I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends
"I get by with a little help from my friends" ...
I borrowed that line from a Beatles song but it is how I function these days.
Math is a challenge for me
Many of my friends have adapted to “my lifestyle” if you will. They know a lot of the things that I can’t do and just pick up for me. For instance, I can’t count change anymore. All math knowledge was knocked out of my brain a long time ago. Sometimes, I want so badly to be able to just make small change in a store only to be looked at like I am crazy when I can’t take the dime out of my wallet. So, I carry credit cards (I like to say God created plastic for a reason) or I carry twenty dollar bills with me and just trust that I am getting the right change back.
As a result of this, I always have a lot of one-dollar bills and my friends kid me about that, but I bundle them up and take them to the bank! When I go to a restaurant with my friends, I willingly give up my wallet when the bill arrives and whoever is with me handles the transaction and nothing is said. It is so nice to have friends like that!
Crossing the street can be hard too
Another thing I have a problem with is crossing the street on foot. I don’t live in a big city so I don’t find myself crossing the street that often as I usually can drive right up to a storefront and get out of my car. But when I do have to cross, I get extremely nervous.
Since routine is important to me this immediately takes me out of my routine, because I don’t do this very often. Each intersection is different. Some lights have a little man blinking at you, or a hand to stop you, or a sound. Combine that with oncoming traffic and traffic lights, it is too much stimulation for my brain to take in. So, I don’t know when the right time for me to cross the street is.
My friends know just to take my hand and walk me across the street. When I am by myself I try to find others for clues but I don’t always trust those people because I am not sure if they are doing it right or not! If I am in a big city I always look for a police officer for help. It is not fun to admit that you can’t cross the street by yourself, but it happens.
Flexibility is important
My friends also know that they need to be flexible with me. That means accepting the fact that I might have to cancel things because I am not having a good day. They check on me regularly and they accept me "as is". That is true friendship.
Do you find legal and financial jargon in dementia care confusing?