Focusing on what I can do, not what I can’t……….

No, I can no longer run – which I loved……no, I can no longer cook and bake – which I loved……no, I’m no longer able to read a book and remember what I read………but in the grand scheme of things, do these things really matter?
Well on some days it does matter – I get melancholy like everyone else. However, the majority of the time, I’m too busy doing other things for it to be of any great concern.

If you’re continually focusing on what you can’t do, and others are continually reminding you what you can’t do, then for sure you’ll end up depressed and feeling despair at the hand life has thrown at you.

My only way of coping with the hand life has thrown at me is to try to adapt. I concentrate on the things I still enjoy.

My daughters help me with an awful lot and accepting this doesn’t come naturally. After all, mums are suppose to be the ones who are there for their daughters – not the other way round. I still enjoy pottering in the garden. Watching seeds grow and flourish into strong healthy plants is a wonderful sight. I still enjoy pottering in the garden so I potter in my daughters garden as well as my own. That still makes me feel useful and makes me feel as though I’m helping them.

I may be slow in speaking and thoughts take time to formulate but I still have ideas and thoughts so we can still chat and discuss when problems arise. I can still be there for them.

I can’t cook like I use to – I was a very good cook – but now I enjoy my daughters cooking. Sarah cooks me amazing currys for the freezer and Stuart, Gemma’s partner, cooks me amazing meals. Why should I worry about not being able to cook?

I can’t run any more as I’d fall over – my brain and legs don’t work at the same pace – but I wobble around with my stick quite happily.

Noise and multiple conversations are a nightmare – but I now love sitting in silence listening to the birds………….

I can’t use the phone anymore so my daughters ring the Bank or energy companies when I get in a pickle – but what does it matter who rings, as long as I don’t mind and they don’t mind doing it……..

We watch in awe and admiration at the para olympians who strive to be the best with the bodies they have. I’m sure they go through moments of sadness and regret at what could have been, but that doesn’t stop them trying to achieve what seems like the impossible to most. Why shouldn’t we strive to do our best with the brains we have left.

So if you have a loved one with dementia, who is struggling to cope, help them focus on what they can still do and find new ways or new activities to compensate for the skills they’ve lost……….it may seem small and insignificant to you, but a tiny success could make their day…….

My disability may be invisible to others but I’m still visible as a person and want to make the most of what I can do….

 

Image supplied by our dear friend Google......
Image supplied by our dear friend Google……
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About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. I may not have much of a short term memory anymore but that date is one I’ll never forget. I’m 58 years young, live happily alone in Yorkshire, have 2 daughters and I’m currently still in full time employment in the NHS. However, I’m now in the process of taking early retirement to give me a chance of enjoying life while I’m still me. I've started this blog to allow me, in the first instance, to write all my thoughts before they’re lost. If anyone chooses to follow my ramblings it will serve as a way of raising awareness on the lack of research into Alzheimer's. It will hopefully convey the helplessness of those diagnosed with dementia, as there is no cure – the end is inevitable. However, I’m also hoping I can convey that, although we've been diagnosed, people like me still have a substantial contribution to make; we still have a sense of humour; we sill have feelings. I’m hoping to show the reality of trying to cope on a day to day basis with the ever-changing environment that dementia throws at those diagnosed with the condition. What I want is not sympathy. What I want is simply to raise awareness.

17 thoughts on “Focusing on what I can do, not what I can’t……….

  1. I also forget things, it isn’t dementia, or I hope it isn’t. I had what the surgeon called a routine op and since the op I have had more complications than anything. The first thing I remember is the doctor in Intensive care on the phone saying to my daughter saying “you have 1 hour to get here if you wish to see him alive one last time.” That was over 6 years ago, my reply to him was classic “Chubby Brown” “Tell the c*** I don’t do f***ing requests.”
    I can open a page on the PC and forget why I opened it but weeks, sometimes months, later I remember. Forgetting anything is a pain but the most annoying is going over the road to the supermarket and forgetting what I went in for only for my son to ask if I got it and for me to say got what so I send him it certainly beats going over again and forgetting why I went. I even tried writing it down but I forget the paper with it on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Wendy;

      Reading your posts especially those of your daughter helps me cope with my mom’s journey to dementia. I hurt when I think of her as she was tossed away like an old useless shoe

      Her and I talked on the phone about her moving where I was near the ocean where she grew up, and raised 7 children-alone. This was to give her some pleasure in life and to be where she would have an enjoyable few years before dementia took over.

      This did not work and she died in misery 6 months before her 92nd birthday- alone.

      It hurts just to think of her being left alone through it all. She was once a very strong woman but hardships in life and abusive family drained her. I was harassed away from seeing her when I lived close. Because I stood up against the disrespectful and abusive actions of my family to her.

      Being very sick I was useless to help her by myself. I was alone.

      We talked constantly on the phone in the early days of her being put into what she called “jail” both agreeing she did not need to be committed to a home yet.

      The abuse and neglect she endured while living near my siblings for years was horrible. Yes I tried to do something about it but was dismissed as not being next of kin. Thanks to the work of a sister. At first mom would correct this but over the next 3 years she faded from my life. No more contact. They removed her phone and clock, also throwing out all her clothing.

      I live in guilt feeling I could have done more for her. My problem is I am seriously disabled and needed help to do most anything. This did not come together soon enough to help her. By then word was out I wanted her near me in the same facility and this was quickly ended.

      Too weak to help like I wanted to I depended on news from the only sibling that helped her and really loved her as I do. My younger brother, Roy. He was all she had. She called for him continually always forgetting he had just been there. Yet he went every day, sometimes twice. He kissed her May 31st at 10 PM and said ” I love you mom” she replied “I love you too”. He did not know this was the last time he would see her.

      She passed alone at 2:AM June 1st not knowing there were those who did love her.

      I am finding it hard to forgive my sister and others for their horribly abusive elderly abuse they subjected her to which continue when they had her put away. This was worked out by a scheme by my sister over a few short months.

      Mom always said she was shocked my sister would do this to her. Of course I was not.

      Mom was always there for me and I for her. Only by phone due to distance the last few years. Sometimes I think ” I want to call mom and tell her about this” then sadly remember I had my last phone call from her months ago.

      She deserved so much more in her end years then she received. I feel guilt for not trying harder to help her.

      Mom you are loved very much, I am sorry for what was done to you. I am sorry I moved away leaving you helpless to heartless people. If it was possible to go back in time I would crawl into your bed wrap my arms around you then hold you with love and warmth until you took your last breathe.no one should die alone when loved ones are close by. Except the ones who truly cared were not there nor notified.

      I found out 18 hours after her death by my brother, Roy. He found out from a distant relative who lives near me. Just actions to exclude us and distance us from any actions before they could do what ever evil deed they were there for.

      Thank you for the comfort you give me. I know there are thousands or more who feel this way.

      You are a blessing and a gift.

      Wendy Dalton
      Canada

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Hi Wendy I love reading all you have to talk about you are amazing . my husband is in early stage dementia he had a fall whilst walking our sons German Shepard and things went down hill after that he did not tell us about his fall. He was losing the use of his leg would not go to the dr or hospital ended in him having surgery . As far as he is concerned he does not have anything wrong ? The doctors are telling lies. So as you can imagine it is an interesting stressfull time . I am always amazed at how much you do my husband refuses to do anything just wants to be.
    You take care of yourself
    God bless. Ann 🙋🙋

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing how we all deal with life differently – IT’s very difficult coming to terms with a diagnosis but I hope your husband comes round soon as there’s so much living to be done and it’s much easier if you’re open about it.xx

      Like

  3. Hello Wendy, I love this post! Life doesn’t end with dementia, it just changes. Adjustment is hard, but you have shown than you can discover enjoyment in other things. When I worked in the Memory Clinc, this is some of the work I tried to do with people following diagnosis – both the person with dementia and their loved ones.
    Keep sharing your message! x x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Wendy, it is always so instructive to read about your daily life. It gives me an idea of what life mus be like for my sweet hubby. He is a natural adapter, but I don’t always know what to watch for. This is such an interesting journey. Bonnie, your friend across the pond.

    Like

  5. Hi Wendy. Your attitude is so encouraging and empowering. Would you consider, please, letting us reproduce your Sept 5 blog in a newsletter we sent to about 300 clients & families, and volunteers, here in the middle of New Zealand’s North Island? Kia Kaha (Maori for ‘Stay Strong’), Howard.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Wendy,

    This is another super-great post of yours! I liked it so much that I’ve just translated into Italian and re-post it on my blog: http://wp.me/p4jsA7-x6. Hope it’s ok?

    If it’s ok for you and your daughter, I am also planning to translate the article your daughter wrote for your blog the other day. I think her testimony is very powerful and deserves to be shared with my fellow Italians.

    A huge hug of appreciation and gratitude to the both of you

    Ciao from Italia

    eloisa

    Liked by 1 person

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