Life’s Gamble

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Hello and today I would like to share with you something that happened whilst Elaine and I were out and about. I had woken a little bit “Cloudy” as I describe it and had already had a very disturbed night. The nightmares came thick and fast last night and are too horrific to publish, but after a bit of breakfast I explained to Elaine I had been stuck in long enough because of my Flu and needed some fresh air.

Today being Saturday we always put the lottery on (Well, you can’t win it unless you’re in it can you? ?LOL) and what usually happens is Elaine plays the English Lottery and I (coming from good old Irish Stock and proud of it) play the Irish one. To place a bet on the Irish Lottery you have to place it on at a Bookmaker`s office. So, as Elaine was putting her lotto on at the local supermarket I always put mine on at the same time next door at the bookmaker’s office, but this time it was different!!

As I walked into the bookies, something I have been doing once a week for many years, I looked around me and didn’t recognise a thing!! It threw me for a couple of minutes and took me a few deep breaths to try and get my composure back. At this point you would have thought the first thing I would have done was to turn right round and walk out of the bookies and find Elaine, but I couldn’t!!! I stood there, rooted to the spot with fear and I can honestly tell you it’s one of the most frightening things I have ever felt! I felt so alone, so isolated, and even though things were going on around me as normal I just felt as if I had walked straight into a stranger’s house straight off the street.

After how long, I really don’t know, I managed to regain my composure and realised where I was, but unfortunately that wasn’t the end of it. I had no trouble locating the tickets and filling it in but then came the question” What Day Is It” And no matter how hard I tried, no matter how hard I scanned the paper on the wall for a day and a date, nothing came !!!! I tried to think what I had done that morning “NOTHING” I tried to think what I had done yesterday “NOTHING” The Irish lottery can be played twice a week I thought, which day did I put it on last time ? “NOTHING”

By this time the feeling of helplessness and uselessness was covering my whole body and mind like a Velcro suit and I was becoming more panicky by the second!! I made for the nearest chair and sat down with such force you would have thought I had been dropped form a great height!!

Seconds, Minutes passed, I don’t know which before a very bewildered man on the next table asked if I was ok. I nodded and he seemed reassured by this, until I blurted out “What day is it please? Well, you can only imagine the look of surprise on his face before he told me it was a Saturday and he got off his chair and hurried away from this “Weird” person who didn’t even know what day it was. The feeling of rejection was unbearable and because I felt so humiliated by the whole thing I couldn’t even blurt out my apologies and explanation of my illness of which I am certainly not ashamed of!!!

Eventually I filled the date in on the ticket and placed my bet, and as I walked out of the shop, there was my “Angel” Elaine, waiting to meet me (always keeping her eyes out for me) As we got back into the car I explained to her everything, the feelings of despair, everything, and more importantly she listened and hung onto every word so she would know if it ever happened again. I have so much to be grateful for even though I have this terrible disease.

This has never happened to me before in Public as it’s very unusual for me to find myself anywhere without Elaine at my side, but as Optimistic and Bubbly as I am, I am also a realist and I know this is something that is part and parcel of this illness and is a definite downturn in my abilities

I always promised you my friend that I would tell you all about the bad times and the good, and believe me this wasn’t one of my better days, but, tomorrow is another day. It’s another day to fight this illness all the way and another day to carry on fighting until they find a cure.

Very best wishes, Norrms, Elaine and family xxxxxxxxxxxxx

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Norm McNamara

About Norm McNamara

Norm is 53 years old and has Alzheimer’s.  He has graciously offered to share his story with our Internet-based community as he goes through this journey.  Norm has great courage and determination, and we are honoured to have him contribute to helping people understand and learn from his situation.

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