A big Thank you to those who notified me that my blog/ Christmas letter was saying unavailable. Apparently I had not finished it and put it out properly. So hopefully this will be it.
This year my Christmas letter is a little different than in the past, its a little mix of things that hopefully will show some of what my year has entailed. But mostly my thoughts on the closing out of 2021 and the my thoughts about the year 2022 that lies ahead. I normally do a Christmas letter with a lot of Christmas borders etc, this year I could not navigate how to do that which is indicative of the changes in my overall capacities. Overall, my cognitive abilities are still pretty good, short term memory is shot, long term comes and goes, I mostly exist in today. When I see things, people or places that trigger certain memories its actually most often quite comforting, knowing that my life, what it was, is still there. I am still here.
The year has presented many many challenges with my health and as I have often said Dementia is about so so much more than loss of memory, often it is the complicating health issues that present the biggest hurdles.So many hospital trips and stays scattered throughout 2021. Living in an area ravaged by Forest Fires, all summer long, with unprecedented heat, heat and dementia don’t mix well at least not for me. Then going into fall the floods and devastation to our highway systems and rail lines, creating all kinds of supply issues. I am fortunate that I have felt some of the effects but overall very little because I have been staying so isolated due to the pandemic, so I think that is a silver lining if there was to be one. I have chosen to look at the pandemic as being given a time of rest and going deeper within than about being, about what I can’t do. It’s an easier way to manage it. I’ve actually learnt to really like who I am through all of this. I have also come to understand that most of us have different sides, the sides we show society, the sides we show to friends, very often they end up actually skewing who we truly are, because so often we are the rolls we are filling depending on whether it is our work self, our self as a partner, as a parent, as a friend. But who we are when all those labels are stripped away is often surprising. I like this stripped down person that is me.
I consider this second year of the pandemic to have been harder for people to navigate and cope with so I consider myself fortunate that I have been able to get through it despite the challenges with a positive attitude and hope for the coming year. I have watched many of my family and friends lose loved ones in the past year, I have lost my dear sister in law and friends as well. It has made this year seem increasingly more difficult.
Other changes for me is I stepped down from my position on the board of DAI this summer, it was time to make room for some up and coming board members, and I was honoured this fall with the very prestigious Dr. Richard Taylor Award for my global Advocacy work. My advocacy work is still very much a priority for me and I will continue to work with DAI and Dementia Advocacy Canada, as my changing health allows. Maintaining my quality of life for as long as possible is first and foremost for me. My second book is all most complete and I hope to see it finished. I have speaking and presentations scheduled beginning in Feb, straight through until early summer, and am hoping they will all be possible. Working on these things provides me with positive things to put energy towards. Having purpose I find is vital, and it will take from now until then to complete them, fortunately I can and do work often from my bed.
I am hoping this year spring will see me well enough to tackle a big item on my bucket list, but time will tell, I am busy planning as though it will but realistic enough to understand that if it doesn’t then a lesser bucket list item will have to replace it. My bucket list was totally revamped this year amidst my changing conditions, and I will continue to adjust and modify as I need to.
I am also hoping for time to see family and friends who have been sorely lacking since the start of the pandemic, although it can’t all be blamed on that.
So 2021 has been challenging, heartbreaking, uplifting and unlike any other year I have ever experienced. My wish for 2022 is that as it unfolds it unfolds in such a way that people do not have to struggle so much to afford to live, that the losses faced by everyone, eases into a place of peace. That we become gentler with each other, with our earth and all that it provides. I hope that I get to meet you along the trails of life and spend time together again, or perhaps a new meeting and friendship will form.
I am leaving you with a quote of mine for 2021, its relevant to many I suspect, but for me I never go a day without counting my blessings that I have a team of Doctors who live up to it for me consistently.
Relationships with Doctors
A relationship between Patient and Doctor
has the ability to increase and influence the success or lack of
around treatments and overall well being for a patient.
The relationship between that of the Doctor
and Patient must be build over time,
with compassion, understanding, encouragement
and listening by both Patient and Doctor
The development of the relationship brings about one
build on trust and respect, both of which are vital
to a patients ability to accept treatments, diagnosis
and for them to be a willing participant in their own well
Both Doctor and Patient must be active participants
to make this work. @ChristineThelker2021
I thank you all for being part of my life and I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and that 2022 bestows blessings on each of you.
with much Love Christine and Pheobe