Dementia: ‘Thank You Good Samaritans’

I am really grateful to several good Samaritans who came to my aid yesterday, in my hour of need.  As I made my way back to my car inGrimsby I began to feel as and stood restingat the side of the road.  A gentleman who was passing by enquired if I was alright escorted me back to a safe haven.  The girls in reception of my solicitors took care of me until I felt well enough to drive to my doctors for assessment.

Nina a Practice Nurse delayed her lunch, to discover that low blood pressure was causing my discomfort.  Chloe Maureen’s carer contacted Michelle at the Care Agency to arrange emergency cover to step in as my return home was going to be delayed.  Apart from my mobile phone creating problems everything else worked like clockwork.

All of the people involved rescuing me in my hour of need stepped up to the plate without hesitation, as did other cogs in the wheel that I have not mentioned.  The gentleman who stopped in the street just happened to mention that his wife had lung cancer, and was on palliative care.  The women in the solicitors were all working away like beavers.  My friends at Clee Medical Centre were all busy trying to deal with the pressures within the NHS.  Chloe needed to get to her next call, and I’m sure Michelle at Hica was in the middle of her daily juggling act: matching need with scarce resources.

There is only one word I would want to say to you all: ‘THANKYOU’, for keeping Maureen safe, and reassuring me that my ticker wasn’t about to give out on me just weeks before I have had my three score years and ten!

I also need to apologise for the extra work I caused so many people yesterday: I needn’t have been rushing around in Grimsby.  My apology is based on failing to understand dementia.  My missions to try to find Maureen suitable clothing are pointless.  The hours I spend trawling clothes outlets are a complete waste of time.  The problems are not clothes: the problem is Maureen has dementia.  That means that only certain clothes will ever be suitable for her.  They may look worn or ill-fitting but if she is happy in them that is all that matters.  The days of Maureen looking like a well-dressed woman have gone: she has dementia! 

On the underwear front, again I am wasting my time.  There will be days when nothing is comfortable: everything will irritate her in one way or another.  Things that she has worn for days will be too tight, and scratch her tender skin.  On those days I need to provide TLC and not go on shopping expeditions for suitable attire: Maureen has dementia!

 

When I returned home shortly before 2pm Maureen was still in bed.  She had refused to eat or get out of bed for Chloe.  Apparently on occasions, she used some unpleasant language to express concern that I had ‘gone out to enjoy myself yet again’.  She showed some concern about my dizzy spell in town, and carried on as normal for the rest of the day.

Early evening I left her to tidy up the kitchen; complaining about a shortage of staff in this Care Home.   I realised l my mistake later when I saw the state of the kitchen. When I went into the utility room I saw what else had been keeping her busy: ‘packing to go home’, as you will see from the photo opposite.

There is a clear lesson from today:  Maureen has dementia – forget that for one moment and I’m in trouble!

 

 

 

 

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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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9 Responses to Dementia: ‘Thank You Good Samaritans’

  1. Steve Thomas says:

    Mate, that’s hard. We celebrated my mum’s birthday on sunday. She thinks I’m her brother of course :-). She has gotten frail very quickly. I only see her rarely as I am 5 hours drive away. I find it odd that I don’t really feel anything other than not knowing quite what to do or say. Fortunately my sister visits most days and my dad lives in a unit onsite. She used to pack to go “home”, but I understand that she has settled more now. It must be tough for her, but it would be impossible otherwise. I wonder if our Western world has lost touch with being human … and by that I mean our finitude and limitations. The futility and meaningless and parody of humanness of plastic surgery for example. All that counts for zip … (I feel like quoting Ecclesiastes at this point). Anyway. Thanks for sharing your (plural) story. I think it is important to do so. “The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning”

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    • Remember Me says:

      Thanks Steve for sharing your news. I have day off tomorrow to see mum and my brother: both have dementia. Neither are likely to know who I am or remember that I’ve been. Thanks for the quote

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  2. alijory says:

    Glad the funny turn wasn’t anything more serious Paul, a bit of a message perhaps. I’m sorry to read about the increasing difficulties you and Maureen have been experiencing. A very poignant photo. Hope all goes well for both of you tomorrow. Loved Steve’s quote.

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  3. Remember Me says:

    Good to hear from you my friend: hope all is well with you. Yes that is a great quote from Steve!

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  4. How fortunate you were to have all those compassionate folks care about your well-being and assist you. The universe provided you with a unique opportunity to step back from your “doings” in your attempts to manage Maureen’s dementia and come to terms with the reality of the situation. I hope your visit goes well. Steve’s quote is spot on. And I hope you take some time for yourself on your day off. You both need and deserve it. Be well.

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  5. Glad you’re all right after the dizzy spell and that so many kind people stepped up when you needed help. It seems reasonable to accept Maureen’s clothing choices and let her choose what makes her comfortable. I’m sad for her that there are days when she is unable to find something suitable.

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  6. Remember Me says:

    It’s heartbreaking to watch her distress but I now accept that the clothes issue is closed. I’m sure those kind shop assistants will miss me.. There are so many kind people around here in Cleethorpes. I’ve just come back from Tourist Information to get my coach ticket for Coventry, and two members of staff asked me how Maureen was.

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  7. jennifertucker44 says:

    I hope you have a better day today.

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  8. Remember Me says:

    We certainly did, and today will be even better as I will be off to see family in Coventry in a couple of hours.

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