22th
April 2016

A
Well Busy two-day(s)

Only
just about back to firing on most cylinders and here I am trying to
kill myself off again by being over busy and exerting myself too
much. Good job I am not still having to go everywhere on the bike but
maybe if I still was having to I would be a little more restrained on
my adventures as I would be far more aware of fatigue.

Wednesday
morning and I was up and out to go on local short health walk which I
did with 12 others. Did not have time to join them for the usual
coffee back at the library as I was rushing off to meet a different
20 people for an afternoon boat cruise up the river and had to get
the bus to the meeting point which was due to be the stop for the
next bus on our journey to the riverboat. I had stressed over this
trip for several days as it was away from my home turf, on a boat so
I cannot just leave if I am not comfortable with it, involved 15+
people I did not know, is in a small space and involved eating a meal
lunchtime which I do not usually do. I got to the meeting point to
find no-one. As I knew so few of them it was not until most had
gathered together that I noticed they were waiting well away from the
bus stop, standing in the sunshine rather than the shade. As we were
going on a boat trip rather than a walk they were dressed quite
differently to how I usually see them so it took a while to register.
The weather was lovely and sunny but still rather cool/cold in the
breeze on the river. With the boat being quite small there was
nowhere near enough space for more than about 5 people outside at any
one time. This meant being trapped inside which seemed to effect me
more than I expected. The food was just about ok (not a touch on my
local chippy) but everyone kept on about how lovely it was. I must be
spoilt by my local one as I found it pretty ordinary and very small
portion (pass the trough!). The actual trip was great although I was
permanently on edge and went through an area I last visited 45 years
ago which conjured up happy memories of a long ago miss-spent youth!

Soon
the trip was over but it was only mid afternoon on a still beautiful
day. I persuaded one of my Friday walk friends to come exploring with
me and we had a great 3 hours wandering around a big park with a lake
that I have visited in the past. We strolled and we talked, mostly
him, about old times, old places, families alive and dead, weather
(we’re British it cannot be avoided), football, fishing (we’re men
they cannot be avoided) and a lot about spiritualism. Here we had
very differing opinions but that just made the talking even more
interesting. By the time I had travelled back to the security of home
it was gone 7 and I then had to call in on mate Dave, just for a
moment, to thank him for giving me some potatoes. Now that may not
seem like a big deal but he had rescued me from a dementia induced
planning failure. I had done the shopping, chopping, slicing &
dicing to make a chicken casserole only to find I had not bought any
potatoes yesterday and for me a casserole has to have them. An hour
later after filling him in on all that had gone on over the last 2
days, I escaped to make dinner, well supper by now. I thought that I
needed to update him about the last couple of day but apparently no.
We had both been at bowls last night, had even walked there together
but I had not talked just listened to him. Just shows how out of it I
must have been yesterday as I do not remember seeing him never mind
listening to what he told me?????? oops! Just don’t tell him! Just in
case I have not made it clear in any earlier blog, I try to keep Dave
updated on my exploits as he is involved at times with the research
projects I signed up for as they need someone apart from me to tell
them about me so that they can judge how I am getting on.

Thursday
and not a good mental day but lots of good physical stuff in it.
Could and should have been a really great day it was just that my
attitude is/was very off!! Set out for CST group and had to come back
as I had forgotten phone. That’s the third time in 4 days that I have
forgotten the phone but this time I needed to get it. Missed usual
bus because of this. Met with 1 of the Friday walkers on the bus and
talked with him about the film ‘still Alice’. I want to see it but do
not want to risk buying a copy without someone first confirming it is
good, well done and not just a mushy tearjerker with no substance
(any offers anyone?). He had not seen it so no use will just have to
stick to walking then. Later on the journey we discussed libraries
doing DVD rental but I did not make any connection between the 2
subjects. It was in group when I asked if the film had been seen by
anyone there and the facilitator that I really do not like pointed
out about library rental and they might have it or can get it. The
fact that she made the connection really annoyed me and I was
troubled by why did I not see it, the connection not the film you
understand. We then discussed our usual what’s this what’s that etc.
and what is in the news. I said about the 1000 beacons being lit to
celebrate the Queens birthday and I want to see 1. Medway having
loads of middle age history must have 1 somewhere so as the ‘baby’ of
the group and having only been in the area 11 months I said “ you
guys have been here over 100 years, where is the beacon?” The best
I could get is one of the gents thinks it is down the road from him
somewhere but did not know where or what it is called. The
facilitators used a phone to hit Google and told me that the internet
lists where they are having bonfires, but that is not what I wanted.
Getting annoyed again!!!!

The
rest of the session went quite well and was about word association.
We did Queen, summer, Christmas and something else that impressed me
even less and listed what things came into our minds when we hear
each of those words. We then moved onto a quiz sheet about pairs of
people like Tom & …….. (Jerry), Anthony & ………
(Cleopatra), Crosse & ……….. (Blackwell), Tracey &
……… (Hepburn). It was ok but I actually found it too easy for
most of them even though many were very old couplings. Adam &
….. (Eve) was the oldest lol.

After
the session my not good mood and condition continued. I was heading
to the library on the hunt for the Alice film and on my way tried 4
times to put my sunglasses on. Every time I tried they fell off my
face and on to the ground. Now my poor mood was getting worse, fast.
On the last time, accident or not, I trod on the glasses and broke
them? Off I go to a charity shop to get some more sunglasses. Found
quite a reasonable pair and went to pay. The lovely woman says
“that’ll be £3.50 Wayne”. OK so how does she know me? She then
has a quick chat about the weather being bright and the need for
sunglasses then asks where have you been today then, Wayne???? I
explained where I had been, why, about the alzheimers, by now
assuming we know each other and I just cannot remember. She then asks
if the leaders at the group have worse memories than we do, Wayne?
Still I do not get it! I then tell her a bit about my trials and
tribulations with them but she is insistent that they must be poor in
the memory. Eventually, does the penny drop, no, I ask her what does
she mean and she points at my chest where I am still wearing my label
with my name on. Still no penny no drop!!!!!

I
make no connection between her knowing my name, her familiar comments
and the white thing on my clothes. I smiled, thanked her and left the
shop!!!!!!!!

Enjoying
my new sunglasses, ones that stay on my face, I continue back on my
quest to the library. On the way, one of the Tuesday facilitators
stopped me, reached in and removed my label telling me that I still
had it on. “yes” I say, smiled and went on to the library now
unlabelled at last with her walking with me trying to explain. I got
it in the end but wow, such hard work.

I
really feel for you poor carers that contend with this all the time.

WHY
AM I SUDDENLY UNABLE TO LINK THESE EVENTS TOGETHER? And how come
today, the next day, everything is ok again?
Aaaaaaarrrrrrrggggghhhhh!!!!!!

At
last I hit the library and despite probably not standing a chance of
winning, I set about logging into a computer to check the catalogue
for the film. Before going on I must just add that on Monday after
the health walk I had a little tiny insignificant run in with a new
librarian at this library about my jacket and bag. She had been upset
that I hung it on a display and we calmly (this was back on Monday)
discussed that if I left them on the floor they would be a trip
hazard and she would probably moan at me about that so what was I
supposed to do….. teach them how to hover? After fighting and
losing to the computer as it would not accept my ‘correct’ login and
password code, I gave up as there was no way in my current mood that
confronting the librarian could end up a positive event. I went
upstairs to read, in peace. Surprisingly I was actually able to
focus, concentrate and read.

The
reason for staying at the library was that I was being met and taken
by car to a completely new area to go walking out in the country. The
wife of 1 of the walk leaders had offered to drive me with her to
this new place as she also wanted a country walk rather than town and
parks. She had already been ‘borrowed’ once before for a long walk on
a Sunday and is scheduled for 1 more weekend outing in about 2 weeks.
Hopefully by then I will be ok about hopping on the bus and venturing
way from home to new areas but I somehow doubt it will be that much
that quick so not sure what I will do to overcome that hurdle.

The
walk was brilliant, rolling green hills, muddy tracks, bluebell
covered copse, ankle deep slushy puddles, fences to climb,
undergrowth to fight through, wildlife running for cover in all
directions. At one point, not sure where we were, we left the mud
track and climbed tree to tree up a steep incline just to get a view
of where we were along the valley but it did not really matter. She
was great and at least as much as me up for the challenge and always
looking for the least trodden path to follow. It really was like a
trip not only into the wilderness but deep deep into my past and back
to early teen years when I spent almost every weekend doing exactly
this. Magical and such a fabulous tonic to put the first half of the
day to rest and so much better than any CST session. We were walking,
climbing, sliding, clambering for just over 3 great hours and then
headed back for the car which we found first try, somehow?

I
was supposed to be going on a 7 mile cycle ride in the early evening
for exercise, but had no need. Also, being rather disgusted that
Medway had not publicised where a beacon was being lit only boring
bonfires, I had no need to go out so rested and hit emails and TP.

One
of the emails from ‘Medway
Dementia Action Alliance’, part of the Alzheimer’s Society, was in
reply to my actions about the show we want to attend, has probably
lit a bit of a bonfire under the CST course organisers but I will
wait and see then report back on that next Tuesday after the next CST
meeting.

And
my last point for this post is a moan. For the first and hopefully
only time, a moan about Talking Point. The other night, despite not
being too great, I read with a heavy heart the post of a woman who is
having to contend with her very recently diagnosed husband and his
wish to ‘end it all’. As I am quite recent but do not know how
progressed he is, I offered to talk with him or through her, about
the benefits of being positive and fighting it. The fact that she did
not reply in any way, even to tell me to butt out or thanks but no
thanks was ok at first as I thought she may be too preoccupied with
other things to have to time for a reply. This turned to
disappointment and a bit of anger and a slight souring of my view of
TP when I saw she found the time to reply to another carer.
99.999999999% of the carers etc. on TP are so so wonderful but
unfortunately it only takes 1 bad apple as they say and my current
frame of mind has allowed my view to be tainted. I shall try and rub
the tainted bit out very quickly!

Thanks
for hanging in there again my friends, this was a long one. Comments,
especially constructive criticism are most welcome and will be good
for me.

Wayne
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