Well I’ve had a reminder that dementia does get worse as time goes on.
It’s easy at the earlier stages to forget about what’s coming. You just carry on as before and occasionally have a day when things goes dark and weary. Then you get back up again.
Anyway, why would you want to think about life in five years’ time? Best to ignore it, after doing the right things like power of attorney.
So I was cooking supper. What was it? Simple baked potato, chicken, kale, carrots…
But somehow things became disjointed. I didn’t get each part timed right…undercooked the chicken and had to put it back in the oven, so the kale was overlooked…
And the work area became cluttered with stuff. My iPad, oven gloves, saucepans, the day’s post, plates, cups, knives…and I became confused. There were just too many things to think about. My brain couldn’t hold it all.
And I shouted and wanted to swipe everything onto the floor. Just clear the whole space. Start again or walk away.
Then yesterday I went to an evening meeting. Which meant driving in the dark, and to a venue which was incredibly difficult to find. Dark, wet, shiny surfaces, headlights not bright…I really felt unsure and lost for a while.
I’ve become a less steady on my feet in the dark. In fact I nearly fell over the other night going to the loo. Need to put a light on really.
I walked Lupin around some big fields the other afternoon and misjudged the light. So the last mile was pretty dark, on uneven fields. Very challenging now, lurching from side to side, though not quite to the ground. Even felt nauseous with the lack of stability.
What I felt for the first time was my foundations being shaken. It’s a very destabilising effect. You immediately lose some confidence, and the future looks suddenly bleak, worrying.
Your home seems solid, safe, reliable. And you just live in ignorant certainty that your home will always be solid, safe and reliable. So you don’t think about it, or worry.
But try standing up during an earthquake. I was teaching in 1989-ish, or whenever the Shropshire earthquake happened. The floor rippled, swayed a little. Apparently our cooker at home moved an inch forward and back again.
And it shakes you to the core, because what was certain is no longer certain, and will never again be certain. Life changes in that instant.
Everything is utterly changed.