Dementia: It’s Just Another Day

Maureen and I have never regarded it as important to celebrate our birthdays with anything special.  We are much the same about Christmas.  I always say to her that her presence is my present.  We have often been away around Christmas and joked that: ‘I paid for your holiday and you paid for mine.’

For a few years we gave each other cards from a selection of those we had sent and received in previous years. However, yesterday was rather different from previous Wedding Anniversaries.

During the early part of the morning Maureen looked through her birthday cards.  Although the event was a couple of months ago she has only opened her cards recently.  Some of them are still on display in various parts of the house.

When Chloe, our carer arrived, Maureen didn’t mention that it was a special day for us.  In fact they spent a lot of time together, before breakfast, chatting  in the warmth of the garden. I may be wrong but I think that Chloe has an eye on some of the tomatoes that are ripening!

We  passed the day in our normal fashion with me preparing meals, and Maureen clearing up the clutter. In between we played some of our favourite music and had the odd waltz around the kitchen.  Actually it may have been a slow foxtrot; as taught by ‘Kevin from Grimsby’s’ dad.  I’m not sure Keith Clifton would have wanted to take any credit for our version and we would not have got a ‘Ten from Len’.  No matter we had a lovely day, despite Maureen being unaware of the significance of the day.

None of this is surprising with Maureen’s current presentation.  She has little concept of time or date.   Sometimes, her comments on the weather show she has no idea what season it is.  I try to ‘stick to the book’ on all of this: I only correct her if it is essential.  Putting her right about time is only really needed when I am trying to get her to bed down for the night, and she thinks it is morning.  Although she wears a watch it is too small to see, and clocks don’t seem to help at all.  I am beginning to wonder if she is still able to tell the time.

So yesterday was just another day, as far as Maureen was concerned.  The fact that it was our 17th Wedding Anniversary almost passed her by.  In fact, if I had reminded her how long we had been together she would have stared at me in disbelief.  She has little memory over many important events in her life, and that may well be a blessing in disguise.

Two musical themes on the day:

Another Day by Paul McCartney

Another Day In Paradise by Phil Collins

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About Remember Me

I am a retired adult educator. My wife had a stroke in February 2014 and now has mixed dementia. Her recovery from stroke has been exceptional apart from 50% loss of peripheral vision and vascular damage. 'Dharma For Dementia' is my approach to being Maureem's Care Partner: it aims to end the suffering of 'Prescribed Disengagement' (Swaffer) .
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