A life less stressful

I've had the most wonderful day today.  

Firstly 'S' the new carer arrived not only on time but, in fact, a few minutes early and it quickly became obvious that she was there much more in the role of a friend rather than someone who was being paid to look after Ash.  I have no idea whether the feel good factor will continue but the signs are very positive so at the moment I'm just going with the flow.  

With support for Ash in place then I escaped and made the most of a present given to me by friends for my birthday last year.  This was a visit to a spa, a gift which, due to covid, lockdown and caring difficulties, I haven't been able to use before now but this afternoon I was ready to make the most of it.  I used the sauna then lowered myself into the icy plunge pool, moved onto the hot tub and then did it all again twice more.  I'm particularly proud of my bravery in getting into the plunge pool but what I remember most is smiling the whole afternoon, well the whole afternoon less the time I spent snoozing under a blanket in the log cabin.  

I even smiled during my Indian Head and Shoulder Massage but again there's another memory from that particular part of the day.  Before the massage began I was asked if I suffered from neck tension.  This made me think because I certainly used to and in the past have had massages because of that specific problem.  I said that I didn't think I had any tension in my neck at the moment but would be interested to know what she thought.  

The massage itself was so restful I didn't want it to end but end it did and on my way back downstairs I asked about that tension.  I've said just now that I used to suffer from it and suffer I really did.  For years, whenever life at work got particularly stressful, my neck would seize up and then the pain would move down my back until I struggled to move and needed one of those wheat bags wrapped around me night after night and pain killers were consumed day after day.

Now I'm in what many might say is the most stressful period of my whole life but I feel fantastic and according to the masseuse this afternoon she didn't detect any neck tension at all.

It seems to me now that, although life is in no way perfect and unexpected crises threaten my equilibrium every now and then, I've learnt how to manage things in a much better way than at any time up to this point.

Once again I'm discovering that, contrary to my fears at the beginning, having dementia in my life doesn't mean the world has come to an end.  Rather, I've changed my expectations of the future and that's made all the difference.

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