A Sense of Humour Helps

I love seeing my friends socially but it makes me tired talking and trying to keep up what is being said. We always forget that our brain is used for everything and people don’t really understand that. Every day last week I caught up with friends who I haven’t seen for ages so thats a lot of chatter. By Saturday, I was starting to feel tired.

I went out with Annie for our weekly walk. I never think walking is tiring but it really is. I push myself to do this exercise because I feel its really important but it was hard work on Saturday. We walked the hills of Hawkinge which is a feat in itself, up and down. Sometimes when I walk its like walking through treacle, my legs don’t want to and I again push myself.

We climbed to the top of Sugar Loaf Hill, where at Easter, three crosses are carried by three men and placed there every year, then taken down a week later. And then we went down the steep slope to the bottom. I am always in awe of Annie who is so confident and there is me gingerly going down as scared of falling. She had the good idea of walking in a zig zag way downwards which worked.

We got to the bottom of the hill and there were lots of trees and branches that had been cut and were starting to grow in different ways. Nature at its best. Blossom was seen starting to grow on some of the trees, an early sign of Spring.

As we walked towards the next hill we saw a spring which the pilgrims used to drink from in years gone by. The water was so clear, however it was like a quagmire on the embankments and we looked at each other cause we had to cross it somehow. So we went to the shortest point and there was a log across this stream. Annie went first and it was fine. Now me and my balance has never been much cop. In my minds eye, I am like a ballerina!!! But in reality I am a klutz !!! Lol!!!! πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚

I start off at the beginning and can’t do it and I thought sod it, I’ll go into the mud and walk through it. I got stuck into the mud, fell forward, it was like a comedy sketch, both Annie and I were both laughing cause we didn’t know how I was going to get out of it. It was like a mud bath without the luxury !!!! Lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

I moved one of my feet with great trouble and then the other and then lost my boot in the quagmire and stood on the edge of the other side with mud down one leg and a muddy sock on the other. Both of us were looking at this boot wondering how to get it out. Luckily its wasn’t like quicksand so it wasn’t disappearing but it was stuck solid as Annie tried to no avail to get it out. In the end, she used my walking pole to dislodge it and finally I got my boot covered inside and out with mud.

Nothing I could do about it. I had to put it on and carry on walking. The funny thing was that we saw a wooden walkway a little way along over the stream that we didn’t know was there!!!! Lol πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚I always carry water so we rinsed our hands. And laughed. We walked up Castle hill so called before there used to be a Norman castle in the old days perched on top. and then we walked back to my house via the crematorium. We walked 5 and a half miles so did good. Of course I got funny looks from other walkers cause of being covered in mud. At least our walks are not boring.

In the evening, I had friends round for a takeaway and catch up but they didn’t stay long as felt out of it some of the time. The voices were echo y in my head as i couldn’t quite grasp or make sense of what they were doing or saying sometimes.

The photos of my shoe, the spring and the alternate pathway are borrowed from Annie, but the photo of the early blossom and Sugar Loaf Hill are mine

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Memories in the Past

On Wednesday, mum and I went to Hall Place in Bexley. There is a heritage trust there. Β 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 πŸ’–

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.