about writing and life and God

Dementia Diary 13: Once more on the roller-coaster

on October 12, 2012

It’s a glorious day – perfect autumn sunshine, blue sky and fluffy white clouds. Yes, it was grey and rainy when we set out, but the rain cleared while we were having coffee which meant he could have a little walk before lunch.

Minsmere RSPB reserve, Suffolk

The weather mirrors my experience of today’s outing. We set out as strangers, apparently not communicating at all. By the time we had had lunch, he was chatty and I was cheerful, and it was all all right.

This is how it goes, Completely unpredictable.

And the me inside me who carries on a running commentary – and usually an argument with myself – bounces off the walls inside my head.

I start off thinking yes, it’s right that he is in the care home. He needs much more care than I could provide without significant help (which he has always refused). Then when we seem to be chatting ‘normally’ I start to change my mind. Maybe he could come back home? Maybe I could try again? Maybe I could manage?

But I know I couldn’t. And then the guilt sets in, acid gnawing into my cheerfulness.

But then he says, as we’re driving along a very familiar road, that he now cannot remember the next stretch of road. And I become aware of the massive deterioration in his memory. There are simply holes where the rest of us have information, memories, stuff we take for granted to get us through the day. He simply doesn’t have that any longer.

Life could be very scary for him. But the enclosed environment of the care home gives him real security and the comfort of knowing that the folk around him are there to look after him. And he is accepting of that, comfortable with that. Anything more – like living at home – would be too challenging now. Too scary for him.

So though I don’t like living alone, and am finding the evenings particularly difficult after my happy week at my sister’s, any thought about having him home, I have to admit, is actually selfish. And it won’t do.

He is better where he is. He is being looked after better. He is safe and content.

I must try to be so too.

The text: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation … I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4: 12b and 13

Prayer: I’m nowhere near this, Holy Lord! Please give me that strength.

Self-care suggestion:When is the worst time of day for you? For me, currently, it is the evening – when the stuff on tv seems so trivial and un-engaging, and the empty house feels most empty. I’ve decided to tackle this head on. I’ve splashed out on a crafts magazine which comes with a kit for doing things. I’ve invited some friends round for supper, and I’m checking out what’s on at the local cinema and theatres. Doing something about it feels a lot better than giving up!



3 responses to “Dementia Diary 13: Once more on the roller-coaster

  1. Pat says:

    Hi – I’ve nominated you for the brand new Most Helpful Blogger Award. Break out the tea and cake, we’re celebrating!

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