Today I have felt a little rattled or unearthed or I don’t even know how to describe it. I watched the movie “The Father” last night with Anthony Hopkins I’ve always loved his acting. Somehow even though I knew this was about someone living with dementia it rattled me. Most movies I have seen in the past that are or that try to depict life with dementia have left me feeling saddened by the fact that it was always coming from the point of view of someone else instead of the person with Dementia.
But this time I was shaken to the core at times Anthony Hopkins depicted so many times what I saw in people when I worked in dementia care and now what I see in myself at times. In fact yesterday was one of those days for me where I had a good day I had a nice bike ride I was functioning for the most part very well except I could not orientate myself to the day how we got to the day like Anthony Hopkins with his watch, I was consumed by the fact that it was Friday and I have no idea how it became to be Friday I was convinced that it could not be Friday, these are the things that no one sees those are the pieces that unless you, spend a lot of time with me, or stay with me for an extended amount of time, you will question my diagnosis. The parts where it was nighttime, he thought it was morning, no concept of time anymore, another of my realities, for as fast as I may do something or think I’ve done something in a day I have forgotten and suddenly it’s nighttime and I have no idea how that came to be. Watching him struggle with understanding something was wrong, yet still feeling like everything around him was wrong, because from his view he was still fine.
It’s brought into sharp focus my own thoughts and feelings, it’s made me do a check in with myself, ask myself some hard questions. I cried today for all the losses I have felt during my time since being diagnosed. Not feeling sorry for myself just reflecting on how much my life has changed. I also laughed today about all my “squirrel moments”, I have know, and the laughter that our squirrel moments have created for my friend Janet ( Janet also has dementia), was the one that taught me that I was in fact having squirrel moments. We share our squirrel moments with each other, she lives on the other side of the country, but video calls back and forth keep us rolling along. Squirrel moments would drive most listening to us or watching us crazy, but for us it’s survival, those moments happen because if something comes into our mind, we must say, do it, tend to it, or whatever right then or it’s lost. It’s like Antony Hopkins and his watch. He has to find and put on his watch, when it’s there for him that’s it’s missing. Watching this movie was not bad for me, it has also made me extremely grateful for all that I am still doing and managing. It has made me spend the day thinking about with so many changes over the last year, that doing a check in with myself is actually a good thing, another list for my doctors, my last hospital stay already brought in occupational therapists and community transition liaisons, so doing the check in allows me to stay proactive with my care, and my wants and needs. I’m becoming more and more isolated, and I must pay special attention to that, during this pandemic makes it harder to manage, but I for sure am grateful to those who are staying connected with me through phone calls, video calls, or I would/ will lose more of the abilities to manage socially. Antony Hopkins also depicts very well things like the loss of control, over wanting to have say about what’s happening to him.
Oh yes this movie definitely stirred a lot of emotions, and just like this snoopy cartoon depicts, I must keep swimming. We all of us living must keep swimming and at times it feels like we are swimming against the current, and someday the tide will be to strong and take us down, but until that day comes we must keep swimming.