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

Saturday Morning Pondering

Life changed so much when I was diagnosed with Dementia, but I allowed myself and pushed myself to find new purpose, to find hope, to forge a new life, a different life, but it has become a good life. So very different for what was my life to what is my life, but I have settled into it, finding many reasons to be happy, to enjoy the simplest things in life.

Bring in Covid 19, everything I had set in place had to change again, lock downs meant further isolations, finding ways to manage and cope through those ( and continuing lockdowns, over a year and still the lockdowns continue). Finding ways to stay connected, engaged, hopeful and joyful, during a pandemic, brings the fight that is faced by those with dementia just in terms of living with their illness to a whole new level.

A compromised system, we all know and hear about how those living with Dementia are likely to have worse outcomes than others if they get covid 19, so keeping my house stocked so I can manage with the least amount of trips needed of going out in public for necessities. Yet still going for walks, going for solo drives, ( ok not totally solo, my little dog Pheobe by my side), she loves drives. She always walked a lot with me, but as she is approaching 17 in May, remarkable, she now mostly sleeps, especially this last little bit, in fact its 9 am she is still in bed. I watch and hover over her, she has been my world for so many years. After my husband died, I was a drift, losing him, I lost my whole family unit as it was, so when Pheobe came into my life, she filled me with love again, so know as I watch her slowly decline, sometimes I think she is trying to keep going for me.

my beautiful Pheobe

I know she sees and feels my decline and I see and feel hers, animals are so smart, so in tune and understand so much more than we often give them credit for. She has been such a blessing for so many years and through this Covid 19 Pandemic she for sure has been my saving grace.

Time is moving so fast or maybe it’s not, maybe it’s just that I am losing my ability to mange it. I feel like I have just lost a whole ten days, it was just March ending and somehow here we are at the 10th of April. Today I was looking at my new week of medications dropped of by the pharmacy yesterday, and I kept thinking this doesn’t seem right, he was just here delivering how can he be here again, another week gone, just gone, it made me go check to see in fact if I have been remembering to take the said medications, truthfully only missed a couple doses, so overall not bad.

The fact that time is disappearing or if it’s not then that means that I am disappearing more and more, not even sure which it is at this point. I think about all the things I still want to see completed my follow up book, completing my work with DAI, seeing changes take hold through advocating. So much I want to still accomplish, regardless of my dementia and regardless of Covid 19, but with the disappearing time, not sure if it’s possible. I can no longer manage without the help of my volunteer Angie, who without her help I would not be able to continue to do the advocating and things that bring so much joy and purpose to my otherwise stalemated life. I am so grateful to have her, and I encourage all who are living with dementia, yes do all you can for yourself but be brave enough to admit and get the help with the things you need help with, so that you can continue to live your best life.

But there is also the personal things, the people I would like to see, the trips I haven’t been able to take, the documentary I wanted to do, the backroads and small towns I have yet to visit, getting back to the ocean.

Somehow as Dementia robs us of so much, being hit with the added piece of Covid 19, seems to make it all more urgent, yet being stuck unable to get those things done, wondering if I will have the ability to hold steady until I can, or will I end up with a life incomplete?

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

The Wheels Go Round and Round Or Do they?

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Wow, not sure what’s influenced my brain behaviour but the last few days have and are definitely showing the cracks. I just sat down decided to try to write because nothing else I’m trying to do cognitively is happening. Ok I’m back, side tracked again, something popped into my head so decided to go check the mail. This is how the last few days have been, it’s like a Ferris wheel going round and round and no one stopping it for anyone to get off. I know I do have days where it’s worse than others but the last few have been extremely bad, so bad that yesterday I finally just decided it best just to sit on the couch and not attempt anything else.

A million steps taken to go do something or start something, forgotten before I actually accomplished it, something else grabs my attention mid stream then off like a squirrel I go. The never ending treasure hunts I’m on these days that have, until know been confined to the space of my home has now spilled out to everywhere, or anywhere I might go or be. It’s not a wonder why by 6 pm I’m heading for bed navigating all these things is so exhausting. No time to be bored, living inside this body and mind. It’s like running a marathon with no finish line. I laugh about it a lot, but it is and can be so frustrating, and disheartening, it’s life with dementia.

So mostly on these types of days I just decide to try to have fun, do things that make me laugh, be patient or try to be until my brain decides to switch it up again when I will accomplish much, like nothings wrong, it’s like having your own game of brain teasers going on except it’s not a game, it’s real life and it’s your life.

I sometimes think that the weather impacts my dementia a lot. Not sure how many people pay attention to that, but I was wondering if this swirling fast changes weather and barometric changes are impacting things for me. Just like the changing of the moon and the tides can impact I am convinced the weather systems do as well. If I had the ability to remember to track it and write it down the corresponding bad brain days ( or at the very least worsening)with weather patterns I would perform my own little study, unfortunately because those functions are no longer reliable for me and I live alone it’s not possible. But it is good for thought.

Hope you’re all having fun, or at least trying to laugh at yourself rather than cry.

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

Please Please Just Stop

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The last few weeks have seen me in many conversations with others living with varying types of dementia and Alzheimer’s. There was one thing in all those conversations that was so common, was so frustrating for those living with Dementia that I felt it time to talk about it.

We need the medical professionals, as well as the general public to stop equating Dementia to just memory loss, when in fact memory loss is just one small component of it. We need them to focus time, efforts, on all the other pieces that are so vast and complex. Things like the sleep issues, balance and coordination, vision issues, then the more complex things like oxygen levels, heart and lungs issues, blood flow, troubles with all major organs, infections, Dysphagia ( (swallowing),Aphasia, (speaking), Cognition which is also much more than memory. And here is the biggest, yes the biggest Inflammation, Inflammation, Inflammation…. it directly effects and complicates all other aspects. And finally memory. This does not mean to dismiss the importance of the loss of memory, but it is time to put more focus on the very complex health issues that people living with dementia deal with.
When they ( we) say they fight hard every day to manage the day, they truly do because of the multiple pieces that they have to manage. It’s exhausting to manage the day, put most do it with a joy and happiness that flies in the face of what most think one would or should be feeling when living and trying to manage such a complex illness.

What most want is for a shift to finding medications to manage symptoms for many of these varying pieces of medical conditions, so they ( we) can then have a better quality of life. Most of us living with Dementia realize that a “cure”, is not probable, we can accept that. We do not live looking through Rose coloured glasses, what we do want is more efforts being put into finding things to help manage some of the complex issues such as the inflammation, which directly impacts our cognitive abilities, and effects all other body systems.
Technology can and a great deal of work is being done to create tools to help us with tools to help us in our day to day with reminders for medications, appointments etc. Technology can help keep us safe with fall detection, GPS, Technology is and has come along way. We need the medical piece to stop focusing on memory loss and start focusing on helping us manage all the things that are feeding into making our memory loss worse.
We need the general public to understand and stop with the “you don’t look like you have Dementia” crap, and start understanding, we can still speak think and do, much more that you realize, you cripple us with your outdated understanding of dementia. People are being diagnosed younger and younger and we need to start educating and looking at it with a fresh outlook. We help people with other illnesses manage their illness so they can continue to live a full and complete quality of life, it’s time the same is done for those living with Dementia.

We have been playing nice in the sandbox for over thirty years trying to get change to happen, maybe it’s time we stop playing so nice and start demanding that change actually happen. Too much is influenced by big pharmaceutical and political arenas, time for the dementia world to unite stand up loudly for the changes that are actually needed.

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

Good Friday

It’s Good Friday and I think it’s a good day to be reflective to remember the past and to think about the future.

My Mom ( Margaret Weeden)

For me I think about my mom and as you can see in the pictures below Easter was a very special time. Mom raised us kids all on her own, we had a lot of time with my grandmother and my uncle who looked after my grandma his whole life and we were all very close. Easter was the time of going to church although we went to church every Sunday, Easter was special, it was about family and it was about being thankful and being grateful. Growing up we didn’t have a lot but what we did have a lot of love, we always had clean clothes and my mother always made sure we had food .She was a terrific gardener, her garden the size of most peoples lots that their houses sit on now, as well as fruit tree and various berry bushes. Everything was canned and frozen so that we never went without, we raised chickens and so we always had eggs we always had chicken to eat, she was she was an incredible woman who along with my grandmother taught us so much and ensured we laughed a lot. My uncle took on the role of doing all the fatherly type things with us we learned a lot from him and laughed a lot with him as well, all three are gone now, and they are always missed but every time Easter rolls around I think about all the Easter‘s where they went to all the trouble of putting together special things for us, hiding them out amongst the flowerbeds in the trees and bushes and we would have to go hunting for them. We were only to only take the one that was meant for us and leave the others behind without saying anything, in some peoples eyes there may not have been much there, for us it was everything and the most exciting day. ( perhaps why i still love treasure hunts) In those moments we had so much to be grateful for. As we got older my mother trying to ensure that upcoming generations got to enjoy some of those old traditions and learn some of that simple basic fun and joy and happiness dressed up every year in her bunny suit and all the kids in the community came and she bounced through the woods. The kids would get so excited to get a peak of the Easter Bunny and chase after her and she would be dropping little Easter treats all along the way and they had so much fun. It made for such an incredible time for families and community and I always remember my mom and think about how she along with my grandmother and my uncle taught us about the importance of doing what you can to make things better for others and share joy and happiness and that you don’t have a lot have to do it. Sometimes the simplest things are the biggest and best things, so during this time of lockdown and Covid and people feeling like their lives are so disrupted that there is nothing to enjoy. I say lets think outside the box get creative create new memories in new found ways, or go back to some old traditions think about your childhood think about what you did as a child think about all those things and enjoy and have a quiet reflective peaceful Easter weekend.

Mom Traveling with her Easter Basket full of goodies

I am grateful for the love of a woman who truly understood that finding in joy in life is always within reach. I am grateful that because of her, no matter what life has thrown at me I have been able to overcome, to continue to see the good in others. That I am able to face my challenges and have the ability to look for the silver linings. For it was my mother who taught me that there is always a Silver lining if you’re brave enough to look for it.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Easter.

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

April 1st.2021

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Here we are with another month behind us, and although we are in a continued state of lock down due to the Covid 19 pandemic, time is moving quickly. Today, I am writing as I sit waiting until its time for me to leave for the hospital for my day surgery, its exploratory. I almost cancelled after our local hospital had a covid outbreak announced, but after conferring with Doctor, Have decided to go ahead, this exploratory surgery was elevated from urgent to “Rapid Response Needed”, which I wasn’t aware of, this all comes out of my last hospital stay last month, so given all that information, I decided that my I was going to be at risks one way or the other and decided that they could do their best to protect me from covid, but they could to little if they were unable to do this exploratory surgery.

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Living alone means you have to be very proactive, so that when I come home I have everything to take care of myself, so meals prepped, water, ginger ale etc at my bedside, also a bag with my dogs things should she need to be picked up, and a bag packed that could be dropped off at the hospital should they decided to keep me, which is not to far a stretch for me. It means having things in place for people to phone every couple hours to check on you. They prefer you have someone with you for 24 to 48 hours, but for some of us those are luxuries that aren’t ours. It could and likely does cause some a lot of stress and anxiety but I am so used to having to put things into place that it actually causes me more stress to think of someone having to be here to “take care of me”. I don’t like to cause anyone inconvenience and even if they don’t mind it truly is a pain for someone. So I try to set myself up for success. It also makes me aware that the day is coming I will require more and more help.

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It also just as the month as changed to another, that things in my life are going to be changing and I am not sure how, but I feel that change is upon me. I know I can’t try to figure out the how’s or why’s, I just have to let things unfold as they are meant to. Will it mean changes on the personal level, changes in my advocacy work, changes in my health status, not sure, but letting it unfold without trying to interfere with the process I am sure will bring about the best outcomes. It seems when trying to control the how’s or what’s it usually brings about negative results. Letting the universe guide me in all ways is much more appealing. I truly do try to live my life know but the reason, season, lifetime theory, so maybe we are moving into a new season that requires changes to take place. Seasons of our lives, ebbing and flowing, changing and adapting. Dementia has helped me immensely with being able to do this, instead of trying to control it all. I have learnt through my journey with Dementia, I have very little if any control. So here’s to a new month, the month of my birth, a month to celebrate all that has been and all the will be. Enjoy your April 1st. and watch for those April Fools jokes.

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

Another Wave

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Well hello whoever you are, where ever you are, I am here in British Columbia Canada. Yesterday, we were sent careening back into lock downs, restaurants only allowed take out service, all indoor activities stopped again, our biggest ski resort ordered closed. It’s not full lock down, but close, travel within BC restricted to essential travel for work or medical care only. People are ordered to work from home in every situation it’s possible.
You can still socialize out doors in a small group 10 or less as long as it’s always the same 10 and you are all social distanced ( that’s 6 feet here.
I am not upset by this lock down I could see it coming, I only wish instead of trying to appease by creating what they see has some sort of balance for people, they would shut everyone and everything down for a month, go on a ramped up vaccination campaign, and be done. It feels like we are playing with fire, testing and teasing the virus to see how far we can let things go until it takes such a hold that the results devastate us. I just continue to hibernate in order to try my very best to look after myself.
They have know created a list for compromised people, but the list is not for all who have compromising illnesses, and they decide who makes the list in order to get vaccinated know, versus being in the regular rollout order.
Dementia of course did not make their list, even though they know that people with dementia are likely to have more devastating outcomes than others. So I wonder is this because all the other illnesses have some sort of treatment options, or cure ability, so they get preference?
So I have formulated in my mind that this will be ongoing and that I should prepare to continue to live this way until at least the fall. Living alone means an even longer time of not seeing my loved ones, as they all live in other areas, so it will be continued zooms, video calls etc for the foreseeable future. I wonder, will I get the opportunity to get to another conference and see all those that I’ve met along the way with my advocating, and involvement with different organizations and research groups? Will my health hold, will I be able to keep the decline of my dementia at a dull roar until then? Or will the decline continue on the level it has over the last six months? Time will tell, in the meantime I will. continue to work with Dementia Alliance International, Dementia Advocacy Canada, as well as things like our Vernon Seniors Action Network, Agewell, TREC, Canage, Public Health Agency of Canada, and a few others. All of these things will continue to provide purpose to my life, help fill the gaps in the isolation by keeping me engaged, and socially active even if only via zoom. I will also continue to walk, and ride my bike, getting outdoors as much as possible, nature is so important the sights the sounds the smells, it feeds my soul, keeps me calm and peaceful. I bought a little gas BBQ for going on picnics and drives out into the woods with my little dog, this spring/ summer. I am if nothing else determined to be one of the survivors of this pandemic, if not it won’t be for lack of trying.
They say most of us living with Dementia die from something other than our dementia, I’m just determined that whatever it’s going to be for me it won’t be this Covid 19. When I think about these things I think about Tim McGraws sing “ Live Like You Were Dying”, that I think is exactly what I should and do try to do.



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

The Day After

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Last night was a night of night terrors, they are awful when they come, you can’t escape them, you can’t shake them. You can’t figure out if you’re dreaming or if it’s all real. I have been lucky to not have these night terrors often, but when they do, they level me.

Finally at 415 this morning, I caught up turned all the lights on and made coffee, sitting in my bed trying to shake this feeling of horror that had held me captive for most of then night.

I’m exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally today, wondering if watching the movie ” The Father”, and all the emotional elements it brought out in me at something to do with the re-visit of the night terrors. You try so hard to wake yourself from them, but you can’t, it has a hold of you, like something else or someone else has taken over your brain, its one of the worst feelings I’ve experienced. I know others who have dementia who have to deal with these terrors a lot of the time, my heart breaks for them, for this is nothing that can be made any less than how awful it truly is. Sometimes people call the hallucinations because they are so real, I call them terrors because thats what it feels like being terrorized all night long. So today is about breathing, breathing in breathing out, let it go, waiting for it to be shaken from my being.

I almost feel like I should put out a caution to anyone who has dementia about seeing the movie, on the one hand its important we see and ensure as best we can how we are depicted, because if its not accurate we need to sound the alarm. On the other hand if it brings such an emotional response that you end up having night terrors or hallucinations or an unexpected hard emotional response is it worth it? I can’t answer that, but I am convinced that the response I had surfaced last night in the form of night terrors. I can’t help but think that if someone had try to bring me out of it, I may have hurt them. That is a hard acknowledgment, but it is the honest one. I missed our Sunday Living Alone meeting today, I was all set to go, but because of how I felt after the night I had, I thought better of it. Maybe next week.

Today I am listening to music and soothing my soul, that feels very battered and bruised. Ebb and Flow, Ebb and Flow, waiting for the seas of my soul to be still again.

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

Rattled

how my brain feels at times, like the battery is to low.

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.

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

So much effort

So my last blog which I titled Maybe somehow only ended up with half the blog posting, can’t find the rest, even though I have it set to auto save, it has vanished, then it says my page isn’t there but it is, my Twitter account was hacked, all my devices having technical challenges, perhaps from being hacked not sure.
The world of technology can be so good until it’s not, I wonder if they will have find a way to simplify it for those of us who truly can benefit from it if it is all more user friendly.. The frustration sometimes makes me want to stop using it at all, but it is how I communicate, it’s how I visit, stay connected,. It allows me to take part in meetings, be involved with groups and organizations and gives me purpose.
My volunteer Angie is coming today, she may be able to help fix a lot of these issues with my devices. She has been such a huge help to me.
live been thinking a lot about my friends that live with dementia, and a tougher group you will not find. A happier group you will not find. The effort it takes every day to just manage the simple things takes more effort that most others can imagine, but then they do so many other things, they are learning new skills, they are advocating, speaking, involved in research projects that is at so many levels and different types, they write, sing, the are incredible artists. Mostly they are joyful. Despite all the frustrations, despite all the health challenges, they are joyful. They reach out and check in with one another.
we had a zoom with our friends in Japan the other night, and despite the language barriers ( and actually it truly isn’t a barrier), we do have an interpreter who comes, but we also can get much by the body language and facial expressions. We laughed, I was so excited to see them, we were supposed to see each other in Singapore last March, but of course Covid 19 thwarted that. So to have our zoom was so good for all of us.
What really stood out was how the things people living with Dementia, live with, deal with like the stigma, like the lack of resources, like lack of programs, the lack of proper resources from diagnosis and beyond.
we don’t get the benefits of palliative care, and palliative care is not just the last week or two of life, palliative care can and should encompass from diagnosis on, for with palliative care on board it can truly help you live a full life that is life of quality. But so many resources are passed by for those living with dementia, Occupational and Speech and physiotherapist, social workers, programs that a truly designed to engage, connect, and leave those living with dementia to feel valued and purposeful.
We also see to often people thrust into drug trials without proper follow up to ensure when things abruptly end or you have to be taken out that you are not left feeling devastated, and lost and without purpose, I believe we should be looking at all the ways to enable those with dementia to live their best life to stay in their homes for as long as possible, rather than tie them to the false hope (my view), of the cure, I think care until cure should be the focus, Dementia no matter what type, Alzheimer’s, FTD, Lewy Body, Mixed, Vascular, the types is long means that realistically finding a cure is almost impossible, that doesn’t mean they won’t find ways to help manage the effects of many types of dementia. It does mean that we should while trying to find those things place a much bigger emphasis on having the resources to help people manage their illness. People with Diabetes or MS, to name a couple, are taught how to manage their illness, we deserve to be given those same resources.
I have heard so often from so many since my diagnosis that they felt alone, that they didn’t think there was anything they could do, no one teaches them about the nutritional and exercise components, people are all to often left adrift. I believe that is why depression is so prominent in people with dementia, the complete lack of resources, the complete misunderstanding of the illness by the largest part of society. The lack of current education with health care professionals.
it makes me sad that after so many advocates fighting so hard for over thirty years so little has changed. Is it because many of the large Organizations have become “ big business”, on the backs of those living with the illness, that rather than help us actually see the changes happen, they do just enough to keep people opening their wallets to them, believing they truly are helping us, when in fact we see such a minimal amount of help, more often it is us helping them, we become their “ Poster People”, it makes people feel good about themselves, which that in and of itself is not a bad thing, but what is bad is that they are not paid, ( unlike all those working in those organizations”, who are paid to attend meetings, to attend conferences, to write articles, to deliver them. People with dementia are continually doing it for free, in part because they want to feel valued, they want to see change. But I often feel change is not coming because there is big money, it is big business for it to stay as it is.
We are ( those of us living with dementia) very aware of our end stage of this journey, but we sure want and fight hard everyday, to live the best lives we can until then. All those I have met globally are happy, bright and engaging, they share laughter and joy. Those are all the very things that are in complete opposition of what the world perceives. They are some of the most amazing people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, I stand in awe of them and all that they do.

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

In the Kindness of Others

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Today was a busy day, meetings, hospital appointments, and our World Works Against Dementia Event for Dementia Alliance International. I was so honoured to be part of the WRAD event. Ok truly I wasn’t a big part of it, I hosted it, and even then it was not without flaws and I do not and admittedly so have any talents like the people we saw today. I am always in awe of those who can sing, dance, or do a variety of other skills. It was so wonderful to have collaborations between a songwriter in Scotland, James McKillop and a musician in Canada, Kevin Bader, who collaborated on a song James had written and Kevin set the lyrics and performed the song. It touched many hearts. If only we could see this kind of collaboration between organizations my oh my what could be done. We also saw families perform, grandchildren perform, members of support groups, and day programs, and lovely tributes written and performed by another of our members, truly an International event, from Singapore to Scotland to New Zealand and Canada. I enjoy helping to make those events possible, to see the joy and smiles it brings to all who take part. It does take a lot of time and energy to reach out to people to get their involvement but every single moment is worth it when you see the you it brings others. This event was one of the ways that kindness and a willingness of others helps to make things better for people both with and without Dementia made such a huge difference.

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The other thing that happened today, brought me to tears, actually more than once. I have over the course of time since my diagnosis, been touched many times by the kindness of people, sometimes by family and friends others times by complete strangers, who have come to my aid when I have needed it. There is not a day that I don’t think about all the ways I have been touched by the kindness of others. Today was another day of being completely overtaken by emotions as another act of kindness was bestowed on me.

Meet Sally, Sally is coming home on Friday, she is my new electric bike, this has come through the complete kindness of others or an organization, I am not even sure which, it has been in the works for quite some time apparently, but they wish to remain anonymous. A lot of tears today over this. With all my health challenges over the last year it will allow me more freedom, it will allow me to get the exercise my body so badly needs for blood flow, but cannot get in most of the traditional ways, if I over exert my system, it can’t manage, this allows me the exercise with pedal assist so the benefits with no strain on my system. I cannot even begin to put into words what I am feeling, beyond grateful, beyond thankful, beyond, beyond, beyond, it just defies words. Again the kindness we give and we receive are truly the things that do so much and yet words fail to express what those acts of kindness truly do.

I am emotional today, I have witnessed so much kindness today, not only for myself but I have witnessed what they kindness of others has done for others today through our WRAD event. I feel exhausted from crying tears of happiness. Emotionally tired, but tired in a good way, something that feels so good instead of the tiredness I so often feel, and as i am writing this I have a knock at my door, someone in the building dropping off lemon meringue tarts for me, yet another act of kindness. For all that we see wrong in the world, days like today remind us about all that is right and that if we all do whatever we can big or small, it can make such a difference.

So Thank you to all those who have touched my life in so many ways, over the years, you and your kind acts are what keep me on the road to trying to make a difference in others lives, and none of your acts of kindness are forgotten, I may forget a lot of things, I may forget the actual thing, but I will never forget the feeling that was bestowed on my by your kindness, in which ever way you showed it.