What is going on? Such a lazy way to start a blog, yet that is how I feel, and that is what we are asking. What is going on? Is the dementia moving in the wrong direction again, or is it that we are travelling and my routines have been out of kilter? Well, those questions have led me to ponder the notion of acceptance, and caused me to wonder if it is ever possible to completely accept dementia, particularly as the goal posts keep changing. Life is bursting with both wonderful and difficult or sad events, and ultimately all we need to get through them is acceptance. Acceptance of ourselves, of others, of situations and events is what many of us forget to do. The sadness following a death of a loved one can override the ability to accept what has happened straight away, which is completely normal, as we must grieve our way through to acceptance. BUT, to heal, I believe we must accept. The last few days the symptoms of dementia have been increasing, and we have no idea why, or if the changes are here to stay. It could be the travelling which is constantly exposing me to new places and people, or the fact I have not been able to maintain my regime of holistic supporting activities and diet. My dear husband and I spent many hours last night crying our way through our talking, trying to help the other understand more fully each other’s worlds, without hurting each other. How is it possible to say to my husband who I love deeply, stop trying to ‘over’ protect me all the time, without offending him, and, when all he ever wants to do is keep me safe and love me. How is it possible for me not to feel offended or upset when he says, this holiday I am not having a good time, it is just too stressful. In our efforts to keep each other informed, it is almost impossible not to hurt each other. We know what we say to each other, and what we hear is not meant to hurt, but rather to inform and help. Critique is usually quite difficult to accept at any time, but right now, we are both feeling very vulnerable.
Since meeting each other, we have always said we wanted to travel the world together once our boys were up and running, and this time has come but living with dementia is making it difficult. My dear husband says he does not want to travel long distances or for extended periods now other than to attend conferences with me, or for short family holidays. We are not being defeatist or pessimists, merely accepting the reality of our new world, one of living with the increasing symptoms of dementia. We can still share, even though I have lost some insight and find it more difficult to see, let alone accept some of the things he tells me. We often ask ourselves, have we accepted dementia? Some of the time yes, but there are many moments when we are used to what is happening or the symptoms are not glowing in our faces, and we gallop straight back into denial! I am wobbling and teetering more each day, even occasionally falling right over, but still getting back up, pulling myself out of the dark crevices of dementia. It takes more effort to get up again, or to straighten my bow, but with help, it is still possible. The disabilities caused by dementia are currently still able to be negotiated with and managed in ways that allow me to function fully, and allow my husband and me to have a good life together. That is not to say we do not struggle with what is happening, but we did before dementia too, about other things. Everyone does, in their own ways. Accepting whatever it is that is happening to you, around you, or that effects you in some way is the best way to get on with the business of living. Whether we accept dementia or not, it is with us, and we have to find ways to live with it! And live we must to, at least until we die. When we accept that very simple fact, and focus on living in the very best way we can, we will have truly achieved one of the greatest goals of life.