saturday and exchange them for some which would actually fit.  Only problem was they didn't have them in Ash's size so had a refund and have now ordered them online.  Then we went across the road to the Audi garage to find my much wanted red sports car only to find that it's now a 4 X 4 garage with some Audis in but not the one I wanted.  Looked on Google and found the right place across the other side of the city, drove there to discover that car viewing is now by appointment only and, for various reasons, couldn't get an appointment for today.  Went somewhere lovely for a cup of tea and sat in the sunshine to drink it then came home having bought nothing.  So today could be described as a waste of time EXCEPT that Ash was lovely throughout the whole thing and is throwing himself into the car search with enthusiasm.  In fact, for a short while, I almost had my husband back or at lea…

Venturing out into the world

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After a successful weekend I've been encouraged to see if I can get Ash out and about a little more.  I'm taking it all gently so as not to frighten him and not going anywhere out of his comfort zone so have relatively high hopes but also an awareness that it's quite possibly not going to be plain sailing.  To this end this morning I said I needed to go into the local town.  Until now I've always felt I should give a reason for anything I was going to do and had feverishly being trying to work out a plausible story until I realised that maybe a story wasn't even necessary and so it was.  Just mentioning that I was going into town was enough to get him interested and then, when we got there, I just parked and said we were going for coffee waiting with bated breath to see his reaction.  How lovely to see him nod, get out of the car and head to the cafe we use because it has seats in the window which are rarely taken.  Drinks were ordered, seats were taken and then w…

And the good times continue

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I'm trying really hard not to be lulled into a false sense of security but we've had a few good days recently and life is good just now.  I do know of course that this state of affairs can't last but with that knowledge at the back of my mind I've decided to go with the flow and enjoy this while I can.  So, in case you're wondering what magic wand I've waved, I'll tell you that I have no idea how it's happened but we've just had our second 'almost normal' day in a row which is a bit of a record really.  We've had good days, we've had quite good days and we've had ok days but rarely a run of them.  Yesterday then was the shopping trip which, apart from the silent return journey, was lovely and today we've been out for Sunday lunch to a pub with friends.  Yes you did read that correctly, out for lunch, to a pub and with other people.  There was conversation, laughter, discussion and it really was, to the untrained eye, a norma…

Shopping with a purpose

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Ash and I both hate shopping but today we went shopping together and for clothes.  I hope you realised it wasn't a food shopping trip, (because why would I tell you about something we do every week without stress) but instead trip of the kind that would, even in a pre-dementia world, have stressed us out and it was for Ash which is even more unusual that it would be if it was for me.  He needed new walking shoes and new trousers both of which we could get from our nearest outdoor shop (a 70 miles round trip but never mind) and this shop is one of his two favourites so I suggested that, rather than order them online, we had an afternoon out.  I'm sure you know by now that these suggestions can go either way so I waited with bated breath to see what his reaction would be and was pleasantly surprised when a huge smile came over his face and he nodded enthusiastically so an outing it was and to the city as well as he kept telling me over and over.  Set off after lunch and arrived…

Busy, busy, busy

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No post last night and only a short one tonight because we've sold Mum's house and I've been busy, with the help of friends, clearing, emptying and cleaning so that it was ready to hand over.  This has really been an ongoing process since it went on the market eighteen months ago but there's always more left to do than you think isn't there?  More cupboards still to empty, more bags to fill for the charity shops and more bins to fill with stuff not fit for the charity shop.  Some of it I just looked at in wonder as I tried to decide why it had been kept in the first place but then I'm sure Jake will do exactly the same when it's his turn to sort through our belongings.  Anyway, tomorrow is the big day, the keys will be handed over and it will be one less thing on my list of things to worry about, in fact I can almost feel my shoulders lifting as I type this.  Not only that but the search will then be on for my red sports car so watch this space and keep yo…

A new me

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Before lockdown I'd lost some weight and thought about getting fit but hadn't really done anything more serious than that.  Then came the big announcement that we all had to 'stay home and stay safe', when there was nothing to do and nowhere to go, and I thought to myself that if I was ever going to make those necessary changes this was the time.  No excuses, no distractions , just get on with it and that's what I did.  I worked my way through the 9 week 'Couch to 5 K' programme, actually finishing it this time instead of giving up at week 6 which is what happened with previous attempts; I started walking on the days I wasn't running discovering, in the process, lovely back lanes that are usually full of traffic; I got rid of my bad eating habits and embraced a healthier diet; I did all of these things and gradually I got fitter and lost more weight until now, six months later, when I've dropped almost 3 dress sizes and feel better than I've fe…

Relaxed, chilled and laid back

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I've heard that happiness comes from contentment and that's been me today.  Most days contentment is my aim but as we know, I don't always manage it however my morning began well with a 5k walk in the sunshine at 7am and progressed to coffee with a friend I don't see often enough.  Came home for lunch and then spent the rest of the afternoon out in the garden weeding in the sunshine while listening to podcasts.  Not an ounce of stress to be had and only a little sadness that on the warmest day of the month Ash, who used to be the most outdoorsy person I knew, spent the hours inside either at his computer or in front of the tv.  It's at times like this that I know he's left me but there's a strength, I'm discovering, in becoming happy and contented in my own company.  The days when I was frightened for the future, when I didn't know how I'd survive without him and when I dreamed of it all being a misunderstanding or something which could be put r…

More than just a 'day in the life of...... '

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Today is our wedding anniversary.  Thirty eight years ago today we stood in front of a hundred people and made those vows, agreeing to'have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part'.  You'll note I hope that, even at the age of 21, I didn't promise to obey but we'd been together six years by the time we got married so Ash knew even then what he was letting himself in for.  My Mum wasn't particularly happy at the way I tied myself down from the age of 15 and those six years before we married were spent battling for the life I wanted with the person I wanted so now if people wonder why, when things are difficult, I don't leave I point to that and say I didn't spend all that time and energy to get what I wanted just to quit when the going gets tough.  This isn't how I envisaged spending our retirement but it is what it is and I'm committe…

When do you put your foot down?

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Today began badly and deteriorated quickly until Ash was stomping around because he had nothing to do.  The situation wasn't helped by my carer's assessment which involved an hour and a half on the phone with a lovely man called Mark who listened to me talk, asked relevant questions and came up with ideas to help.  I know I've said over and over again that there is no dementia support in Lincolnshire but it seems, when you actually find it, they pull out all the stops and make you start to feel in control of your life again; at least that's what's happened to me.  However when I got off the phone Ash was glowering at the tv and my heart sank.  This was obviously all my fault and I needed to find some thing to occupy him so I suggested we went out into the sunshine to collect some fallen branches from the verges at the end of the village then we'd be ready for fire lighting in a few weeks time.  I was instantly told we didn't need any extra wood so that was …

Who are you?

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Think that today I had my first experience of Ash not recognising me.  There were extenuating circumstances I admit: He was walking down the road on the way back from walking the dog, I was driving out of the village on my way to visit a friend and I'd got changed before I left the house so was wearing different clothes but still it came as a bit of a surprise when I pulled up alongside him, buzzed the window down to remind him where I was going and then to watch as he obviously had no idea who I was or why I was talking to him.  All was not lost as I saw recognition dawn in his eyes but it took longer than I would have liked and left me feeling a little uneasy however I'm now forewarned of what's to come but think that, if it felt odd when I could see why it happened today, it's going to feel very, very odd when it happens at home for no reason.
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24 hours away makes all the difference

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You may have noticed a lack of blog posts over the past few days and I thought you'd like to know that their absence was entirely for good reasons.  Friday's was missing  because the 6 (nearly 7) year old was here so no time for anything else while the weekend was taken up with two days away with a visit to a spa not too far from home courtesy of Jake both because he bought me the voucher for Christmas and because he came to stay with Ash so that I could go away.  The first question asked of me when I walked into the building was whether I would like details of the exercise classes.  My reply was a resounding 'no thank you' so I collected my locker key and headed towards the changing room.  There then followed a day given up entirely to relaxation as I read and dozed and read some more.  I finished my book and began another then had an Indian Head Massage and all before lunch.  After lunch I snoozed in the slumber room, read some more, went for a swim, had a cup of te…

What gets you through this?

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Following yesterday's post regarding training my feelings I had a comment on Twitter suggesting that I should show my feelings and let my emotions flow so this morning, when the black clouds threatened to descend, I decided to let them in and see what happened.  Well I can tell you now that, while I'm sure it works well for some people, it does me no good whatsoever and I spent the morning feeling so sorry for myself I could barely function. I thought about everything I/we've lost; all the plans we had which are now gone, all the joint friendships which are changed beyond recognition and all the freedoms we both took for granted.  I thought about the things we used to do without thinking; those times we sat out in the garden until after dark just chatting or listening to the radio, all the holidays we took where we didn't talk to another soul the whole time we were away, the meals out, the visits to friends, the laughter, the fun, until I started to feel overwhelmed b…

Keeping hold of yourself

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Some people think I'm too positive, too optimistic and and too quick to look on the bright side of life but I have to say that it's my way of coping.  This quote appeared on my facebook page today and it jumped out at me from the screen because I realised it's what I've tried so very hard to do.  It would be easy to give in to feelings, to feel sorry for myself and to struggle through this life that I didn't ask for but then there would be no fun and no joy so where would the benefits be?  I appreciate that there are ways in which letting go of my emotions would be healthy and I'm certainly better at it than I was but I really feel that to hang on to the real me I need to do as it says here and train my mind to be stronger than my feelings.  I'd so much rather people wanted to be around me because I was fun to be with rather than because they felt sorry for me and it's having friends around who make me smile, who make me feel good about myself, that ge…

Life's improving

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For the past two years nine months I've been in despair at the lack of support in Lincolnshire for those living with dementia and those of us living alongside it.  Today I discovered that there is lots and lots of support out there if you only know where to look and who to ask so now my two big questions are 'why did it take two years and nine months for me to be referred to the person who could signpost me to all of that support and why did it take just one phone call from her to prompt Adult Services at the Council to return my call'?   If you've been following this blog since the beginning you might remember that in December 2017 the doctor at the Memory Clinic uttered the words 'you have dementia so if you go through to reception someone will issue you with a prescription and we'll see you again in 12 months time'.  That was it, no support, no signposting, nothing.  It felt as though we were being sent home to wait for the end and, knowing nothing abou…