Ten days and counting
First I stopped writing because I was poorly, then I didn't write because I couldn't think what to say and now I haven't written because we're having a really, really lovely time and I don't want to jinx it all.
On the other hand I'm currently happy and I thought that some of you might need to know that life with dementia isn't all doom and gloom.
The sun, of course, has made a difference and Ash's outing with old friends certainly helped but what seems to have really continued the good work, and created an absolute transformation, is the use of the sun loungers on the patio.
We've been out there almost every afternoon since Ash's birthday and for ten whole days there've been no signs of anger or frustration (on either side). Instead it's been smiles all the way. We apply the sun oil, turn the loungers to face the sun, switch the radio on and settle down to relax. As an added bonus I've discovered a radio station which plays only tracks from the 70s which takes us back to our teens. I couldn't work out why doing this day after day was making such a difference and then I had one of those light bulb moments.
When we were both working we were always racing from one place to another, away from the house for long hours and rarely with time to draw breath. To make sure we didn't lose ourselves in all of that I organised holidays first as a family and later, when Jake had left home, just the two of us. If we weren't skiing, we were mostly to be found lying on a beach in the sun and relaxation was the name of the game.
We're taught that those with dementia don't remember events but they do remember feelings and I think that's what's happened here. Over the years we've had so many holidays and only one of those wasn't quite as good as we'd hoped so Ash's memories of them are the two of us spending time relaxing, chatting and enjoying each other's company. Now he's experiencing those feelings all over again so no wonder he's happy and relaxed.
As for me, as long as the weather holds I have a few months of lying in the sun while making my way through a pile of books just waiting to be read. I think I can cope with that.
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