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

A Slip of the Cog

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In the earlier part of fall, I had new testing, or is it new if it’s done every so often, maybe not new just retesting at the Kelowna Clinical Trials. They test various areas to see where you are being impacted the most and what areas are seeing the most changes and or improvements. At that time, most aspects I have been holding steady, and by that I mean no significant decrease since my last tests, but the area that controls things like my ability to recall had taken a significant hit. Yesterday, I was once again tested, not at the same place this is testing 5hat is done every year and half approximately, it is a 2.5 hour testing done via telephone, again in many of the ares testing, and I can tell you cognitive testing is exhausting in itself.
Well the area that manages things like my ability to recall has taken another hit. I knew I have had more difficulty with it but do the degree it is now effecting me was quite unsettling. Most people don’t realize how much of their time they spend recalling things in a day. If you stop and think about it just about everything you do involves recall of some type, from the simple, where you keep your socks, to the more complex recall of things, people and places and events in your life.

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This all takes me to why I take so many pictures, they trigger memories, in essence help me recall things, events, places and people that I otherwise no longer could. At times they are what helps me build time lines, however even that is becoming more difficult. What usually happens is that looking at pictures will spark a particular feeling, anything that I connected with at some type of emotional level, good, bad, happy, sad, whatever the emotions, will help trigger the memory. Sometimes things like on Facebook will come up with a photo of a memory, it then sends me to go looking through photos to piece together what that memory is supposed to be. I can no longer tell you exactly when I ended up off work, when exactly my diagnosis was, but I can tell you how I felt at those times, I can no longer tell you when I sold my house or where I went to from there, I can tell you how I felt selling my house.
Which brings me to where I ended up again today, looking at photos, recalling a time, a place, a trip, one of great significance for me,

My trip down the Oregon Coast. With my beautiful little car which I miss dearly, and my girlfriend, who I also miss dearly, but as with all things life changes, and we must adapt, dry our tears and forge ahead.
This trip was significant because I had just recently been diagnosed, I was a lost soul in search of answers in search of who I was know and who I would become. It was a time to breathe, to exhale, to try to calm the fear that was running through me. Which of course comes with a dementia diagnosis when you’re told to get your affairs in order that nothing can be done. You are swallowed up by fear, all I knew was what I had worked, end stage, late stage dementia. Not one person I knew had an inkling about early onset. Going to the ocean was my place to figure out how to breathe again, the ocean or water of any type really is and always has been a favourite place for me to be, always where I felt the best and at that time I needed to be somewhere we’re I could somehow find a way to feel good. My girlfriend was the perfect travelling companion, exploring beaches up and down the coast.

It’s still a place I go to on my hard days like today, struggling with the realization that for as well as I’m doing there is more challenges that I deal with,it impacts me everyday, and I can’t run from it, I can’t hide from it, I feel it’s impact every day all day. It takes time to settle in with the realization that there is this new normal, somedays it’s hard, so you take yourself to a place where it felt good, this trip is one of my go to places. It was a journey to absorb something few can imagine being dealt, but it became a trip filled with beautiful moments and memories, of healing of letting go, of figuring out oh to be.

I will always be grateful to my girlfriend for going on the trip with me, I will always be grateful that I did what my soul needed me to do.
Today had been hard, it’s been an emotional day, it’s been a day of once again trying to be ok with things that’s not ok, but unchangeable, so you dig down deep be grateful for all the ares you are holding steady, and once again tell yourself tomorrow is a new day.

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

A Difficult Post but Compelled to Write it

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The year 2020 ended and the year 2021 has started out like no others I can recall in my lifetime. There have definitely been trying times, scary times, and events, that none of us will forget. But none of us expected that as we started 2020, like most other years, putting our plans in place for the year, vacation planning, career planning, general family and house planning, the things most do as we move from one year to another, that things were about to change in unimaginable ways.

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No one saw what was coming in March when the world we knew would come to a crashing halt, how we would spend months in our homes, our work lives changed, how our children received their education changed, our health care workers worked tirelessly and under unbearable stress levels, we watched countries worldwide trying to manage the siege of the pandemic of covid 19.

We moved into summer when we became hopeful, yet apprehensive, we ventured out within our own neighborhoods and provinces a little more freely, we let out a half sigh, all the while bracing for what may still come. And come it did, fall came numbers of covid, started to climb, it seemed we had somehow become complacent about how serious the pandemic really was.

People worried about the economy, but the bigger worry was if too many get sick, and the hospitals can’t manage the load, the economy will crash anyways if people are sick they can’t work, so either we let the economy go sluggish for a time, or roll the dice with human lives.

There were and are many that have conspiracy theories about it all, but if we look to science and to the past the story is there.

I then watched as the USA, tried to navigate an election in the middle of a pandemic, we had some provincial elections here in Canada which all ran smoothly and almost seemed effortless.

I then watched as a sitting President ran amuck, created fear, and turmoil dividing a nation. I sat and watched as 2021 unfolded, a pandemic out of control, along with the President of the USA. I watched in horror as people were encouraged to fight, even though the election had been proven to be won. I watched a man whose only apparent thought was for himself and his huge ego, with total discard for the American people. I then watched as the very next day, in trying to distance himself from something he incited, he said that those who did this would be punished. I wonder if all those being arrested thought that he would come and save them, those of us watching knew he never would. He was and has been grandstanding since the election results first started to show he had lost, his ego needs to be fed, even at the cost of the country.

Please know these are fully my opinions, I don’t generally talk politics, I don’t understand how someone can jeopardize their own well being and their families for the sake of one political party or one person. I never align with any party, I listen to all and then decide who I will vote for. My way is neither right nor wrong, it does however lend itself to be thorough and thoughtful about who and what I am voting for, it is my belief political parties change along with the people in them, so I make my decisions based on who and what actions I see. So I struggle with the fact that someone would feel so compelled that they would deface and attack the very country, they say they are fighting for.

And I don’t want to get into a debate about it. Its simply me expressing my view as my heart broke and I sat and cried watching things unfold.

I had to start a meeting today, saying Politics was off the table, it was heartbreaking because I know it’s on everyone’s mind, there are some places where its acceptable our meetings aren’t, we have learned the lessons of the past, political views can be very volatile, even in the best-intended situations. Yet I knew for many it would do them the world of good to say it, let go, but doing so, could cause discord and hurt and cause members to leave due to divided views. These are not the easy moments of being the host.

My reason for writing this post is because whether we are US citizens or not, what happened the other day, impacts us all because it shows us how very fragile our own countries can be and what we believe in is. When people do not agree to disagree put stil put their differences aside because its best for the greater good or in this case the country, awful things happen.

This event along with the pandemic has shed some light on some serious issues we have in our societies regardless of where we live. I have many friends in the USA, I worry about them, I worry for them and their country and pray that going forward it can be in a way that provides room for much peace for all. I watch in our own country people who want to grandstand and sensaltionize things, to feed consipacy theories because it feeds something within themselves, without thinking or caring about whether what they are saying or doing is whats best for the greater good.

I’ve cried a good many tears through this year, for the friends who have lost loved ones, some to other things some to the pandemic, alot of losses, I’ve cried many tears for those I know who are struggling so much with all the isolation, I have cried for all those in the care homes, whose suffering we can’t imagine. I’ve cried watching the Black Lives Matter, I cried watching things unfold the other day at the capital in the US. But I also know that I live with alot of hope, that things will improve and maybe we will come out with a better world for us all.

I hope for all of us the pandemic has taught us that we need less, that material things are of little value, but relationships are the most valuable, that we must take care of each other, do a better job of taking care of our seniors, of our earth and of each other.

As the next few weeks unfold we will all be watching in hopes that all that has happened in the US can end with a new era being brought in, with healing and peace prevailing. Yes 2021 has started out with some of the worse of what we would ever want to see, but their is hope, their is light, if we remember to be grateful to be kind.

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

A New Way

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January 4,2021, the first Monday of this new year, I’m sitting watching daylight unfold, the snow is falling, enjoying my second cup of coffee, sometimes I think I enjoy the second more than the first.
Todays snowfall is in stark contrast to the beautiful warm sunny day of yesterday. I’m glad I took the opportunity yesterday to get outdoors with Pheobe. We went for a short drive, stopped to have a walk, the sunshine felt good, and I must say that normally I really struggle herein the winter months because it’s so grey and we see so little sun, but this year we have been blessed with mild temperatures and lots of sunshine thus far. so although we are to be in our bubble of just our households, for me that means my dog and I, the weather has given us the gift of being able to get outside with greater ease, and times seems to be moving rapidly.

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I’m not making any hard plans for 2021, instead allowing the year to unfold as it’s meant to, often times we try to force things to happen as we want them to or think they need to. This year I will allow the year to be what it needs to be for me. I will listen to my instincts, I believe where I need to be and what I need to be doing will come to light without forcing the many thingsI think should happen.
I have lived mostly in the here and now since my diagnosis, yet somehow still had to feel like I had many things that I “had to” get done, or accomplish. I am much happier and content to just be at this stage. It doesn’t mean I won’t be doing the things that are important to me, things that bring me joy, things that give me purpose and provides hope, it just means I will be doing them differently. I will not be putting so much pressure on myself. I never realized until recently how tired and fatigued all the work I have been doing had made me, mostly because I wasn’t stopping long enough to recognize it. Even while having serious health battles for the last 11 months, I pushed myself. I have stopped pushing. I have stopped because my health says it’s necessary if I want a few more good years, and yes even though my dementia progresses, even though I have new health challenges, I still can maintain a good life, mostly because I choose to and attitude is everything.
so I’ve stopped pushing my body to it’s limits, instead I listen to what it’s telling me. I will continue to do the things I do, but without pushing, if I’m not up to a meeting I will excuse myself without quilt, if there’s a project I feel is to much for me I will sit it out, no more overloading, the price is to high.
Last year was extremely busy, Covid-19 added to that, contrary to what we believed, that it would slow things down , the world learning to use zoom actually increased the number of meetings and the ability to push more projects forward.

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The slow down between Christmas and know allowed my body to exhale, it has done my health a world of good, it has given my brain the ability to relax, not fight to keep up and manage, it allowed my body to rest, the calm the quiet has shown me and allowed me to recognize what my body has been trying to tell me. My quality of life depends on whether I chose to listen to it or not.
So this year, will start another new normal for me, one in which I listen to my body, to hear what my soul is saying, and let life happen. I’m not sure what it will look like, I’m not really concerned about that as I believe it will be as it’s meant to, and somehow I feel like I will be happy in it.

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

Its New Years Eve 2020

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Yup, it’s New Year’s Eve, most people are making plans with their bubble of people, that’s what we do in 2020, we do things within our bubble, that’s become life during a Pandemic. Some people complain, some people outright refuse to do the right thing. But many are doing the right thing and New Years’ will be within the safety of their homes, how lucky we all are to have the safe confines of our homes to go to.

I am in the safety of my home, going to soon enjoy a dinner, traditional dinner handed down to me by my grandmother and mother, my little dog Pheobe has already had hers, she felt quite content. I felt the urge to write this before settling in to have mine.

I’m not making New Years resolutions, I gave that up years ago, making promises few manage to keep seems counter productive to me. Instead, looking at what was good, what good I have done over the last year, thinking about how to enhance that for the coming year. Making a list of all I have to be grateful for.

Hoping that as we move into 2021 we all continue to do what we must until we come through the pandemic, and they we do it with kindness. I hope everyone stays safe, I hope we all work towards doing a better job of looking after each other and our world. I hope everyone finds a peaceful and less stressed way of life. I hope everyone feels loved and gives love. I hope all find and do things that bring them joy. Happy New Year to you all may blessings abound in 2021.

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

A Happy Brain

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Something strange is or has occurred, just in the last number of days, yesterday I took great notice of it, but today I totally marvelled at it. I must almost guiltily that the last while with this new added piece of autoimmune dysfunction that I have been dealing with my brain and my dementia has almost taken a backseat.
suddenly today it is back at the forefront, not for what it’s not doing but for what it is doing, and it’s left me trying to figure out why?
For some reason I am very clear headed, the fog that surrounds my brain normally is gone, it doesn’t feel as thick or heavy, my vision is cleared, my brain feels light and happy. Sounds strange doesn’t it? Feels very strange, like somethings missing. I’m not having to fight to have a clear thought, I have been able to manage things like putting together and cook a lovely meal albeit done in stages and steps over several days, but still I haven’t managed any of these things very well for a good long time.

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Tonight I sat looking at my lights on my Christmas tree, contemplating what on earth is happening, I thought about my last week and how a phone call from my doctor and my specialist just before Christmas had me reworking yet again how I am doing things. This came about not because of my dementia but because of this autoimmune piece that is affecting and they are trying to unruffled. But could those changes be somehow helping my brain? I am having less trouble managing my day to day skills, I am able to organize myself ( well ok still not. Like I would in the past) but still better than have been for quite a spell. I’ve also not only paced even my simple tasks differently, I have also had a lot less going on, no meetings, no zooms, or very few, and they have been the more social variety. Not pushing myself, letting my body rest when it wants, all the noise and business of the world left far behind, music everyday, singing and dancing in the comfort of home. Only walking for shorter distances, when my body can manage it. Have all these things allowed my brain to find a happier way to be, has it made it simpler for me to do the things I want to, because it’s not struggling to manage things it simply no longer can? To have the fog lifted, to be given this clarity and sense of peacefulness, contentment is a gift. I don’t know how long it may or may not stay this way. I wonder if when the New Year sees all the activities and meetings start up again, will it overwhelm my brain again., will it cause the fog to return, to fatigue what is at the moment a happy brain.

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The dementia is still there, the struggles are still there, but to have a brain that feels light, clear and happier than it’s felt for a long time, feels so good. It makes me wonder if I will have to evaluate how much I’m doing going forward. After all if this quitter existence allows me a better quality of life hadn’t I better but some value and thought into that. Time will tell, in the meantime I shall enjoy that the curtains that have been drawn across my brain for so long have been opened at least for know.

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

It’s a Wrap

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Another Christmas Day has come and gone. Christmas came so quickly this year, which seems in opposition to what one would think. We would think that time would be dragging, living amidst a global pandemic, but for me it feels like the accelerator has been pushed and time is going by so fast that I’m still months behind somewhere. I keep hearing people say I just want this year to hurry up and be over, and yet once time is gone we can’t get it back. I would like the pandemic to be over but the the changing of years on the calendar isn’t going to automatically bring that about. It will be the collective effort of mankind, or not.
People have been stressed about having to be within their own family households for Christmas, many broke the rules, many not caring as long as they had the Christmas they wanted. It made others stop to consider the many who spend Christmas alone every year, and to think about and understand what that has felt like for them. I am one who lives alone and normally spends Christmas alone.

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Everyone one was extremely worried about having to zoom, with family instead of in person visits. Yet when you think about when we were young there wasn’t the ability to do visits on video calls, and that was just a mere 20 or 30 years ago. We were asked to change one Christmas and something incredible happened because if it.

I actually had one of the nicest Christmases I have had in recent years. People driving by to drop off baking and treats and gifts, greetings across the parking lot, seeing warm and friendly faces as they pulled up, Christmas Day normally spent alone had me see many people to share laughter and coffee, share traditions and joy, I had more people spend time in my living room via zoom, and FaceTime, something that had not happened in recent years. So although I was alone, in the physical sense I did not spend Christmas alone at all, I spent it with friends from near and far, family in Alberta, friends in Scotland, England, eastern Canada, the US, even Australia, ending with a fabulous visit with a friend in Texas, they were lovely visits, my day flew by, I wasn’t alone.

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So while many looked at having zoom Christmas as a negative for myself and likely many others who are normally alone, it was a positive. These visits were heartfelt, they were personal, it was sharing and caring. Seeing someone’s face light up, seeing their families, hearing their voices, seeing the beauty in their decorations, the heartfelt laughter, sharing stories of traditions and memories. It was like a warm hug that other wise would not have been received.

I received an email from a dear friend who lives in Scotland, whom I admire very much last night after our visit yesterday and to hear how it was as good for him as me was so heartwarming.
The silver lining in the midst of a terrible pandemic shone brightly for me yesterday and I won’t forget this Christmas, and I won’t forget, not for what it wasn’t but for what it was.
That’s a wrap.

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

A Mixed Bag of Random Thoughts

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I actually thought I had written this blog, but apparently I wrote it in my mind but not on paper. I didn’t realize that until this morning settling with my first coffee of the day I thought I would check it before hitting the post button. Except it wasn’t there, it was all formulated in my brain, but the action to actually write it didn’t connect, this is Dementia at work. Thankfully for some strange reason, my brain has decided to hang onto it so it ends up here.

It’s a quiet time, it’s Christmas Eve, tonight I will make my little turkey dinner for my little dog and I, I grew where Christmas tradition saw us have our dinner, open gifts, and then off to church, we never had Christmas Stockings we had Christmas plates, by our beds that were filled with candies, oranges and little baked treats. Christmas Day was for sleeping in, relaxing, tobogganing, playing in the snow. So I will have my Christmas tonight.

I have been blessed with people dropping off baked goods, vegetables, and gift bags and baskets, I’m grateful to all those who thought to remember that I’m alone at Christmas ( not because of the pandemic ),just because I am alone, its nice to be thought of, and although its just drive by drop offs just seeing your faces for a few minutes lifts the spirit, you have all touched my heart with your thoughtfulness. If it was possible I would have you all here for coffee to help me eat all these beautiful baked goods.

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Healthwise, as most know I’ve really had challenges since March, and not with my Dementia, although my last testing was not great, It showed my recall has gotten significantly worse, short term memory is worse, but I’m still managing quite well, you become good at adapting and learning new ways to manage the shortcomings.

My other health challenges that began in March, have brought us to now., a call from My Doctor on Tuesday afternoon, all my inflammation markers are high, they know I don’t have an infection or any kind of virus, something triggered my immune system to start fighting in March, it’s like it’s supercharged, they know this is an autoimmune issue, they believe my vocal abilities and my decreased lung capacity are all connected to this, my fatigue, and the list goes on. So the specialist will help unravel it all to see if and what we can do, the problem is much of the medications to help with autoimmune don’t play nice with my dementia meds, so some very carefully weighed out decisions may have to be made. I wrestle with it, I really hope to get some of my physical abilities back, at least somewhat, but if it means losing more of my cognitive abilities quicker I’m not sure.

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So Tuesday afternoon I took an “ I feel defeated“ day, I cried, I felt sadness I wondered if this is worth the continued fight. I and we people living with dementia are super-warriors, yes, but we are at the same time, not superheroes, we are still humans with all the normal reactions to abnormal events, we still feel sadness, loss, fear, along with happiness and joy. We have the same ups and downs like everyone else. Sometimes we have to quit fighting and say ” today I just want to feel bad, and sad and mourn for all that is happening,” this does not make us weak, this makes us human, yup we have not lost that. So I took a half-day to feel it, to wonder and question myself as to why I keep fighting, too which I don’t have the answer to except that there are still things I want to do and accomplish despite my complex health challenges.

So I slept for 14 hours, after which I got busy figuring out what in all of it I could do to try to help myself while the doctors try to do their thing. I can’t control the illness or illnesses at this point, but I can do all the things I know how to do to help my body fight. My body is carrying a lot of inflammation caused by this autoimmune piece, I have had no appetite for a long time, it’s been hard, I should be a tiny size but I’m not because of what’s going on in my body, and no appetite means it’s hard to give your body what it needs to fight. So Yesterday I set a plan in place to help my body, I have to eat one balanced meal a day, seems simple but when you zero appetite it’s harder than you think. I will have to prepare and make that meal, which on bad days is difficult because of my fatigue, and my dementia so I have set reminders on my Alexa so that at five pm every day it will remind me to sit down and eat. It will be a self-prescribed force feed, but it has to happen.

I will be continuing to work with my physiotherapist Kathy to help keep me mobile, Kathy has been a godsend to me and has become an integral part of my health team, as well I will continue to work with Lise Halverson, Lise owns Noodle, the company is new to Vernon, I started going to her osteo fit class this fall, she has regular classes as well as classes specifically for people with dementia. She has been a tremendous support and helps me, currently because the doctors don’t want me pushing but want me to do small amounts we are working outdoors social distancing of course. We use activator walking poles which were designed by Occupational Therapists at the women’s hospital in Vancouver, they are different than regular walking poles as they give you a whole-body workout. So if I can do 15 minutes that’s what we do, it’s slow steady at this point, a hard pill for me to swallow to go from walking 8/10 miles a day to a block or two, but hopefully, by spring, I will be well on my way again.


We are lucky to have this company here, their program is designed by the women’s health hospital, and I think many can benefit, especially as we age and balance and coordination, etc become something we need to pay attention to.

It’s a fine balance to try to keep moving without depleting my body and ending up in bed for days, but I continue to try with the support systems I am fortunate to have. It is also possible that this is just part and parcel of my dementia, vascular dementia has a huge component that affects the immune system, they are and can be quite intertwined so it becomes quite complex. People tend to think dementia is just about memory loss but it is about so so much more and affects so many of our body systems. I’m grateful to those who help me in the fight to maintain as best I can, and to those who understand my need to have normal reactions at times to abnormal events.

The New Year will hopefully have more answers than questions, but I have learned that the complexity of my dementia, means that it challenges even the doctors, but I am grateful that they continue to try to help me have the best quality of life I can, and if at the end of the day this becomes another new normal I too will learn to manage that.

In the meantime, I will be grateful that I am here for another Christmas Eve, life is fleeting it’s best to always be mindful of that and be grateful for what we are given.

Wishing everyone a pleasant and peaceful Christmas Eve.

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

Positives of the Year 2020

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It’s been a year of watching people struggle to try to find positive things, we are after all in the middle of a global pandemic, something most of us never thought we would see in our lifetime. After all, weren’t things like pandemics, couldn’t or wouldn’t ever happen to us those things just happened in the past, surely not something we would have to worry about in our lifetimes. But if we look at the past it has many lessons for us today.

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I think about how fortunate we are that we live in a time, that allows us to stay connected via video chats, facetime, zoom, and the like. I think about how fortunate we are that we live in a time that we can call up or go online and order what we need and have it brought out to our car. I think about how fortunate we are that we have things like ICU’s and ventilators to give people a fighting chance.

There have been many positive things that 2020 has brought us, like allowing us to take a step back, take time to breathe, spend time with our families and those we love, and really think and look at what truly is important in our lives. A forced time out if you will.

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Enjoying some quieter days, instead of being so rushed all the time, that we are and have not actually been living, the old saying is: are you working to live or living to work, has come full circle and given us the opportunity to really put that into our individual perspectives.

Yes, we are living with many unknowns, yes we have had to change how we are doing things, and this pandemic has brought a lot of tragedy and heartbreak, but if we take a moment to think about how if we even think back to 25 or 30 years ago, how different it would have been when we didn’t have all the technology to help us stay connected when we didn’t have the medical capabilities that we have now. So I think if I had to live through a pandemic, this is the time I will be thankful for the ability to stay connected to stay safe, to have protocols put in place to help us do that, it’s inconvenient, that’s all.

We have leaders doing all they can to help us get through this, yes there will be some things that will not survive, businesses will close, others will thrive, but if they didn’t do the things they are doing it would be much worse. It doesn’t matter to me what political party you are affiliated with, they are at least in my country, are working together in an unprecedented manner, for the good of all, and we have watched, and for the most part, we are working together to make it through, doing our part as well.

We will in all likely hood see many things done differently going forward after the pandemic, but looking back in history these are the very events that propel us forward. It will be up to us as a society and as individuals to decide if we go forward in a positive manner or not.

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Will we take the lessons given during this time, and let it make us bitter and angry, or will it leave us a little softer and more caring of the people and the world around us? I am hoping for the latter.

So I am grateful for the many positive things I have seen, witnessed, or felt over this year 0f the pandemic. 2020, it will definitely be one that won’t soon be forgotten, and just like our parents talked of the wars, the depression, we will talk of the year of the pandemic.

So moving closer to the end of 2020, I hope we can and all take time to think about the positives so that as a new year unfolds, we can move into it, with a hopeful and positive state of mind, and we look forward with hope.

Advocates Christine Thelker © 2020 Dementia For This I Am Grateful Silver Linings

Quiet Contemplation

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Yesterday I spent many hours sitting quietly with my Christmas lights on, somehow they create a sense of peacefulness and calm. I sat thinking about the last couple weeks, the weeks coming ahead.
We have some scary times looming, from just before Christmas until end of January early February( that’s my opinion only). Mostly because people don’t seem to understand that although Christmas is supposed to be different this year ( and many are refusing to do what’s required), Christmas can still happen, it can still be great, better to do it different,this year then put others and yourself at risk and then have people missing from that table for all future Christmases. It’s about attitude, it’s about understanding that if you truly love others and can love selflessly, then you would sacrifice doing things the same old way, for a period of time.
This isn’t about conspiracy theories, yes we can make it about anything we want, and some will, but what it really is about is love. yes it’s that simple, do you love your fellow man enough to make some changes and short term sacrifices, or is your love directed more at yourself and your individual wants, and for the most part they are wants not needs.
so what made me think about these things so deeply, I’ve been troubled watching the reckless behaviour, the disregard for others. Especially given that I’ve also had to watch some dear friends lose a son, another friend lose her husband, and another friend have one of their young bright 17 year old having to spend the next nine or months in the children’s hospital, undergoing unimaginable treatment, being away from her family and loved ones. While another cares for her terminally ill husband. And all those who care about them understanding the importance of not taking the risk and bringing and putting them more at risk, and not being able to be there in the ways one would like to be.
This is why it’s so important to do our part, so that we can be there for those when they need us the most. Wearing a mask, staying home, changing how and who you spend Christmas with for one Christmas, for a period of months, is nothing in comparison to watching people you care about going through these events, it’s such a simple sacrifice, it’s a show of love to our fellow man, it’s a show of love.

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

Something Strange Happening in my house tonight

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

It’s a strange one for sure, the day has been relatively quiet, a very simple day, nothing stressful, other than time going by at break neck speed.

It’s 10 p.m., I’ve been in bed since about 645, was having a great sleep, when suddenly I awoke with a real jolt, because what the heck was that, it can’t be, I could smell such a strong smell of roast beef, like it was just out of the oven smell of roast beef. But wait a minute, my sense of smell and my sense of smell have been gone for more months than I can actually remember, but I smell roast beef, I sit in bed for ten or fifteen minutes trying to figure out if I’m dreaming, or if I’m actually smelling roast beef.

Photo by Nadi Lindsay on

It has me standing in the middle of my living/ dining area trying to figure out where this strong smell of roast beef is coming from, and know I’m thinking oh my how I would love a roast beef sandwich, except it’s 10 o’clock at night, no ones cooking roast beef least of all at my house but the aroma is still here.

I am completely baffled, now the dog is up looking at me wondering what the heck am I doing and can we please go back to bed look. I’m back sitting in bed still wondering if I’m actually dreaming all this or what?

I’ve decided I don’t know if this is my brain or dreams or what but I’m going to laugh about it, think to my self, wow, that roast beef smells so darn good likely the best roast beef I could imagine.

Photo by Julia Filirovska on

Yup this is dementia straight up at my house, asleep but awake, awake but sleeping, who knows, chalk it up to another of the many mysteries of life with dementia.

It makes me want to run around the house trying to smell things, but it’s pointless because all I can smell is the darned Roast Beef, and nope haven’t cooked one for a long time, because I know you’re wondering did I cook roast beef for dinner. I have to try to go back to sleep unless I actually am, regardless I must. Tomorrow I will be doing smell tests to see if this is just a wired set of. ??? Or if my sense of smell is coming back. I’ll tell you one thing dementia ain’t for sissies.