A trip down memory lane

 A slightly ironic turn of phrase there but a trip down memory lane is exactly what we took today.  I was looking through old photos a few days ago when Ash announced he'd like to go back to Gainsborough where he grew up and drive round old haunts taking photos along the way.

We set the date and today was it so off we went, camera primed and ready and Ash looking in amazement out of the car window as he recognised places he hasn't seen for a very long time.

We took in lots of sights including the house where he grew up, his old schools and mine, his nan's house and the old corner shop he went to with his grandad and, finally, the town centre where he had a Saturday job  on the market.  We had lunch, wandered around and generally had a lovely time with only one brief moment of panic on my part which came at the very end of the visit.

We'd gone for a final cuppa at one of the coffee shops which has an upstairs where you can gaze out of the window onto the square below and watch the world on the move.  Ash asked where the toilet was and I directed him back downstairs.  I asked if he wanted me to show him but he said he could manage so I settled back with my coffee to people-watch and wait for him to come back.  

I waited and waited but there was no sign of him and I started to worry just a little but wasn't sure what to do.  Both drinks were still in front of me and I didn't really want to abandon the table so I waited a little longer until I couldn't stand it any longer.  I drained my coffee cup, left Ash's cup of tea, gathered our belongings together and went downstairs to find him waiting at the door unable to work out where he was or what had happened to me.

I really don't think he'd been missing for long but the hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach made me feel sick as I thought of all the things that could have happened to him and I've realised that we're onto another level of planning if we're going to venture out again.

I do know however that, as long as I learn the lesson from this, we'll still be ok and this particular lesson is not to sit out of view of the toilets when we're in a restaurant or a cafe.  This dementia-affected life is all about taking one lesson at a time and learning from each.

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Rhona said…
I have had a couple of scares - the worst by far was in Seville a couple of years ago when we were on holiday. I was terrified and ken was very anxious too of course. Fifteen very long minutes. I now use a free app on our phones ‘life 360’ which is an effective tracker.
CW said…
Yes. I'm very familiar with this situation. Recently, we were at my doctor's office and he had to use the restroom. He went in and came right back out, saying that the door wouldn't lock. I'd already been in there not 20 min. before and knew that it DID lock, but told him to go ahead and I would stand guard outside and not allow anyone in. He finally understood and agreed to use the facilities. Another time, we were at a restaurant with the neighbor couple and Robert wanted to go to the bathroom. I told him and pointed to where it was and ultimately had to take him there. When he came out, he started to go back to our table but headed in the wrong direction. I got up and caught him and ushered him back to where we'd been sitting.
Carol S said…
Yes I’m just starting to find out toilets are a problem too and definitely need to stay outside waiting. I worry that my partner might wander off while I’m in the toilet so will definitely try the app. Just need to make sure he always has his phone with him because he has stopped using it himself but could be great as a tracker. I especially get worried if we are in very busy areas as my partner walks faster than me generally and I’m having to be much more alert than ever I was in the past. Like you say Jane it’s all a learning curve and we just have to keep putting new strategies in place.
Jane said…
What I love about this blog is that I write something and then I discover that I'm not on my own with any of this and there is always someone with a suggestion to make our lives easier. I'm now going to investigate the 'life 360' app and see how I can make it work for us. One of the problems I have is that Ash doesn't have a phone but am sure I can sort something out.