Reality or dementia’s deceit ……..?

I woke up the other morning, my heart thumping with confusion…….I typed this straight away…..

I’d gone for a walk which takes me down a footpath alongside the bypass…..only I’d got into a pickle with the turning and found myself heading down the embankment down onto the bypass. I remember thinking how it’s not usually a steep drop, but once I’d started, momentum just took me to the bottom….…..looking back up I knew I wouldn’t be able to climb back up it….

I looked this way and that and felt the speed of the cars rushing past me, so close the breeze was catching my breathe and the noise unbearable….I had no choice but to walk. Surely I would come to an exit, a slip road or a roundabout…..then a car coming towards me began to slow down, the familiar blue lights flashing on top….it was the police…..

I told them how I’d got in a pickle with the turning and ended up down on the road not quite sure how to get back to safety…

They wanted to take me back to the spot to see the gap that shouldn’t have existed, but I felt so guilty. They would have to do a massive detour and I didn’t want to waste their time. But they were kindly persuasive, explaining how far I’d have to walk to find an exit. We’re they real police, suddenly doubting their uniform, but what choice did I have?

We went the long detour, them keeping me in conversation, me reluctant to reveal my dementia, until we finally arrived back at the site of my misdemeanour. They could see the damage to the barrier that had allowed me through and I showed them the footpath a few yards away just in case they had doubts of their own…

A man then appeared, saying hello to me by name, from the village apparently and knew me well 😳. He took one of the policemen to one side while the other chatted to me, but I heard loud and clear when the man was saying “she has dementia, can get confused sometimes’…and suddenly felt trapped, guilty as charged…

As he waved goodbye the 2 policemen said they’d better take me home, but I hadn’t been for my trundle yet, I protested.

“We’d feel better if we took you home today, always time tomorrow for another walk”

I began to panic because I didn’t want them to know I lived alone. What would they think and do then? Would they report me to the authorities, raise their concerns with social services? My head in a spin, my mouth dry, I felt trapped in a corner desperately trying to think of a story….

As we crossed the traffic lights into the village, they asked my address. Amazingly my brain cooperated and I said my daughters address just hoping they’d be there. As we pulled up outside, an anxious Stuart came to the door, followed by Gemma. Before they could say anything I simply said,

“ I got in a pickle on my trundle and the police brought me home. I’ll explain in a min..”

Luckily the police didn’t ask any questions but thankfully left me there and went on their way, hopefully fighting crime and forgetting about me….

That’s when I opened my eyes and couldn’t think whether all that had really happened. I looked around. I was in my own bed. But the images, the feelings were so real, listening to my heart thumping, my head whirring. I lay there trying to think if it had been yesterday when the trauma occurred. I really didn’t know.
I was going to text my daughter to check but then didn’t want to worry her if it hadn’t. If it was real, the topic would be raised again for sure…..wouldn’t it?

Reality or a dream….it was so clear, so real….sometimes with dementia it’s hard to decipher…..and I’m still not sure…….

About wendy7713

On the 31st July 2014 I was diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia. 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.

18 thoughts on “Reality or dementia’s deceit ……..?

  1. The most impressive thing to me is how resourceful you were!! Dream or no dream, you were able to anticipate possible consequences and devise a way around them! I don’t think I could have done that, and I don’t (yet) have dementia. You are a remarkable woman, Wendy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Wendy, I used to support a close friend with dementia, and he had exactly the same kind of experience. His dreams were so vivid that he was sure they had happened for real, so it could well be that since you woke in your bed that it was a vivid dream. Glad you were safe, either way!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Wendy, how frightening, real or imagined! I can only imagine how you must be feeling. Will you talk to your daughter about it? She will be able to confirm whether you were there, and it may feel better to know. Either way, it might be good to have someone around today, whilst you are shaken up like this. Take care. Will be thinking about you. X

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That at least puts your mind at rest over that risk. I haven’t experienced a vivid dream such as this, but when I drift into my “D Zone”, (generally, if I am at home and not fully occupied), I am very confused about what I have done during the hours that often pass un-noticed. I hope you don’t go though this experience again – perhaps your mind is reminding you to stay extra focussed when you are out trundling. Stay safe. X

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Aw Wendy – that’s been a crummy experience! You explain your “pickles” so clearly I can almost step into your shoes for a while. Goodness knows what I will be like if I have to live with dementia. My sense of direction is rubbish now 🙄 though I don’t let on to my dear husband if I’ve got lost!😉 His sense of direction is amazing! Stay safe and deep breaths for your next trundle. Love J xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh Wendy, that must have been such a worry for you. But you’re always saying you must live in the present moment, so try and put it behind you. My mum’s dementia gives her very vivid dreams which scare her sometimes, but it’s gone now, so whether it was a dream or not, no point in dwelling on it now. Live in the moment. I’m sure on your next trundle you’ll be super careful to choose the right path. Take care. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh that sounds very scary, you describe it so clearly the memory was obviously vivid. Well glad you have established it was a dream, or more of a nightmare!! Hope the memory of it will soon pass. Maybe a nice quiet village walk or pottering around day is needed.
    Rosemary

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How scarey for you. I sometimes wake to feel my heart racing and scared, it all feels so real.
    My motto is similar to yours I think “always look forward and try to remain positive”.
    Keep cheerful you help the rest of us so often.
    Joan

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m impressed that your dream was so cohesive! …My dreams tend to go all over the place morphing from one plotline to another. No wonder you were confused upon waking!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. You describe the experience so convincingly and logically – no wonder you thought it was real! Very scary, though. My husband often says that he doesn’t know whether he has dreamt something or whether it was real, but fortunately he hasn’t had anything as dramatic as you! Glad you checked it out with Gemma.
    🙏🏻😍

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi – I don’t comment much, but I’m a lurking reader!
    This post about your “dream/experience” really resonated with me because I remember my mother-in-law sometimes getting herself off track and helped by strangers…including the police….which we were so grateful for. But we were also grateful that by the next day she didn’t appear to remember the whole scary experience and was happily focused again on what was for lunch/the tv/the flowers.
    Thankyou so much for your writings – your express SO well your experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

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