Dementia – A Whole New Life

Today we learned about dementia, a terrible disease that mostly older people suffer from.
I really find it a horrible disease, although our teacher told us that there are good sides about it too.
For example: persons who have been rather moody, mean and anti-social can end up being warm, sweet, caring.
This is possible because often one’s character changes completely.
People that were very peaceful, quiet can change to loud and aggressive.

As most people will know, you lose a part of your memory.
Your life is like a film roll that someone’s rolling back up.
It’s like a drawn line that you’re erasing.
The part that you erased on paper, also gets erased from your memory.
Forever.

Which causes people to forget their husband/wife, since they simply don’t remember ever marrying or even meeting them.
This can be quite painful for the husband/wife of the patient.
They can also see their daughter/son as their wife/husband, since they are so alike with how their mom/dad used to look when they were younger.

Actually, the people suffering from dementia are going back in time.
Erasing the rest.

That’s why often, if they don’t die because of other things like heart failure, cancer, a bad cold, …
They die in fetal position, like a baby in the womb.
They’ve reached the end of the line.
Also, their muscles are so tighten up that they are almost automatically drawn into this position.

Also, they often don’t recognize their reflection in the mirror, since in their head they’re always looking younger, different than they actually do.
They live in the past.

I asked my teacher what you’re supposed to do if suddenly an old woman in the home, suffering from dementia, asks you where her husband (who died 20 years ago) is.
Should you tell her once more that her husband isn’t alive anymore?
That he’s not coming back?
Or do you just go with her fantasy?
Leave her the illusion?

She told me that you best either distract her, or even better: let her talk about her husband.
If you must, you can for example tell her that her husband is out doing groceries, until she forgets again.

But you NEVER,EVER tell her the painful truth again.
Simply because she wouldn’t believe you.
All she knows in that moment is that her husband is alive, she just doesn’t know where he is.
There’s no use in arguing with her, because she doesn’t know better.

Also, they forget things they’ve learned.
Manners for example.
You can easily see a person suffering from dementia standing in the hallway, masturbating.
Or undressing themselves.
They don’t know better.
They don’t know it’s not socially accepted.

They also forget how to eat, or even talk…
They actually become a little child again.

I found it a really fascinating and sad lesson.
Although I really loved and appreciated all the beautiful stories about the good sides as well.
What I find sad however is that in the beginning, the patients almost always realize what’s going on.
They either know that they’re suffering from dementia, or that there’s something terribly wrong.
They don’t feel right.
That’s the hardest part of the disease: the realization in the beginning.

One of the beautiful stories I heard today was about a father who had always been rather grumpy, mean, severe and emotionally distanced.
He never hugged or said that he loved his children.
Then he got dementia.
He completely changed.
And now whenever his children come visit him in the home, they get a warm welcome and he hugs them as if it’s the first time he sees them.

So finally, at last, he can end his life by leaving these last beautiful , treasured moments with his children.
That’s something his children will never forget and treasure.

Because there’s no cure for dementia, 
there is medication which only delays the symptoms.

So no matter how you choose to look at it, dementia is always saying goodbye,
little by little.
All you can do is make the best of a very hard and tough situation, 
and make beautiful memories that you’ll always cherish.

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Fantasizing About The Future

Today was a better day.
I actually really had fun at school, I laughed so much my belly started to hurt.

We learned how to properly make a bed, with about three blankets (don’t know the names in English, sorry).
But if you wonder what I’m talking about, it’s the way they do it in hospitals.

I had fun with some people whom I never expected I’d get along with so well.
I hope it ‘ll last.

And then of course the evening, when I saw my love again.

What a wonderful day today was.

Maybe things are about to get better?
And if not…
As long as I have my love.
I can handle it.

Every Monday from 6 in the evening ’till 9 in the evening I am the cashier at the pool across the street.
He accompanies me, because well…
It gets really lonely.
And boring.

Our time was up, and we were talking about our future.
He told me that if we’d both have a stable job, and would’ve saved enough money
that he’d love to live with me.
Just the two of us.
He’d love it.

Even though we’ve only been together for nine months, he already knows that this is what he wants.
Which really melts my heart.
It made me speechless for a second.

But only if we would be financially stable enough, which is normal.
So now I have something to dream about.

In a way, I really can’t wait to begin my life with him.
Just the two of us.
Yesterday and the day before yesterday for example we talked about children.

We were talking about teen pregnancies and that the guy basically always just leaves the girl when something goes wrong.
When the girl gets pregnant.

I asked him if he would do that as well, he said no.
I wasn’t convinced at first, because well… it’s easy to say.
But to actually do it… that’s something entirely else.

He convinced me though.
He told me that he’d take his responsibilities and would stay with me, no matter what.
Which actually warmed my heart.
To know that even if one day something would go wrong, that he’d still be there by my side.

I asked him if he would keep the baby then, or have it removed.
He said we’d keep it.
Which also warmed my heart.
He told me that he isn’t waiting for it to happen, or to have children soon, but if it would happen, that he’d be happy.
Even if it wouldn’t be planned.

Laughing, he added that I didn’t need to try it out though.

I know that he’ll be a great dad one day.
I know it because I see how he does with his god child.

It’s good to know how supporting he would be, even in those kind of situations.
It’s good to know that he’d always be there, no matter what.

I really am lucky with that boy of mine.

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La Vita è Bella

Today in class, in the afternoon we learned about poor families, and how to deal with them when we have to work there.
We were supposed to have social skills but our teacher was sick.
Even though I was very, very tired, I really enjoyed this special class.
I pretty much like every course that we have, and even if I don’t like the subject , the teachers are great.
They really all are very sweet and caring.
Real nice people.

I really feel like this is where I belong.
I know it’s been only a week but still.
I feel like I’ve made the right choice. Finally.
I just hope my exams and internship will show that as well.
I don’t know if I could handle the disappointment if I’d fail again.

Luckily, my boyfriend is being super supportive and sweet.
He’s such a dear.
Every day when I come home in the evening with a massive headache (I’m in a class with 24 persons. 22 females… Can you imagine the noise?), he’s right there to give me a hug, soothe me and take care of me.
So sweet.
I’m really lucky to have him. 
I fully realize that.
We’re both lucky to have each other.

I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.
The half of the class is going to visit a school for children with a mental handicap.
I’m in that group.
So I get to sleep longer and get to be home about two hours earlier.
In the evening , I’m going over to my boyfriend’s where I’ll have dinner with him and his family, like I do every Tuesday.
It’s kind of a tradition.
And since everyone in Belgium has a day off on the first of May (this Wednesday) I get to go to his practice again and stay with him until late.
Then on Wednesday, we’ll be together again all day.
I’m so looking forward to it!

Hope you’ll all have a lovely day tomorrow as well!

Yes, life sure can be beautiful…

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Thank You

I want to thank you.

For loving me.
For being my reason for living.
Ever since we met, you’ve changed my life. 
I never realized how damn important you would be for me.
How unbelievably much you’d mean to me.
What you’d become.
And what I now hope you will always be.

Ever since you loved me, I changed.
I became stronger, more confident with all the changes my body was and is going through.
You made me feel beautiful again, while I was grieving over my so called lost beauty.
Whenever I’d be sad, down, broken.. You’d simply pick me up and put the pieces back together again.

You’re my guardian angel.
My best friend.
My big brother.
But most of all, my lover.
The person I love the most.
The one I love with all my heart.
The one I’d die for to keep.
The one, my one.

You’re the one I want to have children with someday.
You’re the one I want to marry.
You’re the one I want to grow old with.
You’re the one I see myself spending the rest of my life with. 

Your beauty is overwhelming.
As is all the love you give to me.
Every touch, every kiss, … it causes my heart to skip a beat.
I’m so hopelessly and helplessly in love with you.
I am so lost in you.

I know I tell you everyday that I love you, and how much I love you.
How I adore you.
But I never thanked you for loving me.
For changing my life.
Because you did.
You made me believe in things like love at first sight, true love and fairytales again.
Because we have it all.

You truly are everything I could’ve ever dreamed of.
You are everything and more.
All I could’ve asked for.

Thank you, for being the wonderful, loving, sensitive, funny, caring, … person that you are.
Thank you, for always protecting me from all the bad things in the world.
Thank you also, for still letting me experience some things on my own.
Thank you, for giving me the strength needed to make a decision to change my course in life.
Thank you, for trusting me, even when I know it’s not always that easy, since there are constantly people trying to get between us.

But most of all, thank you, for loving me.
Because your love has truly changed me.
Thank you, for making me see the person I should’ve been all along.

I love you, please don’t ever leave.

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Life Your Life To The Fullest

Never let them get to you.
Never let them take you down.
Break your spirit.
Tell you who you are.

You’re the only person that truly knows where you come from,
where you’re now and where you’ll go.
Your story is yet to be written, 
so take the pen and write it yourself.

Do things your way,
but make sure to listen to other’s advice.
Accept help when you need it,
when you can’t do it on your own.

Find someone to pick you up when you’ve fallen down.
Someone to have your back.
Someone to always love
and support you.

Find a reason to be happy.
Either by finding a good love, 
raising your children,
or building your own home.

Find happiness in hobbies.
Play music.
Dance.
Sing.

But whatever you do,
whatever you decide.
Make sure to never forget 
to live your life to the fullest.

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Future Dreams

I want to have children someday.
I know that now more than ever.
I’ve been a babysit ever since I was seventeen years old, which means I’ve been babysitting for about four years now.
When I was little, one of my dreams was to become a kindergarten teacher.
I love children. Love them.
I’m a very beloved babysit as well.

I’m babysitting as I’m writing this as well.
A few minutes ago, I heard a loud bang upstairs.
I immediately ran up the stairs.
Apparently, the oldest one of the two little children had fallen out of his bed.
He has a net above his bed, wrapped around his bed.
Hanging by a hook in the ceiling, and apparently he had had a bad dream or such because when I arrived the net was down and the little boy was tangled in the net.
Of course he was crying, so the first minutes I just held him close to me, swaying him softly.

It felt so good.
It always feels so good when children adapt to you
Even though I’ve been babysitting here a couple of times, the children never saw me, because they’re always in bed when I arrive.
And still, this little boy completely trusted me right away.
He didn’t cry because he saw a stranger.
Or because he was held close by someone he had never seen before, even though I would be surprised at least when suddenly when I’d wake up from a bad dream that there’d be a stranger holding me.

Not these children.
They trust me.
Get soothed by my touch.
My voice.

Children… they are so loving.

I know I’m still young, and I know that my boyfriend and I haven’t been together THAT long but still…
I can just imagine what our children would look like.A daughter with my long golden blonde hair and his green-brown-blue-gray eyes.
A boy with his dark black hair and my blue eyes.
Other combinations.
They would be beautiful no matter what combination they’d have.

I can’t wait to live on my own , most of all I’d love to live together with my love.
And someday have our own house.
And hopefully, children.

 Who knows.
A girl can dream, right?

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I Dream

I dream.
I dream of living together with you, moving in our own little place.
A place to call our home.

I dream of falling asleep next to you, and waking up in the morning and see your face.
I dream of having children of my own, with you.

I dream of getting married, stay with you forever.
I dream of a big vacation to a country far away, tropical, warm.
With you.

I dream of taking the next step in our life.
I dream and dream.
And hope that someday my dreams will come true.

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