Lock down effects on person with dementia

Want to give credit, but I have not idea anymore where I got this picture…

Hi there. Don’t know if I should ask anybody how are you, because I think this COVID-19 virus thingy is now getting everyone or most people down. If you are not staying inside and quarantined, you are an idiot.

See, I use words like idiot… not that it is a strange word, but this virus is turning some of us into things and people that we normally not would be or want to be.

Our biggest enemy, apart from the virus, is our thoughts and emotions. I have not been feeling well lately, everything feels “foggy”… like I will walk around, from here to there and have no fricken idea of what I am doing or wanted to do. Have a million things I want to do, but it just seem too much. Three pots to wash, is just too much. I feel frozen… paralyzed… It is just too much. I set myself 3 things to do. Blog, making Jewelry and playing my online game. That’s apart from caring for my children’s zoo, cooking (that is daunting as well, because I make more of a mess than anything else. The successes are much less than the messes.

I battle to think up something to cook. Google recipes, but then get bogged down in it and turn up with nothing and time for eat is long gone and my husband walk around with a slice of bread in his mouth. The only time of the the day I’m actually hungry is ten o’clock at night. Strange but true. Wonder if that’s my brain not being so fresh or what ever. Anyway, I do eat, because my husband must eat.

People does not realize that a person with dementia, whatever type, get to a stage where words are not making so much sense all the time anymore and we have to read the facial expressions and body language. to get to the whole conversation. Extreme expressions or reactions of other people absolutely put our brains in a standstill, with tears or whatever proper or improper reaction from our part. I don’t know how caregivers are doing what they are doing, but it must be difficult for them. Then on the other side, just think how fricken difficult it is for the person that actually have the dementia.

I forget, then I get reactions or feedback from other people that I have NO idea what to do with or how to react to. Being a caregiver must be difficult, but if you are a selfish I, me and myself type, put that person in an institution and get on with your life. Harsh words, but that is how I feel today. Nobody asked for this condition. It is stealing slowly but surely my whole being and life from me and I fricken hate it.

Something that also happens is, you had a fight or something with someone and all that happens, it gets stuck in your head. You don’t know how to get around it. Pieces in between just gets lost and all that gets stuck in your head is guess what…… the fucking fight. There I said the word… Fucking. Should I put a sign “not for sensitive readers” or something like that at the top. I don’t know… deal with it and just get over it…. you most probably can, while I might have some trouble with it.

Caregivers might have real trouble handling their loved ones, but guess what a person with dementia don’t know either and eventually don’t even know. My know and not know is getting less and less. I don’t really know all the time anymore when something went wrong because of me. The awareness is wearing off. It scares the living daylight out of me. Am I slipping away? My brain is deteriorating, is dying off. That is absolutely fucking horrible. I don’t feel sorry for my self, although not at this moment. Now I do feel sorry for my self and I’m crying as discreet as possible, so that my husband doesn’t see it and get upset.

I had a fight or whatever with my eldest daughter today. I tried to call again later, to try and fix things… I just couldn’t . I feel so paralyzed. I don’t know how to fix things or organize or even reason or plan anything anymore. The how is gone. Seems I can still write, most probably full of mistakes and so on, but that’s it, at least I try.

In spite of everything, I must continue to be brave and not give up. God help me… here I am!!!!!!!

Saro (Elmarie)

Day 4 of lock down.

Hi guys and girls, it is out fourth day of COVID-19 lock down. Many lovely positive things happened today, so no complaints over here.

My dearest friend Marian had her 49th birthday today and I made her a lovely little basket and lid from newspaper. She was really happy with it. She also brought us some frozen chickens and offer to to buy some necessities, so that my husband and I don’t have to be exposed. We decided to wait another 2 days, as the government old age payments were today and there would have been a lot of people. Also, she can get the stuff we need close to us, that is not that much visited by people. That’s really awesome of her.

One thing though…. my husband and his pipe smoking or smoking in general is killing me. I stopped 6 months ago. The pipe smoke gives me a headache and makes me nauseous. Tomorrow, I’m wearing a bandana or scarf around my face. I love him very much, but this is really getting too much.

Another good thing that happened was that I decided to make a Whatsapp group to keep in touch with my 3 brothers. They all thought it to be a good idea and it makes me happy, although I stated it is to chat and not to be spammed with stupid pictures …. those that some people spam your phone with mornings and nights.

I must admit that this pandemic is raising my anxiety to new levels. I do however try to just avoid negative things and search out positive things. Share the amount of people that recovered after having the virus, instead of how many are now infected or died. We have to live in confined spaces for quite some time, so we must take measures to avoid depression. Also, get closer to God, he never leaves us. He is not the one that send this, He is the one that heals. God is in the healing business not killing. His love for us is infinite and far more than we can ever imagine.

Have to go now. Hope and pray that all of you stay safe and are well.

lots of love and kindness

Saro (Elmarie)

Day 3 of total lock down.

I’m almost scared to use the word Corona virus or whatever it is called, as it is everywhere and now in my post as well. In South Africa we are in a total lock down for 21 days.

What is strange, is that I never want to go anywhere or even get an opportunity to go anywhere, except to work (doing limited tutoring with my daughters). Now that I can’t go anywhere, guess what…….? It feels like death itself. That emotional thing that happens when you are told not to do something and all of a sudden you really want to do it…. a bit, okay more than a bit like with children. Tell them not too and guess what, five minutes in and the deed is done.

With the dementia it is not that easy, as I am getting to forget a lot lately. Got an entry in my diary “contribute to tommy otter” what the hell that is, I don’t know and am too scared to ask. I have decided to get some sort of schedule going.

1. Blog, obviously

2. Play my online game Dawn of Titans, which I quit a while ago.

3. Make my jewelry.

4. Look after my zoo of dog, cats, bird, chickens, bunny and husband. My daughters are not here, but are stuck somewhere else. Can you imagine my one bunny “Ashes”, other one is Sparkle, tried with his little paw to remove the stone I was busy putting on his latest escape tunnel. The audacity (big word… yaaayaaa), so I fetched another one and put it on that one. When I went to feed them, I noticed that the man was quite busy, with you know what.

I see that I’m getting sidetracked again as usual. Thing is, I have decided not to keep on reading all these reports, only check out positive text messages. Keep the air freshener close to me, to use when my husband is getting overly busy on his pipe. It really sounds strange… just sucking on it, like it is a ventilator or something like that. So we should keep out of each other’s hair. Maybe the two of us have a few things to work on…. we will see.

The dementia thing is getting a bit worse. I still could figure out something went wrong, but now it happens less and less. Just blissfully have no idea if something went wrong.

Something on coping… must put this in my diary… Put up stickers. Geyser switch… up is on and down is off. Same with stove and whatever might be dangerous. For the life of me I could not figure out 2 days ago which way the geyser is on or off.

Ok… Zoo… check, Blog… check, game… check, jewelry… check, husband… still alive and kicking… check.

Bye, and stay safe.

Saro (Elmarie)

I’m back blogging.

Ok, I’m just going to type as it comes up. I have not been blogging all this time, because I was afraid that I cannot do it anymore. It was shaky according to my standards already, but let me not be harsh on myself… I do have early onset vascular dementia after all.

I started out getting an image, which I don’t like anymore, but decided to keep it anyway. I woke up one morning somewhere end last year and my speech was almost gone and what was left, was incomprehensible. It was dreadful. I already had aphasia after the first stroke, but not that bad.

Well I started making paper beads and then jewelry. Something I just could not believe, because I have severe hand tremors. At one stage I could not write, had to be fed etc. I so felt pathetic, which of cause is stupid. How can a person feel pathetic about something you can’t help. I just tried to email from my phone some of the photos of my jewelry to my laptop, but the fricken thing updated again and of cause I will have to figure it out again from scratch. Well to make this shorter, my hand tremors improved and my speech. How that works, is beyond me, although I read on google that they use art therapy for speech problems. And of cause, God is awesome and deserve all the credit, because He is the one putting this paper bead, jewelry making thing in me. I don’t care what doctors say, that’s what happened to me. I do not take new medication, in fact the medication I’ve been taking for my hand tremors, my pharmacist is unable to get hold of.

In the meantime, I noticed that my memory is going downhill. I always was still aware of what went wrong, now most of the time I just don’t know, which in a way is bliss. Not beating myself up that much.

My family also is making progress. There is no more…. don’t worry mommy I also forget with a whole story about the forgetting. What most people don’t realize is that normal forget is something you can be reminded and you remember again or going back in your tracks or whatever trick you do to remember something…. with us there is just a black hole… nothingness. Whatever we forgot just never existed where it concerns us Us, being people that falls under the dementia umbrella. I have a note for the 30th of March in my diary to contribute for tommy otter. Who and what the hell that is, is beyond me. It is written with my pink pen in my best handwriting. Oh well, one of those things. It kind of suck to put something in your diary to remember and when you get to it, have absolutely no idea what it is.

I can’t remember what I really wanted to say, except that I wanted to see if I can still write. Well I hope it is not to shabby. My reading is starting to suck…. long things only get read about a quarter in, then the not remember kicks in.

Now since I don’t like too long stuff let me say bye. This was day 2 of total lockdown for South Africa. Hope I will be able to organize a schedule. Jewelry, blogging, online game and ofc the chickens.

Toodles

Saro (Elmarie)