Dementia: A Change of Heart on Valentine’s Day

Maureen went upstairs while I was following the Sky Blues on my Lap Top yesterday afternoon.  When the full-time whistle went I found her asleep in bed.  As she slept peacefully I drafted the two paragraphs that follow:

After a great deal of thought I have decided to let Valentine’s Day pass without a mention. I think it would be chancy to make a fuss of Maureen today, as this would only remind her how poor her memory is.  Despite all sorts of efforts Maureen has little idea any longer of; day, date or time.   My approach to life is to try to make every day special by following Kate Swaffer’s advice: ‘To live every day as if it is your last’.

If things go well today I may well let my 70th birthday, in 9 days time, pass us by.   Celebrating birthdays is hardly a priority as we travel on this hazardous journey:  minimising distress has to remain our prime focus.

We were both awake at 4am this morning and I mentioned it was Valentine’s Day, completely going against my earlier thoughts.  I’m glad I did as I can now add a romantic theme to the day.  We will search out old cards as we always do, and have them on display.  I have even chanced my arm and mentioned my forthcoming birthday.  Maureen is back in the land of nod now.  She may well have forgotten our plans for today when she wakes later.  We hope top wander along to the Sunday Market and find a second- hand L P that has resonanace on this special day. It’s very likely she won’t be sure who I am when I take her her first cup of tea of the day.  In fact I would put money on her asking me: ‘if I’m going to work today’: that’s a home banker!

Last week I decided that Saturday would be my day for showing gratitude. Pondering over Valentine’s Day meant that I almost forgot a new dimension for this Blog.  I want to concentrate on the NHS this week, as we both have so much to be grateful for from the Health Service.  

On Wednesday I travelled across to Hull to see Andrew an osteopath.  I am so grateful that Clee Medical Centre utilise the Pain Management Service.  On Friday I confirmed that Andrew’s assessment has been sent to our Medical Centre.  I know that by Monday morning I will be able to speak to a GP, and set in motion the next stage of investigation for the problems I’m having with my left shoulder. I have also confirmed that my recent blood tests have showed no abnormalities.  I’m very grateful that our Medical Centre is efficient and supportive of patients.

I’m very grateful for staff at the local Branch of Lloyds pharmacy for the support they continue to give to us.  Mel my Admiral Nurse was on holiday last week so late on Friday afternoon I wandered around the corner for advice, and support at Lloyds.  I didn’t realise how demanding I’d been until Liz had to let me out as I had stayed beyond closing time.  I’m very grateful to Yvonna for her support and owe her, Liz, and Rosemary an apology for extending there working hours.

In a week when some Health Service staff have been in the headlines for taking industrial action it is important to show my gratitude to NHS staff for ongoing support to us on this journey.

 

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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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