It has been a whirlwind six weeks, and I have really missed my almost daily blogging and the regular chats with friends here, but this trip, it has not been mentally possible to maintain my blog as well as travel. It is one of the more noticeable changes in my symptoms, as the paddling is more difficult, and much more tiring.
The Swan analogy is useful for people to get a glimpse of what living with dementia is like, in that it is like being a swan on a lake, calm on the surface, with our feet paddling furiously below the surface to keep afloat.
It goes beyond that though, as I have realised these last few weeks that having dementia means we never get to dry land.
We have to keep padding to stay afloat, and when we stop paddling – for example, crowds in a shopping mall, airports, travelling, taking a holiday, etc – we can actually sink because we cannot paddle, and the effort to come back to the top of the water and paddle well enough to stay float again is more difficult. I can see in the future, it may be impossible to get back up and float at all, and am understanding why working so hard to stay functional at all is so very important.
For me, living as well as I possible can, and working harder than I have ever worked to stay afloat, really is the Olympics of my life.