The Three P’s – Positivity, Perseverance and Patience

We are all capable of doing great things. Its just a matter of mind set. I understand or know that for some people its really hard to look beyond what is wrong with them and see the positive over the negative. We are all different, unique beings.

I came across this quote today and thought it was apt in this place and time. It’s by Francis of Assisi

“Start by doing what is necessary; then do what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible”

So for me for example, I did what I had to do when I first got my diagnosis, retired from my job, stopped driving and looked into how I could fill my time, and worked on old skills that were hard to do. Like computer skills, cooking skills etc.

I joined groups, started to write in a way to make my brain work, in a way to stop me forgetting words, and I still hand write after a fashion so to keep the skill going.

I join groups to speak and meet others, my speech and thought processes work hand in hand and sometimes I forget what words I need to say but I work through it. Perseverance for me is the key, no matter what.

Now I have written a book which for me I did the impossible, and used my own photos in the mix. Double Whammy!! Might not be brilliant in some peoples eyes, but it doesn’t matter as words are just used to help my brain. And if it encourages others to keep going, so be it.

Remember we are all capable ~ Positivity, Perseverance and Patience (lots of that) ♥

Be your Own Fighter

Today which is Thursday, I went to CST in the morning and we did quizzes. You always think that you don’t know anything, but we know a lot more and it always surprises me.

Like What is the largest ocean? What is the capital of Greece? We remembered all the answers to those sort of questions. Amazing what our brain can retain and keep. I just wish I could retain others things apart from general knowledge.

Then this afternoon we went to a Dementia Action Alliance meeting in Hythe, at Age UK. It was mostly talk about getting businesses to become dementia friendly which is really important. I like going to these meetings as getting used to seeing people I know and meeting new people. And although they are all professionals, they listen to what we have to say. And listen to our point of view what is important and means a lot.

Out of the blue I was asked to do a book signing at a dementia Awareness day on 20th May in Hythe, I feel a bit strange that people want to read my book and get to know me, but at the same time I also feel excited and pleased as well. It’s a point that I want to get across that we are all special in our own way.

Life is hard sometimes, but we all have to find our own niche in a way to survive. This is my way of fighting against the alien in my brain 💖

Memories in the Past

On Wednesday, mum and I went to Hall Place in Bexley. There is a heritage trust there.  To drop off butterfly pictures that grandad had done years ago, and cine films, and projector screen. They do a lot of teaching there for children and were pleased to accept them. We are just pleased they are going to a good home.

We looked round old haunts whilst we were there as we spent a lot of time there in the 1970’s cause we lived in Erith. Saw The Laurels (white old house) where my grandad and his brother grew up, then where mum grew up in Belvedere, although that house was knocked down a long time ago and flats were built and the church where nan and grandad got married. Always good to go back to the past sometimes.

I remember my great grandad as he had a couple of shops and lived above one of them. He had a dog called Fred and always wanted me to sing ” on the Blue ridge mountains of Virginia” I was shy then as only a child 😊

We had lunch out which was lovely. Then the heavens opened. It was a lovely day 💖

Acceptance is the key

I am usually okay with my dementia. I have accepted it a long time ago, and if people don’t get it then its their problem. But what I don’t like is when someone makes me feel stupid because I just don’t remember. It’s not my fault. Yes, I am young, yes I have got something wrong with my brain, yes I do have dementia.

I had to catch a train this morning. I didn’t have to go too far, two stops and I was there. I get nervous getting trains. The stations are usually very hustle and bustle, too many people. I got my tickets and then couldn’t remember what to do with them and the ticket gate. Do they go through the top hole or the bottom hole? I felt myself getting hot as this meant I would have to ask someone.

Perceptions are a funny thing. We are all human beings and make snap judgements without realising we do it. The man at the gate who worked at the station, did just that. I could see it in his eyes, and the way he smirked when I asked him which way my ticket went. I patiently explained that I had dementia and just couldn’t remember. No big deal. But instead of just telling me and thats that. I took my ticket from me, sighed and did it for me.

I wanted to ask him if he had had training about dementia and dealing with someone with dementia. But was more worried about catching my train. In the UK, the government is very hot about rolling out dementia training for everyone in business.

I just felt frustrated today by the whole experience.

Never give up on dreams

i-am-still-me-bookWell, my book has come out today on Amazon and Authorhouse. I feel so proud of myself. I never, in a millions years, thought I would write a book of poems when I first got diagnosed with dementia. It’s a book of poetry some pertaining to my dementia, but most about life in general or nature. There are about 20 photos in the book as well. I chose the cover because I love nature and trees, and the trees losing their leaves remind me of my brain. I want to tell people never to give up, on anything 💖

Prison of Thoughts

Prison of Thoughts

Let me out, let me out
Can you not see inside the contours of my mind?
Why do you have to doubt?
Why do you feel the need to bind?

The corridors are long and winding
Full of space and yet locked doors
I feel cross that you are so binding
As I run across the floors

I bang on the windows, and then the doors
Racing back and forth
I search frantically through my drawers
Then back to East, West, South and North

All you do is make me anxious
I so want to be free
My mind should be a blank canvas
But it’s not, so I will shout and I will plea

Let me out, let me out right now
You can’t keep me prisoner
You promised and made a vow
But all you have done is imprison her

Her is me, don’t you hear?
It’s so unfair, this prison of walls
When you are there and I am here
You say it is to prevent my falls

Why have you put me in this place?
Full of locks and bars
I spend my life pacing within the space
But as I peer out, I see all the cars

I want so much to be free
Like a bird gliding through the sky
Or like the fish in the sea
Yet all I do is sit and cry

As I am here within the confinements of the home
And the prison of my mind
Where I am allowed to roam
And the nurses here are so kind

Don’t forget that I miss you, child
For that is how I remember you
You used to be so wild
Even more as you grew

Please let me come home with you
I promise that I will be good
I will make you my famous stew
You told me that you would if you could

But that I will be too unsafe to leave
My mind doesn’t understand
I wiped my face on my sleeve
Then you gave me a reprimand

And gave me a tissue instead
You sighed and looked at your watch
I felt there was a lot things unsaid
Yet I couldn’t remember, so asked if you still did the hopscotch

I don’t remember you leaving
And here am I pacing again
Why is everyone so deceiving
Why doesn’t anyone explain?

©Tracey Shorthouse 2016

Don’t Give Up

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We only have one life, and our life is short compared to the universe, so we have to make the best of it. I strive to do the best I can by always thinking on the positive over the negative no matter what.

When you have a condition, you have to learn to adapt and believe that you can get through it. Thought is a powerful tool, and if you believe it enough , you will. I believe that I will have at least 20 – 30 years ahead of me before my dementia takes hold of me, and I firmly believe that.

But you must NEVER GIVE UP on your life. The minute you do, then the condition takes over and you will lose. Why should that win over your life which is so precious.

When I first had trouble with writing, and remembering and finally got my diagnosis, I couldn’t use a computer very well. I used to in the old days but over time my coordination wasn’t very good. I couldn’t use the keyboard and keep looking at the screen, all the words kept jumbling up. But because I started to write poetry and it was easier to put it on the computer than handwriting it, I persevered and now can use a keyboard as fast as I used to be able to. You just need to push yourself and believe you can do it.

I don’t want to give up on skills that I used to have so I make myself do things, no matter how hard it is sometimes.

I have started doing on line courses which are free because I enjoy learning new stuff. Always did when I was a nurse and I know i can’t retain information now and I can’t remember a lot of what is said to me but at the time I like to learn something new and who knows that it might help my brain adapt, and I might remember bits of it. I don’t believe in the word can’t.

Sometimes my speech is affected especially when I get tired, its like I have no coordination over my tongue and I can’t always remember the words but I like to persevere to get the words out if I can. I hear of people who give up talking because its exhausting trying to speak. I don’t want to do that so I will try as much as I can. My friends always ask me if I want them to help say the word.

Last year I attempted to walk 44km for charity. I managed to walk 26 km in the end as I was poorly on the day but it was still an achievement for me.

We all need to FIGHT FOR WHAT WE BELIEVE IN.

And we all have bad days. Everyone does. So if you do something that isn’t quite right, or you can’t remember something, or its just a bad day. Don’t give up at the first hurdle and think your condition is getting worse, because there is always tomorrow.

Power

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POWER

The mind is a powerful tool
People have the power
But sometimes they are a fool
Watching time by the hour

Will it or won’t it?
I can hear their minds ticking
Then people want to quit
Cause it beats sticking

To whatever it is they are fighting
But in life, you have to remain positive
As life can be exciting
Even if your mind is a little less cognitive

So what if you do have dementia
Don’t let it stop you from living
You may have started to have dyslexia
But life is always about giving

We all have a power
It’s just how we use it
We can be beautiful like a flower
Even if our brain isn’t fit

It has to be believed
That we can fight anything
That life can be achieved
You can even go snorkeling

Just believe and have faith
That joy can be seen
Some people show their wraith
Whilst others make a scene

But it’s because they don’t understand
That we all have a choice
That life can be grand
And we all have a voice

Copywrite Tracey Shorthouse 2016

Lessons to be Learnt

Years ago one of my favourite spiritual writers was Paulo Coelho. He writes stories, but there are always lessons within these stories. His books are easy to read, as easy on the eye. I have recently bought one of his books in the hopes that I can read it.

There was a paragraph in it which I thought I would share with you.

” In life, each person can take one of two attitudes: to build or to plant. The builders may take years over their tasks, but one day, they finish what they are doing. Then they find that they are hemmed in by their own walls. Life loses it’s meaning when the building stops.

Then there are those who plant. They endure storms and all the vicissitudes of the seasons, and they rarely rest. But, unlike a building, a garden never stops growing. And while it request the gardener’s constant attention, it also allows life for the
gardener to be a great adventure. ” Paulo Coelho 2008

I always like to think of my life as being a great adventure, never stopping, just lots of nooks and crannies.

I like reading Aesop Fables for this reason as well. They are beautiful stories and have lessons to be learnt inside. Of course when you are a child, you are not aware of them but as an adult they are very much apparent.

And our proverbs which I had forgotten until recently. I go to a CST (Cognitive Stimulation Therapy) course and they were talking about them there. Those that were given to us gave me food for thought.

Memories are like Old Faded Photographs

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I am starting to see my memories like old faded photographs. You know the ones I mean, the old black and white ones that just fade over time. The one above is of someone from my family. My great, great grandmother. That is what my memories are like.

I can remember when I was a child like it happened yesterday, yet recent events are fading very fast. I would say the last few years are becoming a distant memory. I used to work in a seaside town called Deal and if anyone mentioned a patients name then I used to know exactly where they lived, the name of the road, house etc and what was wrong with them. Now I wouldn’t even know where half the roads were or their names. I know that isn’t important in the grand scheme of things but it is too me in one way.

People I used to work with, Old friends, I look down my friend list on Facebook and have no clue who some of them are now. Just can’t remember. And when I do try to remember something its like a higglety pigglety video thats playing with bits missing, its there but its not as well. If that makes sense.

I used to get so upset when I first couldn’t remember a dance I had been too or a person I had met but now I am getting used to it. And if someone says hello in the street and I don’t recognise them. I tend to stop and ask them who they are and how they know me, whereas in the beginning I used to feel embarrassed that I didn’t recognise them.

It’s like when I can’t remember names of things, its ridiculous but its can’t be helped either. And when someone tells me the answer it doesn’t sound right like a foreign language. I used to be very good at words and now I am often asking people what words mean. Sometimes the spelling looks weird and I often think, that can’t be right but it is. There are very subtle changes going on in my brain yet I am aware of it.

Numbers are completely foreign to me. I don’t understand them. Yet as a nurse I used to have to use maths all the time. My mum gave me a adult dot to dot book which are all the rage here in the UK. And I can’t do it. I feel a little bit ashamed admitting it but I can’t. It takes all my concentration just to do up to 50 then I lose it a bit. On paper they are so muddly that I just don’t understand then it makes my dementia more apparent.

Yet I have to write 14.00 hrs or 18.00 hrs instead of 2pm or 6pm as once a nurse always a nurse. We always wrote in the 24 hour format. It seems strange and wrong if I don’t write it in a way that I feel comfortable with.

And we always spoke in the phonetic alphabet if we were on the phone and trying to give a postcode or something. So that is commonplace with me still. Tango, November, Echo etc

Yet in other aspects I remember a lot more than when I first got diagnosed. I remember seeing my friend, Helen and her son and we went to this beautiful park with baby swans. Can’t tell you when it was. I remember walking with my friend Maxine and her dog Bonnie in the woods sometime, she got chased by some bees and then we got lost. These events happened last year sometime, but I don’t think it matters when its just nice to have those memories still there.

I think its funny how we can remember some things but not others. This is one of the reasons I take lots of photos and try and write about the walks I do with Annie, my walking buddy. It’s so important to document life in the best way you can.