Norrms Mc Namara
Founder of Global Purple Angel dementia campaign and also diagnosed with dementia
If you are about my age, 60+ you may well remember the slides in the playgrounds of our youth were about 20 feet + high, for anybody aged 45 and under, I believe that’s about 6 and a half metres.
We had no such thing as health and safety in those days but what we did have was good old common sense, remember that?? - Much missed these days.
Its only when you get older and start to reminisce you start to compare it to other things, for instance? Dementia and the Slide
The steps up to the top of the slide were many and multiple, a bit like the years of your life, quick to run up at first then a bit slower and out of breath when you reach the top, but once there you looked around you felt like the king of the world!!
You could breathe;you could see things clearer and also, almost see the future right in front of you.
This is similar to when you’re at the top of your game, both in work and in family life and all is well with the world, but then as you step onto the slide you notice something’s not quite right and you start to have doubts, ie. the beginning of dementia.
All you had known and done suddenly doesn’t seem as certain anymore and the confidence you were full of, not long ago, is starting to ebb away. You hesitate and look down, my goodness it seems a long way down, it starts to cloud over and go dull, and yet you know you want to slide down this wonderful slide of life as you have many times before, but you’re scared, for the first time in a long time you feel scared (this is when it dawns on you that you have this awful disease).
As you sit and stretch out your (now shaking) legs on the slide you hold onto the bars at the top for dear life as you can feel someone behind pushing you downwards and shouting "LET GO", it will be ok, but you know, deep down, it won’t and you know by now that’s the voice of dementia trying to drag you into the abyss.
Then suddenly, as with dementia you start to slip and slide down the slide but stuttering and stopping as you go as if you are going through the different stages of dementia, your hands scratch at the sides and your fingers hurt as you try to stop yourself from slipping further and further down into dementia's evil den. Your shoes are flat down on the surface, doing everything you can to slow down your descent.
You have never worked as hard in your life as you’re doing now, trying to stop this awful downwards ride. You scream in fright as the end gets closer and closer, and then, just near the end you start to speed up as you realise all is lost and you have come to terms with what’s about to happen, only hoping that all who know and who have travelled down this slide with you during happier times, remember the boy who took his very first step on the ladder of THE SLIDE OF LIFE.
I hope you never take the slide when your older and try to remember all the good times when you were younger.