Dementia: ‘No Pain, No Gain’

As a young lad I wanted to build a Charles Atlas type body.  For a while I went weight training several nights a week in an effort to enhance my slim build.  Like most body builders we lived by : ‘there’s no gain without pain’.  This phrase takes on particular resonance this morning.

I have an appointment at a Pain Management Clinic this afternoon to address the problems with my left shoulder.  It has got to the stage where painkillers are needed before it is possible to get to sleep at night. My legs aren’t too clever either, at the moment, with muscle pain waking me up early on most mornings.  I am hoping that this afternoons appointment spurs me on to stick to a schedule of exercises that eases my current levels of discomfort.  I know I haven’t been putting the work in and there’s ‘no gain without pain’.

There is another area where there is ‘no gain without pain’ but this time at an emotional level.  The time has come for a family discussion about the most supportive way to communicate with Maureen.  There are some members of the family ‘who don’t get it’.  Their communication with Maureen continues to be clumsy, and is causing distress.   Any conversation that reminds her of her faltering memory, spins her into a spiral of downward thoughts.  It just takes the wrong comment and down she goes thinking she ‘is mad’.  Imagine how she feels this morning being reminded, during a phone call yesterday evening, that she had forgotten a close family member’s birthday?   The  first thing she said this morning was: ‘I can’t believe I forgot his birthday’.   Now she is in a right state: thinking all sorts of negative thoughts.  I’m going to have my work cut out today!

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