Friends help when the going gets tough
This morning was a perfect example of the rollercoaster that is life affected by dementia. For a while now Ash has been very happy at the thought of L coming and this morning was no different - to begin with. I'd judged his mood, told him about an hour before she was due to arrive that it was her day and he immediately said he'd need some money for the cup of tea they'd have when they went out. He also found some photos he thought she'd like to see and all seemed well with the world. Fifteen minutes later he was writing it in his diary and his notebook and adding it to the calendar on his laptop, none of which is a good sign. Suddenly I was walking on eggshells and that's one of the hardest parts of this new life. We've been together 45 years now and, until dementia came calling, I've never had to worry about Ash's reaction to anything. He was always so calm, so chilled and so happy with whatever I wanted to do that this new man I now share my life with has been difficult to come to terms with.
By the time L arrived Ash was being vile and I was ready to walk out the door and never come back but of course that was one scenario that was never going to happen and instead I picked up the car keys and went to join a friend for a long walk. The fresh air and conversation blew the cobwebs away and once again I realised the importance of good friends.
The interesting thing is that when I got back Ash was still grumpy with me but L reported that he'd been the happiest and smiliest she'd seen him for weeks.
It really is true that they take their frustrations out on those closest to them but it's also true that if you surround yourself with the right people you can survive anything. I really have surrounded myself with the best of people and I know that I really can survive any and all of this.
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