Working Through Fear

Leah Health Guide
  • The Dremel has beaten my butt! The score so far is Dremel 4, Leah 0. Shall I explain?


    Having dementia means running (walking or crawling) over one hurdle after another. That may sound a bit melodramatic, and forgive me for succumbing to such liberties, but the everyday things in life which "normal" people just sail through are fraught with obstacles of all sizes for the person with dementia. But, of course, as that old saying goes, I am preaching to the choir.


    Tools are a passion of mine. I suppose it goes all the way back to my childhood. I can remember loving to go into the garage, with its dark coolness and smell of wood. Strewn around were tools of all kinds. My father taught only my brothers the ins and outs of using these tools. When he was home, the garage was off limits to me, a mere girl. When he was at work, I would linger over the tools, longing to use them. The old planer, the hammer, the square, and the level were the only tools I could use and use them I did. For those old enough to remember, back in "those days" children entertained themselves during the day OUTSIDE.

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    Television channels and shows were limited, and many people did not have a television at all. Unlike today, my mother literally threw us kids out after breakfast, collected us for lunch, and threw us outdoors again. We were not underfoot inside the home! We did not spend hours watching television. Therefore, I had lots of time to dawdle in the garage. I did the best I could with my few tools and any spare pieces of wood I could find. And I loved every moment.


    After I married, I found lots of opportunity to build bookshelves from kits, etc. I read books and learned how to do simple plumbing. My first husband was usually AWOL from my life, so I had to take care of things at home. I learned to fix a toilet, a leaky faucet...the normal household problems. Unfortunately, the only additional tools I gained knowledge of were the screwdriver and wrench.


    A whole new world opened up to me when I married Bill, my wonderfully supportive husband. He really listened to me when I told him about my desire to learn to use tools. He encourages me to use the big boy tools-POWER TOOLS!!! I'm like a kid in a candy store! There's nothing that we have that he won't teach me to use. Granted, this is not a fairy tale and things don't always go as planned. I have one saw that I just had to have-and I have yet to use it. (My husband even built me my own workbench!) I read the directions over and over and over (you get the picture) and I have yet to use the band saw! It scares me. (I have never verbalized this. This is the first time I am owning up to the fact that I am frightened.) I am not scared of the tool; I am scared of FAILURE.


    And that brings me back to the Dremel. I have reread the directions time and time again, and I have yet been able to get even to first base... But, I'm determined to be victorious! I will attempt yet again to get started with my Dremel. If need be, I guess I'll have to get my husband to work alongside me at first; that would probably help with the band saw, too. I'll keep you posted on my progress!



Published On: April 14, 2010