Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Don't worry about yesterday, don't worry about tomorrow

Don't worry about yesterday. Don't worry about what will happen tomorrow. You are wasting time, causing yourself stress, and it just doesn't work.

As a patient, I learned this early on with this disease. I know longer worry about what may have occurred yesterday because I can not remember my yesterdays.

Of course Phyllis June does. But she too has learned not to dwell on what has happened, or what may happen.

Today, right now is what matters. I tell everyone have a plan. Then have a back-up plan.You simply need to do this. Try to set your loved one up for success.

But this doesn't mean you have to worry about what may happen. The key word to that sentence is "may."

What your loved one does today, how their emotions are, their stress level, etc, and how you deal with it. That's what is important.

I always say worrying about dementia or what will happen with this disease is like carrying an umbrella around with you 24/7, thinking it will rain.

This disease is relentless and most of all unpredictable. The best you can do is have a plan. For instance if your loved one has a doctor's appointment coming up in a week or so, now is the time to plan for it.

Hopefully you have made arrangements for transportation. Having someone with you in case your loved one decides at the last minute in the car that this isn't going to happen.

Driving in traffic with a dementia patient going spastic is not good for anyone, and this indeed could easily happen. Also, have one of the easiest plans in place for doctor appointments.

Don't go. We all are wired to think, the person you love has a doctor's appointment and they simply have to be there.

No they don't. I haven't been to a doctor's appointment in years that mattered one way or the other. They simply don't. Sure your loved one needs to see their doctor, but when push comes to shove, let them win.

If they do indeed have some sort of condition that warrents seeing their doctor, then that is a different situation.

Why would anyone want to get into any sort of a back and forth with a patient over something that probably won't matter anyways.

Now that is not to say I am telling everyone not to take their loved one to the doctors. I am simply pointing out that with all the planning, they just may refuse to go.

Just keep in mind three simple questions.

Are they Safe?

Are they content?

Are they pain free?

If you can answer yes to a reasonable amount of certanty to these three questions, you are doing the very best you can.

Worry about what matters today. Not what has happened, or what could happen in the future. We can't change a thing. No one can. You simply have to deal with what comes along.

And that is more than enough, without causing yourself stress worrying over something that hasn't happened, and may not happen.

I tell you this from a patients perspective. I do as a patient worry about things that may happen.

It's the disease that does this, makes me be stressed about the littlest things. But it is Phyllis Junes job to keep me and my worries in check.

And she does her job very, very well...