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…….