Introducing My Dad

This is my Dad. He has been a bus driver, bus conductor, fruit machine mender, armature rewinder, Peak Park ranger, holiday fellowship walks leader. He was the Winster Morris character: the witch. Helped run the village hall, the Winster guisers.

To me he was, and is, the bestest Dad ever.

A few months ago, he was sad because I had to spend so much time looking after him. I told him it was ok, since he spent even more time looking after me. Have I? he replied. Yes, then I told him this story about him being the bestest Dad ever.

I was at Aberdeen university, it was the very end of the academic year, all exams had finished and they may have been some partying going on. I had a sever allergic reaction to the cleaning fluid the university was using to wash down the halls of residence I was staying in. This lead me to have to go to hospital. After some huge steroids the reaction was stable and they told me to go home. I ran you, Dad. I left a message saying I am fine, but in hospital, can you just pop up and get me please. Now this was not a easy as 'popping up' you were in Derbyshire, I was in Aberdeen. However, within the hour you set off. 8 hours later, I am in your lovely volvo coming back to Derbyshire.

So Dad if you can do that for me, I can help you now.

There was me, trying not to get upset that he couldn't remember doing this. Then him talking about how much he missed his volvo. He started to worry that he couldn't remember the way to Aberdeen, I started to wonder if I shouldn't have told him the story, but then we got the road map out to check which motorway we would use. He likes looking at maps, and I thought that just because Dad might not be able to recall the memory, it just means I have to remember more of the times we have had together for us to share together.

The first hint he had that there was anything wrong was his vascular system started to slow down. He got pains in his legs because the blood wasn't flowing. He was diagnosed with vascular deterioration. Life carried on, he was walking so much that his amazing vascular system was repairing itself. Then, about four years ago, he started not quite knowing which footpath to take. Just little things that only family might notice started to become difficult, his anxiety increased. Mum insisted that he had a memory base test. Friends, and my husband too, thought we were being over fussy, that there was nothing wrong and we were causing more worry by doing these tests. However, the results were there. He had got vascular dementia.

So much, and so little has happened since then. Its difficult to know how different all our journey with dementia would have been if there was no covid or lockdowns or isolation.

Isolation has been a big factor, one thing I did to help Mum with this was get her to start using facebook. Then what started was photos and small stories about what Dad and I had done together. This was to help family and friends to keep in contact too. This photo was in October 2010.

What happened then was so many people loved seeing Dad, I had friends ringing up and asking about him. Many said how much they enjoyed the photos. I decided to make it a bit more public.

There are more photos on my facebook business page at Mary Rush Reflexology