I just tried to get into someone else’s car


Well, I just tried to get into someone else’s car.

Not on purpose, of course. Just walked out of a store, stood beside the wrong car, and pulled the handle.

Luckily the alarm didn’t go off, and no one was inside.

What else? Oh, I read the wrong story to a seminar the other week. Got halfway through and began to suspect it was going in the wrong direction. Tried to think through what was going on. Why was it the wrong one? What should I do? Read on? Stop and admit?

I stopped, apologised, got a laugh, and improvised the rest.

I’ve driven round one or two roundabouts a couple of times too…big ones, really big ones with multiple offloads and too few signs. 

And I’ve started using thingamajig a lot more. You know, the thing that does that…the sort of lever type thing…what’s it called….?

I’ve been talking to people about having a diagnosis of mixed dementia quite early on in the disease.

Yesterday a person told me it was good to meet and talk to someone who is living well with it, rather than seeing the usual image in the media, people in care homes nearer end of life, who have lost a lot of cognitive ability.

She had read that two out of three people now think they will develop dementia at some stage. And they’re frightened. Perhaps this is because of the awareness raising and the media images. 

What is it at the moment? One in a hundred? Of whom just over half are diagnosed. 

But fear is the key. 

We can live well for a long time with dementia, so there is no rational reason to be frightened. I’m not a gibbering, drivelling wreck, with my pants on over my trousers, wandering around in a daze! But you might expect that from the media.

Mind you, sitting in a well known coffee house I am being stunned by the amount of noise…my brain is at overload, trying to cut out the noise of cups, saucers, conversations, muzak…

I’ve been wondering why time has slipped by so fast in the last year. The days just disappear. It’s the end of the week, then suddenly Monday again…then the next month. I mean I welcome the spring…really found this winter depressing…but time is just slipping away.

And I think it’s because my awareness of time is dissolving. I arrive at meetings late more often, because I become less able to judge how long it’ll take me to get ready to leave the house. I sit and drink tea and read on my iPad, then drink coffee, then this and that, and sit a little more…plenty of time to wash, dress, take pills, shave, do the washing up, feed the hens, put the cats out…and suddenly it’s too late. 

Time just disappears. Not my memory as much as awareness of time and events. 

I am meant to be doing shoulder exercises several times a day. I’ve got notes up to remind myself. I just don’t do them. I remember to do them when I’m in bed, on the toilet, sitting here in a cafe…but when I am in the right place I just forget. It leaves my awareness or consciousness. And I don’t do the exercises.

I’ve apologised to the physios, which have been pretty understanding and nice about it. I’m really sorry. 

Yet when I’m focused on something, like my Patients in Control seminars, I am on song. I can find the information I need in my brain quickly when I have already found the right area.

Except, of course, when I choose the wrong story to read…

2 thoughts on “I just tried to get into someone else’s car

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