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

Realizations

This morning early 4 am, the sky was actually quite clear, the smoke haze appeared better, the shift in the winds helped, but it is now 6 am and that is rapidly changing again, more evacuation orders new fires. During all of these recent events it has become apparent that it has created more changes for me. My ability to navigate and do some things which I had done for years diminished, requiring help, forms, information for claims to blue cross etc, now require help, it overwhelms me, I can’t decipher all the steps and parts. My ability to do one thing while listening to someone else, no longer possible, my level of frustration with myself has been high, yes these are expected changes, but settling into them not that easy. It has to do with pride, it has to do with sense of self. Aging is not easily accepted by most add in dementia and the changes it brings and it’s another added layer. I’m grateful that there are real life angels ( friends ) who step in and just do without trying to tell you “ if you just did”, as those kinds of statements only worsen things and further erode your sense of self and your confidence.
My ability to manage outings have changed as well, life has changed yet again. Arranging outings and seeing people in ways and settings is another set of changes.
settling into all these new normals, wondering how much all this last two years has contributed. Yet somehow I am although very emotional these days, ( but that is due to the situation in our province with the fires, speaking of, yesterday talking with a friend having a cry over what’s happening, I realized, just about every area I went to early this spring to enjoy my picnics and nature to hug trees, watch the wildlife, almost everyone of those areas are now blazing with fires. I picked up cans, bottles, everything I found and brought it out for the very reason that they can cause fires, people are so disrespectful tossing stuff out. So I clean up the forest while there. It feels like the universe sent me there to go see all the natural beauty before these fires started raging. I will go back if and when I can, to see the destruction, I think about the moose that I had interaction with, I cry thinking he’s likely had to run for his life. So this has caused high emotional responses for and in me. I have always operated from an emotional place, that as been amplified, that also is changes with my dementia. These amplified emotions are often hard for others to understand sometimes I try to help them understand but often I no longer try.

I’m grateful for those who show up who help me navigate the hard days, not just the easy ones, who allow me to express my frustrations with myself with my abilities and loss there of. That gift of having those friends are beyond anything else one could ask for. Recently that gift has been and come at a time I didn’t even know I needed it. I’m also grateful for those who have reached out checking in for the support and kindness during these unprecedented times. Some messages from friends far away, and a couple video calls and zooms have really helped me through these days. It feels like I’ve been living under a state of emergency here first with covid know the fires, heat and drought, for two years. Today they say while air quality is better today and the temperature better, that tomorrow the heat and wind returns. As much as I know winter will come and I will get through this still smiling at the other end, I can’t help think about what I will see when I next can go out to hug a tree or talk to a moose, and I’m praying we all have learnt and heed the lessons we are being given. Staying Strong with the help of my connections to others.






By Chrissy's Journey

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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