Beside Still Waters

One of my favorite refrains, beside still waters, comes to mind when I think about our wonderful day in El Yunque, Puerto Rico. The lush peaceful feel of the cool green foilage and the magnificent waterfalls remind me of simple and peaceful times for Mike & I. Puerto Rico holds a special place in our memories and our relationship.

Although we are now in the heart of Largo, and the midst of August heat, we are still beside still waters. As a couple living with dementia, things are so much better than they were even a month ago. After two neurologists failed to see the need for anti-anxiety medication, we talked our GP into a very low dose of one that had been quadrupled by the first neurologist. The old saying “start low, and go slow” once the moniker for meds in dementia world, seems to have gone the way of the buffalo. It took our “You tell me what you want, I will write it” GP to give us just the amount of medication to make life pleasant. Added to that strategy is the neuropsychology referral to a psychologist who is helping Mike with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and we have a peaceable kingdom. And a grateful one

It feels awkward broadcasting this. But as I questioned myself on why I felt awkward, I thought Why is it we are faster to share the negative than the positive?

Add to that the email from a memory cafe family member that said “I know you are struggling too . . .” and I found that it was important for me to share the good stuff. There is too much of the negative dementia stuff studied, reported, shared and far too little of the positive.

Now keep in mind that yes, this was not how we imagined August would be. We have downsized and upsold simultaneously to have a bit of time in MD, but we are still looking forward to our trip, despite how different it is from its original blueprint.

Adaptation is the number one survival skill in life, and also in dementia world. We have adapted to the change in plans for vacation. We have adjusted to the possibility that Mike’s joint pain precludes hitting the road with the RV, at least for now.

But all of that is water down the falls compared to the serenity we have in our day-to-day lives. Just for today, we can savor the still waters, soak in the cool mist, and feast our eyes on the green life right before us. We are honored and blessed to have so many folks walking alongside of us

Author: Cate
Passionate about dementia care and quality of life throughout the last days of life----sums up Cate McCarty, Dr. Cate, Dementia Coach. With close to forty years of long-term care experience in nursing and recreation, a Master's in Thanatology and a PhD in Aging Studies, Dr. Cate seizes every opportunity to translate research into quality of life for individuals with dementia and all of us who have the honor to "rub elbows" with them.

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