After my day in London yesterday was a bit like coming home after a holiday: things had changed. I had to tidy up a little and return one or two things to their normal places. Maureen’s presentation had also changed; she was quiet and exhausted. The puzzling thing was that she didn’t mention anything about Sunday and made no reference to her son’s visit.
I am not surprised Maureen was tired. She will have been in ‘hostess mode’ all day: attempting to show her recovery from stroke is well underway. What requires some speculation is why she has not spoken about how she spent her day or asked me about mine.
I would guess that she has dealt with Sunday in the way that she continues to deal with bad experiences. Her experience of being dumped at a Day Centre is typical of her approach to life: she has never spoken of it again. So why would she mention Sunday when all it held was disappointment? What she experienced was disruption in her usual routines; with none of the luxuries of a normal Sunday. Therefore, it is not surprising that she has not mentioned a day with poor substitutes on the food front, and a lack of the company of her loving husband. Maureen has spent a life-time burying bad news, and her brain is hard wired to deal with disappointment in that way.
My reading on neuroplasicity, whilst in transit to, and from, London, gives me room for optimism in all of this. Brains can rewire: the circuits are not in place forever. In addition there are many who suggest that the protocol of Prescribed Disengagement is ill conceived and unhelpful to those with a diagnosis of dementia.
It might have been Monday yesterday but Sunday Roast was administered. This chef will only ever offer a menu to Maureen that involves Living Beyond Dementia.