Blog 13: Over Tired

As our lives moved into 2009, we did as doctors advised us to do and planned to pack as much living into the year as we could.  With friends, we decided that we would visit Adelaide in March, Canada and Alaska in May, Sydney in August for Bill’s 70th, which I’ve already told you about, and Bargara, Qld, for Christmas.

As well, Ian and Kim and our grandchildren were coming to stay over Easter and my niece and her family, who reside in Belgium, were planning to visit in July. With all our other social commitments still in place, it was to be a busy year.

Though Bill was not always strong, he coped with the Adelaide trip and the Alaskan one, without too much trouble.  He felt the cold in Alaska and sometimes opted to go back to bed rather than to stand out in the weather taking photos of the calving glaciers.

It took me back to 1964 when we were touring England in a mini-van in February.  One night, while we were sleeping, snow fell and when we awoke in the morning, there it was, all over the ground.  Bill was so excited because we had never seen snow before. He raced outside and started making a snowball.  He rolled the snow up as if it was turf ….. rolled and rolled ….. racing back to warm his hands around the boiling kettle, which was bubbling away on our outside gas stove.

“Come inside!” I whinged.  “It’s too cold!  I can’t stand it out here!”

“No! I’ve got to do this!” he shouted, as he rolled and warmed for another five minutes.

In 1964, it was me whinging, while he was squealing with delight.  In 2009, the roles were reversed.

I say that we made it through the Alaskan trip without too much drama, but that is only almost true.  We flew back to Brisbane from Canada, you see, via Taipei, the capital city of Taiwan. The flight from Vancouver to Taiwan took twelve hours and the flight from Taiwan to Brisbane, nine.

Blog 013 Image 1

We coped with the twelve-hour Vancouver to Taiwan trip quite well and landed in Taipei at five o’clock in the morning.  Then, and this is where I think the whole thing went wrong for us, instead of putting us into our hotel rooms at that time, the tour organisers opted to put us on a bus and take us around Taipei to see the sights.

  1. Kim

    Every experience you went through was a learning curve as Bill’s dementia progressed. It was brave of you to undertake such a big trip, but as you said, it was important to pack in the things you wanted to do before the dementia became too advanced. Had you not ventured out of the house, I doubt you would have learned so much about the way the disease can affect us.

    February 1st, 2013 // Reply
    • Fay

      I suppose, Kim, the fact of the matter is that people with dementia are still alive and they still need to keep on living.
      I’ve just finished reading Hazel Hawke’s story, written by her daughter. As Hazel sank deeper into Alzheimer’s, her daughter, who lived next door, continued to allow her to walk the neighbourhood by herself. It was a bit of a risk, but her daughter understood that it was important for Hazel to feel that she was still independent and still living her life.
      Though Bill never walked by himself ….. he always had me to walk with him ….. he still needed to live and travelling …… particularly with Bill driving ….. was one way we were able to fulfil that need.

      February 8th, 2013 // Reply
  2. Sonia Hendy

    I agree with Kim, those were important trips. The long years of being almost house bound were still in the future. More happy memories to keep.

    February 4th, 2013 // Reply
    • Fay

      It is true, Sonia, that those trips built a store of memories for us and that Bill was able to use the resultant photo albums as props for some time after. But I think that our doctor thought that Bill, by involving himself in life, was giving himself a chance at staving off dementia. Bill’s diagnosis, at this stage, was still Aphasia. Only a third of people with Aphasia sink into Dementia. Though he never voiced it, our doctor, I believe, was hoping against hope that life involvement would keep Bill out of that third. Alas, that was not to be.

      February 8th, 2013 // Reply
  3. Harold and Nola

    And following on, because we didn’t see you both too often, when the final ‘crash’ came, it was the biggest shock to us both. As for the trip to Alaska, Nola quails at the very thought . . . Harold is far the braver here . . .

    March 16th, 2013 // Reply

Add your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

a blog about my dementia journey


© 2012 Sneek
Powered by WordPress, Endless & Sneek