Thursday
through to Saturday 16th April 2016.

I
was lazy today and used my new friend, bus pass, to ride to the CST
group rather than my best friend, bike. My excuses are that I NEED to
use the bus pass to prove it is necessary and also I am out this
evening on an hour long organised cycle ride so will still get my
exercise. Add to that the ride home after tonight’s cycle trip is all
UPHILL. In my book the bus was justified and if not, well I don’t
care anyhow!
This
session was about friends and family where we could take along some
unsuspecting related victim or (ex) friend. My mate excused himself
by saying he has a cold and does not want to spread it. I think he
just wants to avoid singing jailhouse rock! He is committed to coming
in may to the next friends and family session after which he will
just be committed!
The
session was really good. Yes I know, it is not a spelling error, I
actually found it really good. We did all the usual stuff but then
instead of an activity section we had an information session about
the brain, its parts, how dementia effects the parts and the most
obvious symptoms. I love all that scary stuff and wanted to ask loads
of questions but they will have to keep as we did not have enough
time and, more to the point, I could not formulate the questions
quickly enough to make sense. By Tuesday I will. At one point I
shouted at Mrs. chatterbox to shut up as I wanted to listen. Me
exploding like that raised a few eyebrows. At one point it was
explained that CST is about consistency which made me laugh out loud
and I explained that as we have different facilitators each session
each week that does not tie in with consistent.
The
guest did a great job of singing Elvis twice with us so I guess they
are just as mad as the rest of us.

After
the session on Thursday I was asked by who I believe is the boss, if
I would consider public speaking as a person with dementia at local
events AND would I also think about sitting on local social service
and council interview panels as a mental health representative.
Sounds really exciting but well scary and rather a large
responsibility for someone not even sure they can take control of
themselves, but I will think about it……… a bit!

The
evening bike ride group was great but went along a riverside route
that I do myself, often 3 or 4 times on nice days at weekends, but it
was wonderful having company. After about 7 miles the 2 miles uphill
home was tough and sleep came easy.

Up
and out Friday morning to cycle to the walking group. Weather looked
fine so bike not bus. GOT SOAKED. Dried off in the library as had 30
minutes till walk started because I had cycled so fast. I normally
meander and take time but the rain hurried me. About 5 minutes into
the hour walk the rain started again and did not let up so we GOT
SOAKED AGAIN. After the walk I dried off in the library, waited for
the rain to stop then set off home. GOT SOAKED YET AGAIN. When I
finally dripped my way indoors, just for novelty value, I had a
shower. Later banged on my mates door to let him know I was just too
tired for going bowls, and need to be bright tomorrow.

Had
a great day Saturday at a fairly local dementia fair. I had thought
it was just a set of stands and people to extract info from or give a
number too that they may later get back to you on if you are deemed
important enough! I was wrong as it was a much better day than that,
but as I got it wrong my plans for the usual Saturday afternoon
walking group were rather upset. I left home at 9.45 to get a new bus
to a new place then had an unknown walk to the church centre the expo
was in, which I had not been to before, to be with loads of people I
did not know. Simples!!!!

On
the way to the bus stop, slightly distressed as I dodged my way
through the high street market crowd (I usually avoid this place on
Saturdays due to crowds) I almost crashed into the afternoon walk
group leader. I assured him I would be at the start point well before
2.00 which is why I am off to the expo so early.

By
the time I arrived the anxieties of the morning had already tired me
but a free coffee and cake was a good tonic. Collecting a schedule
for the event I discovered that there were also to be guest speakers
which I had not known about nor prepared for. One of the speakers is
our local award winning dementia champion that goes on TV, radio and
various nationwide panels giving advice from the PWD point of view. I
knew of her because she goes on one of the few local health walks
that I do not attend but the walk leader had mentioned her to me on
another walk. I used the opportunity to introduce myself, as I would,
and she knew of me which was nice.

Having
done that and finished coffee I wanted to find the stands. I had a
prepared list of questions for the stands I planned to visit but
could not find any of those I was after. Asking someone wearing a
green organisers badge put me right as they then walked me to another
hall where the main stands were. A quick tour told me that those I
required were there but I needed to go back to the first hall as the
speeches were due to start. They were great, encouraging and
informative but did eat up a lot of time. Being me, I was the only
one to pipe up with a question to the speaker, but it was well
answered and led to another good encounter after the talks. A woman,
shy about her potential dementia, came and asked if she could ask me
about it as I seemed ‘kind and understanding’ about hiding from
people when you do not ‘feel’ quite right. We spoke for about 20
minutes and I tried to convince her that she must see the GP and face
this sooner rather than later.

After
the talks I hit the stands and met some very nice and useful people.
Getting names rather than just contact numbers is always worthwhile.
I did Alzheimer’s Society and someone is going to come round and
visit me to discuss problems etc., I did Age UK and have set up to go
to the local centre to discuss long term CST weekly session after my
current group ends, I had time talking with the local dementia action
alliance and their contact wants me to e-mail my list of concerns
about local access and buses, a dementia cafe where I can go more
than just monthly and the local council who are happy to come and
assess me to see what other services I could make use of. One of the
women on the council stand asked “you’re Wayne aren’t you?” which
kind of made me sit up. She explained that she had been told of me by
the lovely man that runs the memory cafe that I attend once a month.
Guess I made an impression on him, good I hope! The time was well
spent and I am so thankful to all concerned AND fate for allowing me
a good day when I really needed it.

Before
leaving I found the organisers and thanked them for their work and
then thanked the refreshment staff for their efforts on the drinks
and cakes. This got me a lovely hug and ended the day very well. It
will be a day remembered and for more than just the hug……….
well probably. I got home very tired and unable to recall any of the
journey back, or how many times I went around to leave again and get
another hug????? lol

If
your areas have any similar events, GO!! we have another like it at a
different location next month but it clashes with my Thursday group
session so…………. I will do a straw pole amongst my Talking
Point friends and colleagues to see which I should attend he he! So
what do you think……. sing Elvis or go and get important dementia
contacts and information. Me, biased, not at all!

Sunday,
well I think Sunday will be a do nothing, go nowhere, see no-one sort
of day as I need to recharge the batteries before starting another
big week next week and bigger the one after. Maybe just one days rest
will not be enough?????

catch
ya next month then!!!

Wayne
x