Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Holidays in Dementialand


I was doing really well. We’d had a funeral, 2 big walks, meals out. I had coped with all the new people, the crowds (the hustle, bustle, noises and so forth) and then after a not very good meal we decided to go to the pub nearest to the restaurant - the best pub in town too.

Suddenly lots of people. I thought it would be relatively quiet on a Tuesday. The people we were with knew a couple at the bar - they went back years. Hugs, bon homie, chitter-chatter, old friends and everything that entails.

Something in me switched. I can’t grasp what exactly but I went very silent, looking everywhere else but the conversation. I went outside for 5 minutes but that didn’t do anything except leave me feeling colder. 

I guess I was hoping the four of us from the restaurant would be on our own having a quiet chat. I just wasn’t expecting there to be new people joining us. I don’t know why this is so difficult. It seems I slip a gear when this happens and can’t get going again. 

I guess I don’t cope well with the unexpected anymore

So I stayed there, in that space.

The old me would have tried to join in the conversation but like a roundabout going too fast I just couldn’t get the timing right to grab a hold and be part of it all. Nor, if I’m honest, did I have the inclination to even want to try.

The people at the bar were friendly enough. It’s just the dementia.

I think our friends felt awkward with my behaviour and I’m sorry about that. It’s not something I can do much about anymore, and some episodes are worse than others.

Oh god, it’s him…


I woke up this morning and J and I decided to do some shopping. The feeling from last night was still there, as I entered shops with music playing and people milling about; lots of voices. I was finding the whole thing just slightly overwhelming. 

I put on my Sunflower lanyard.

(I’m never sure if people know what it means.)

Anyway, I tried on some approach shoes and while they fitted my weird feet, I didn’t like the styles. I don’t know about you (and why would I?) but some seasons I buy nothing as I find the styles and colours pretty ghastly. 

I had neglected to pack enough hiking t-shirts due to dimness/dementia, so I did buy 2 hiking t-shirts (cotton T’s can get uncomfortable on a long hike) with Jacqui’s help. I then said that we should abort the shopping sortie as it was just a fruitless exercise.

I’m now writing this. This evening we are going out once more to a restaurant. It will be fine. This sort of thing just happens now and again.

I’m just looking forward for it to pass over so I can return to the new normal. 

It can take days however.

My Neurological Diversity, innit?

Someone I was at school with sent me a friend invite after viewing my profile on Facebook. We didn’t really know each other very well, but she had read my blog and a lot of it had resonated with her. Amongst other things she had been diagnosed with autism. She said if she had not known she would have thought I was writing about autism - especially the need to wear dark glasses and noise-cancelling headphones bit.

We compared notes and have had similar experiences socially all our lives; not really fitting in to any one group, saying the wrong thing/ faux pas, and more. 

Yes, I know everyone does. 

But they really don’t.

It was very interesting anyway, and good to have a new friend to understand/empathise with.

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