My husband and two sons are my best friends
And I am lucky, I have other special friends
Many new ones as well
But unless you are online you won’t ever know that.
There is so much more to me than those simple facts
The loss of babies in utero, a partner to suicide
And the disappearance of friends and family since dementia
All of these things and more will colour some of my days
At times they will all have an impact on how I feel
On how I might ‘behave’ on some days
They may make me cry
Since dementia it is not always possible to stop crying at will
That does not mean I am depressed
Or need an anti depressant
It is, quite simply
An expression of life, loss, love and grief
I have painful arthritis and chronic neuropathic pain
But, I prefer not to use pain killers,
Instead using Mindfulness
And Meditation to manage them.
What food do I like to eat?
What time of day do I like to eat?
How often do I shower?
Do I like to get up in the middle of the night?
Have my musical tastes changed?
What if I have forgotten I liked the music that others recall me listening to?
Do I remember my family and friends?
What are the clothes that I like to wear now?
What medication am I on?
Do I take vitamins?
How often do I exercise, and is walking a big part of my life?
Oh, yes, of course it is.
I walk to the kitchen, the bathroom, the clothesline, and to the shops.
And I walk for exercise and leisure.
Do my children know anything about my sex life?
What are my hobbies?
Do I like sharing meals with strangers?
What ‘activities’ do I like?
Would I feel locked up without a key to the front door?
Will living in an institution make me feel like I am in prison?
If I am there, will I like the decor?
Will I like the layout of the rooms?
How will I like sharing my life with complete strangers?
Can I arrange flowers or do some gardening?
And for anyone who might be admitting someone to a dementia unit
I have one final question
When you think about who I am…
Would you like your freedom to be taken away, and to be locked up?