Middle of nowhere. That’s what it feels like…

We’re wild camping again, in woods beside a 12th century Abbey. The ruins. Which are impressive.

Middle of nowhere, twenty miles north of Perigeux.

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We have found fabulous places for wild stops. Beside a beautiful river…overlooking the Limousin from 800 metres on a precipitation cliff…and now this.

It’s been hot. My god it’s hot. I’ve found I cannot cope with it like I used to.

Perigeux has a lovely old town, and we found the market this morning. Very upmarket. Lovely produce. One or two old smallholders selling eggs, a chicken, or freshly picked ceps.

But I could not cope with the busy-ness of it all. This is repeating itself so often that it is a pattern.

I need quiet. I just can’t make enough decisions quickly enough to handle crowds and cars and streets.

In a place I don’t know and recognise.

I just get exasperated and start swearing and huffing and puffing…and then get annoyed with Jane…and finally just hand over decisions in a huff.

“Fine”

Hmph.

“Fine”

Is this dementia? Is it getting older? Is it the heat?

Too much going on. Too many inputs, sensations, sounds, visual signals.

Bombarded.

I need slow living.

Slow, slow living.

Time to think, reflect, take stock, remember…

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……..

Now translate that into a hospital ward.

How does it feel with dementia to be in a different unknown place, and feeling bad?

People you don’t know

Beds both sides, people staring around…

Trolleys, carts, weird metal things on wheels…

Having bands wrapped around your arm, blown up…

Painful pressure…why?

Then a ripping noise…what on earth was that? What’s been ruined?

Who can I ask?

To go to the toilet? For a cup of tea? For my mug?

Is anyone going to come and say hello?

Hmm…my troubles in busy towns are the start of what is coming.

And I’m not looking forward to it.

“Barbara’s Story” is a great exemplar of what living with dementia can be like in an unfamiliar place.

A lot of the change we need is about changing understanding of what you see.

Understand what is in their mind.

That they do not see the world as you do.

That they do not understand what they see, feel and hear like you do.

They’re not grumpy, they’re scared.

They don’t understand.

Get inside their world and look out from it…

Change the paradigm.

(There, I’ve said it again.)

And it takes time and effort.

 

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