The train wreck of dementia

243515-poland-train-crashThe story I posted earlier this week DEMENTIA: The Long 24 Hours by Norman McNamara tells of Norms dementia journey with great clarity, and ripped our heart-strings right out of our chest. Reading it was devastating; it was like viewing our own dementia train crashing. Norms courage in sharing it is inspiring, and he and Richard Taylor will help keep me motivated to work really hard against the symptoms of dementia, and to continue to speak out.

The sadness in Norms words took my dear husband and I a little by surprise, and to a place we try to avoid; the future! It dragged us right out of our denial bubble… For now things are moving relatively slowly, but who knows when the train will take off, or in which direction. Of course, sometimes my blogs take him to a place he’d rather not go; and yet my writing about it helps me heal, rather than drags me down. When I read Norms story, I felt the pain my loved ones feel when they read about mine.

One day, we are told, our dementia train is going to crash, take us to a place of horror and destruction beyond our current recognition.

We can read about it, we have lost loved ones who’ve been there, and we have friends who are currently closer to the final train wreck of dementia.

And yet, it is still hard to believe it will happen to us.

4 thoughts on “The train wreck of dementia

  1. Is it like skiing? I know I’m going to fall down, but I do it anyway. The beautiful mountain view from the top. The brisk wind in my face. The clear blue sky. Sometimes that chair lift ride to the top is an icy b*tch.
    Ski while I can.
    We’re all going to fall down – someday .


    • I’m not sure it is anything like skiing… I used to ski, and it was always such a thrill, a very pleasurable and exciting recreational sport. For me, dementia is nothing like this. Yes, we will all fall down someday, as we inevitably do sometimes when skiing, but with skiing, we know we can get up and keep skiing. Even if we break a leg, when it recovers, we won’t have lost any cognitive ability. I’ve just been reading your blog, which I’m glad you lead me to. You said this on 3 January; “Oh dammmmm dementia I hate you!” There are days when I too hate dementia, but PWD just have to keep getting up as best we can, and not get too caught in hating it, otherwise we get dragged down.


  2. One of the things that I believe I learned, Kate and Pete, from talking to people – including you guys – while preparing to write ‘The Good, The Bad and The Brilliant’ last year was that everyone has a different path to follow and no one ever knows exactly what the road ahead has to offer – it’s a bit Tolkienesque, really – an ‘unexpected journey’. Pam Correll made the remarkably memorable and insightful comment: “You didn’t know what the day would bring; you just went with it. You can be proactive when you have a geography you can map. But with dementia, you are just being prepared to be prepared and develop the capacity to respond.”
    One of the things I know is that you guys have a strong relationship and deep respect for each other; this will be the strong foundation on which you base your response as you move into the future. What lies ahead is unknown – the known is that you have your mutual respect, love and support.


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