Dreaming of Dementia

Last night I dreamt I had dementia. I would do the same things everyday not realising I had done the exact same thing the day before.

It was hideous, like ground hog day where you have no memory of the previous day, so no improvement or change could be made, just repeat, repeat and repeat.

Its hardly surprising my mind went to this place, my Dad had dementia, and my subconscious clearly felt I needed to see what that felt like.

The strangest thing was, although logically. I knew I was repeating the same thing over and over, I felt quite content doing it as I had no memory of the previous day.

In reality, I have no idea what dementia feels like, I only know what I saw my Dad go through.

Initially, he was just a bit forgetful, and started having falls.

Then the forgetfulness became more frequent, he started to hate going in the car, as he felt he would fall out of his seat, he stopped wanting to walk.

Eventually, he stopped walking altogether, there was nothing physically stopping him, he just didn't want to.
Dad at home in his garden

In the end he would have moments of clarity and realise where he was (by this point he was in a home as he needed specialist care) and that all he did all day was sit in a chair and watch TV.  At those points he would tell me that he had, had enough and that he wanted to stop now.

Most of the time, he thought he was at home, and he sometimes thought he was still going to work, although he was thinking of retiring.

At times he thought my brother and I were still in the house, my brother was always 'making a terrible racket' upstairs. Which I still find hilarious, that even in his dementia my brother is in trouble for being too noisy (I would always go back and tell my brother, simply because this makes me the best child. Obvs).

He would also tell us stories that he hadn't told before, of drunken escapades with friends, of sneaking back into his parents house.

Other times I would take photo's for him to look at, he didn't really remember anything recent, but his parents, and brothers and sisters were still clear in his mind. He would point out who was who to me, then say 'dead'. Which was true as he was the last of his generation still going.

Sometimes, he would want me to move something annoying him in his room, but his words would get jumbled, so he would tell me to move the letter and mean his shaver. Everything needed to be exactly as he wanted it, although he was like that before the dementia.

As time went on, Dad lost interest in food, only eating puddings, he always had a sweet tooth. Eventually, they could only give him pureed food. He was forgetting how to swallow. 

We were lucky, you hear of people, where the dementia, makes them nasty and a completely different personality emerges. I can't imagine how distressing that must be for their loved ones.

Dad remained a gentleman until the end, and the nurses who cared for him were deeply saddened by his death, which was lovely in a way, as you imagine the nurses who work in these care homes must become jaded.

This will be my last post about my Dad and all the sadness and grief we have experienced over the last few months for now.

It's time to move forward, I need to blog about joy and happiness. I am starting my Masters Degree in October, so I expect, whilst I avoid writing assignments, I will write something here.

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