Advocates Advocating Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia Event For This I Am Grateful Good Grief Living well with Dementia Silver Linings Stress

Staying Strong

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Sometimes staying and being strong means you have to find the tiger within. It’s been a long haul for everyone, we are 14 or 16 months into the pandemic, many areas are having another wave hit with the new variant, you wonder if they will ever get enough people vaccinated to get the world through this.
We were then hit here, with the unprecedented heat in June it is still here, then arrived the fires, and the smoke, it’s testing my reserve, it’s taking every bit of tiger that’s left in my tank to manage it all, you can’t escape it, you can go outside without chocking on the smoke, I wasn’t out for eight days because I was sick, but regaining strength, my dog needs to go out, the early early morning hours are best 5 am till about 8 am.

People are being evacuated from many areas, I am still safe at this point but for how long? This is mid July, we still have all of July and August to get through. I think of all those evacuated, I think about all the animals struggling to find food, shelter and places to go that are safe. I can’t imagine the fear running through them, displaced from their surroundings, heat, fire, food sources dried up from the heat, running dazed and confused.

My own brain is not functioning well, it is strange, it does not feel like how I feel when I get my typical dementia brain fog, yet it is acting in the brain fog way without the fog. I forgetting things as fast as I have them, like what day it is, I can orientate myself to what day it is minutes later its gone again and I’m mixed up. what week is it? Did I eat today? I believe much of the state of my brain at the moment is from the strange way of day to day due to the situation unfolding. This is what is classified as the bodies response to unusual and prolonged traumatic event.

Yes this unprecedented heat and these very unusual fire situations, ( yes we have fires every year never have we seen this so many the whole province being effected), we have had fires where homes have been lost where communities have to be evacuated, losing complete townsites, no rain, it is causing trauma not just for me but for most. People with dementia are adversely effected by stress, and my brain is definitely feeling the effects. Our sleep is effected, the light we are taking in has changed because of the smoke covering the sky. I am much more emotional, shed a lot of tears lately. It’s not that I am living in fear, it is not that I am consumed by it, but I am living in it and feeling it. You can keep busy doing other things inside the house but it is still always there at some level. So even if you think it is not effecting you at the subconscious level it is there, creating that underlying stress. You wake up every hour or hour and half at night, either from the smell of smoke seeping into the house, or because somehow your body wakes you and tells you have to go and check out side. When you get up about 4 or 430 in the morning for the day, your skin is sticky and feels like its covered in a film, it’s the smoke in the air. I take pictures and record the sky at different times, because history should be recorded. I know that so far we are still very lucky, we have not had to be evacuated. But for most of us we have friends and families that are in those situations, so it is effecting most people at some level.

I also admittedly have discovered that I am feeling somewhat angry, and that I have at this time no tolerance for selfish people, and selfish people are making me angry. People who feel they should still be able to go out into the back country and camp and play, people who think that well I don’t care this is my summer and I’m having my holiday, people that don’t care that throwing their cigarette buts or beer cans out while driving down the road, can cause a fire. People that somehow think this is everyones problem but theirs and that someone should do something as long as it’s not them. I have zero tolerance at this time. I know I must practice being forgiving and tolerant of these people but at the moment I am struggling to do that. I cry, I pray, I talk to my angels, I ask the universe to help. Maybe that is in part how my underlying stress is coming out, with less tolerance, maybe that will get better as we get through this cycle we are in.

I hear more people mentioning climate change, many mentioning that somebody better do something. Everyone thinks climate change is about the vehicles on the road and the plants and the oil and gas industry, yet if you really understand climate change, you will understand it is about how each of us live every day. We are and all do have a responsibility to do our parts, it we want to continue to live on this planet. People need to start within their own communities, and homes, plant shrubs, and bushes in place of lawns, get the community planners to plant wildflowers and shrubs and even vegetables on all the boulevards. Planting plants helps feed the soil, helps it retain moisture, helps it cool the earth, provides clean air, yes we can all do our part. I know everyone wants easy, everyone wants less work, but once those things are done they are actually easier and less work to look after than traditional lawns etc. Farmers must adapt to different ways of farming, we are not longer at a place where we can study it, we need action and every small action taken by each person and each family, is what will change the cycle and stop the climate change. But for me hearing that somebody should do something that somebody is each and every one of us. Ok my rant about that is over.

I hope that the coming days and weeks, see much relieve for not only my people here in my province, but for those in other countries and places facing these unprecedented times, we are going to have a lot of people struggling with the effects of truama’s, from the pandemic, to the situations being created by the unusual weather patterns.

I’m closing with a some pictures of the last couple months the changes are drastic, oh I long for those beautiful adventures, maybe this fall.

By WWW.Chrissy's

I am an advocate for people with dementia in Canada and globally, having been diagnosed with younger onset dementia myself a few years ago.

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