Why should dementia stop us having adventures…..?

Today is a piece I recorded for Dementia Diaries, so you can either listen to it here

https://dementiadiaries.org/entry/13697/wendy-asks-why-should-dementia-stop-us-having-adventures

or read it below….or both!

For those of you who read my blog regularly you will have seen my recent mini adventure to the far away land off the West of Scotland to the Isle of Lewis. Now many people, when diagnosed with dementia, may think it’s the end of adventures, the end of travelling and having fun…..well I probably had that very same fleeting thought when I was diagnosed over 5 years ago, simply because no one tells you any different.

When Philly Hare said she was going to live on the Isle of Lewis for 3 months, the thought crossed my mind of how wonderful that would be and then she said, why don’t I visit while she’s there! Well I was in heaven at the very thought. But then the reality of the travel hit me. Due to the cost, I’d have to go alone. But why should that stop me? Once there I knew I’d be in safe hands, so I just had to find a way. There’s always a way….

Sarah helped me book the travel. I’d never booked a flight before so didn’t know where to start. We had to ring for assistance travel, which was a bummer, as it meant Sarah had to do that too……but they were very nice on the phone.

I knew I’d have to rely on the kindness of strangers, which I do almost every day. AND on assistance at the airport working well as I wouldn’t have a clue what to do by myself…

But I’ve always said to myself from the start, “Don’t Panic”. As panicking can make the situation 10 times worse. It’s never easy not flapping, but if you just stop for a moment, take a deep breathe and think, “what the the old me have done?”….it usually alleviates the stress and puts some logic thinking in my mind. Usually it’s a case of simply looking for a smiley face and asking for help, which is what I did when I got to Edinburgh airport and didn’t know where to start. The smiley face put me right. I’m always honest with people, say I have dementia and I’m in a bit of a pickle.

When I finally arrived at the airport in Stornaway ready for my adventure, well I knew Philly and Ron would be waiting for me. I often worry about staying with other people so rarely do. But I always trust Philly and sure enough, she had all the doors marked with signs so I felt Immediately safe……

The kindness of others can go a long way to helping us live our life to the max, we simply need others to be kind, to be considerate,  to support us, to enable us to do what we want to do no matter what the risk.

of course, not everyone has my confidence, my ability to just ask. We are all different and need different levels of support. AND, adventures come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It might be somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, to see, to touch….it’s what the person wishes…..But it’s important not to give up on us and find a way of making our dreams continue long into dementia…

People often say to me, but how do you do it? How can you possibly do what you do with dementia?

Well the alternative is why I find a way. The alternative is sat alone with dementia as my only company and I don’t much care for his company…..after all, our clock is ticking and ticking fast…

 

 

 

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.

12 thoughts on “Why should dementia stop us having adventures…..?

  1. Oh Wendy it was so lovely to listen to you. I’ve not been able to read lots for some time now, so to just be able to listen to you was amazing (just like you are). I have the same opinion & that’s why I plan my whole week to be busy & never sat alone with dementia as it’s rubbish company 😁

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Amazing as ever. “A” for effort Wendy. A real life ‘Blythe Spirit’. Whenever my friends moan about ‘nothing’, I refer them to my friend Wendy and tales of her accomplishments. It always has the desired effect. Wonderwoman at her finest.. …

    Liked by 1 person

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