I seem to have had the same questions being sent to me lately, asking me:
‘Why is is difficult to get my mum/dad to eat?’
‘Why do they only like sweets?’
‘Why is it so hard to get them to shower?’
Well, obviously I don’t know their relations, but all I can offer is my circumstances which may or may not help or be relevant.
For me, having a shower in the morning is exhausting. I’ve always had a shower before going downstairs for a cuppa tea and I see this now still as important. My cuppa tea is my reward for this exhausting process. When the brain is still waking; when the process of working out what to do takes so much; when the simple act of breathing while water is streaming over your head is a mission. Having a shower is exhausting for so many reasons….
You can, of course, get specially formulated ‘no water’ shampoo and body rinse for those that don’t like water and it’s suppose to be very good, but I simply prefer water at the mo.
I get out of the shower, refreshed, yes, but exhausted, huffing and puffing. So my cuppa tea is my welcome reward.
As for eating…..well I used to adore cooking and eating! I loved food. Now I can take it or leave it. Food is simply a fuel I know I need to have. But what I eat has changed beyond recognition. Meat is difficult to cut, to chew, to swallow, so I don’t eat meat. I used to prepare all my meals from scratch with never a packet in site. Now I can’t cook, I’ve no interest. I tend to eat the same thing every day, unless Stuart is cooking me one of his memorable meals……
My taste buds have changed – I used to love cakes and chocolate but now prefer savoury food. Others prefer sweet food. I think I’ve won on that one……
Food no longer tastes as it once tasted.
I often say how exhausting it is to have dementia. Imagine how physically exhausting it would be to swim in the sea against the tide, being carried away by the current and fighting your way back to shore. Well that’s what it feels like mentally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Thinking distance has been swum yet still no further to shore or swept away with the current further than you thought.
Living in that world of constantly battling the seas; of navigating the whirlpools of disorientation of time; of swimming constantly against the tide…. Continually fighting…..until you can fight no more.
Trying to tread water and staying afloat, not succumbing to the pressures around you. Only eventually tiredness will drag you under as dementia takes you into the depths of its own world….
May all sound extreme…..but the last few days have felt just like this for me…now me thinks it’s my turn for a few good days…..
Can you imagine living in our world……?