On Monday I was back at Woodbrooke in Birmingham for a 2 day break before a 2 day 3 Nations Dementia Working Group, Steering Group meeting in the centre of Birmingham.
Like Wendy Mitchell’s Keswick, Woodbrooke is my go to place for a break, a time of peace, quiet and reflection, to recharge my batteries.
As my Dementia has progressed, the need for time away from advocacy and social media has increased as my daily challenges have also increased.
As important is the effect those changes are having on my wife and family and in a sense, time away from home is also a form of respite for them especially for my wife.
From my experiences working in healthcare, I can understand her frustration, the forgetting simple things, the silence when my brain switches off, the words that come out with the wrong meaning etc.
Yes I can still recognise for now these things happening but not at the time they happen, often it is too late and may cause distress but it is not us doing those things it is out Dementia’s.
One of the saddest parts of Dementia is that no two Dementia’s are the same, as someone said
“When you have met one person with Dementia, you have met one person with Dementia”
It’s like having a big box full of marbles.
They are different sizes, combinations of colours and patterns BUT each marble also represents one issue around living with a diagnosis of Dementia.
You mix them all up and the first person takes 25 and you note which ones they have taken.
You put the marbles back in the box, mix them all up and then another 9 people do the same.
When you look at which marbles have been chosen there will be the odd few who have chosen the same marbles but the majority will be different with maybe 4 or 5 choosing the marble representing memory.
Anyway, back to today, it can be quite expensive getting at taxi from Birmingham New Street station to Woodbrooke if the traffic is bad, which it often is.
For an extra £1.45, I got a ticket to Selly Oak station instead, which meant changing trains at Birmingham.
The train came into Birmingham on Platform 11 and via the lifts I went to Platform 12 to get the next train a few minutes later.
When the train got to Selly Oak there were lifts to go from Platform 2 to 1 and the way out.
Then it was a case of booking an Uber on the app to a Woodbrooke, which cost £4.25, altogether costing just under £6 to get from Birmingham New Street to Woodbrooke, much cheaper than a taxi all the way.
For those living with Dementia able to use Technology, it may be an enabler, in time I realise it will become a frustration followed by my inability to use it, but that is for the future, who knows when that could be, tomorrow, next week …
Metaphysically, I left Mr Dementia at the door with a look of disgust on his face.
Too bad, I was here for a break from what was and will be, the dark and the light of life with Dementia and the daily grind of challenge after challenge.
Whilst here it doesn’t matter if I forget to do something, can’t find a word or whatever Dementia throws at me within reason.
The only thing is the alarms to get up, take tablets and have meals the rest takes care of itself and the weather was great
Wednesday will come soon enough, but for now, I shall enjoy the peace and tranquility.