After a warm sunny day yesterday, it was a warm start to the second day at Woodbrooke and the dawn chorus was in full swing when I woke up just before 6.
I decided to spend the day reading the second book I had been leant. Really a thankless task as the words soon disappear into the fog of Dementia yet the process of reading is again leaving me with a feeling of achievement.
There are some that question why I should spend a couple of days here at Woodbrooke, no TV, silence and peace.
“What is the point” I am often asked.
The point is that here Mr Dementia stays at the door a sort of alternate universe where there is the illusion that Dementia is absent.
I could be sat in the garden at home with Mr Dementia sat beside me, with reminders of what I can no longer do at every turn, what was and will be.
Constant reminders of the changes that have happened and the experiences of nearly twenty years working in healthcare, reminding me of what is to come.
The fear and dread of a future none of us can control, which will control us to the point where we are no longer seen as the person we once were, that cannot communicate our unmet needs or do the things we once enjoyed.
An earlier diagnosis is a poisoned chalice.
We recognise at least some of the time, some of the changes that have befallen us and we know the changes that may come our way in the future.
We know that the Palliative stage comes right out of Dante’s Inferno, a version of hell that no human should have to endure.
To find peace at a time when the person we once were is being slowly erased by the changes brought upon us by this insidious disease is priceless and the last shreds of dignity are slowly been wrenched from our grasp.
Tomorrow, Dementia will be there waiting at the door as I set off into town for a 3Nations, Steering Group Meeting,
But for today I imagine him stood by the front door, arms folded, tapping his toes waiting…