This morning I noticed that Kate was up and could see through the sliding glass doors from my view in the kitchen that she was working on the top drawer of her end table. I went in to say hello since she is rarely up that early (about 7:15). She was cleaning out and organizing her top drawer. The only reason I point this out is that for several months she has been trying to put more order in her life. She has worked on cleaning out closets and drawers, etc. I suspect this is a reaction to her feeling of a loss of control over things. She missed a meeting yesterday morning with a PEO. Kate had written it down for today instead – something she has done frequently over the past few years.
Nothing too eventful has taken place since my last posting with respect to Kate’s AD. She did call me yesterday to tell me that she had missed another hair appointment. This has occurred a number of times over the years even as recently as a few weeks ago. She gave me the time of the new appointment and asked me to keep tabs on her hair appointments. She will, of course, do so herself, but I will be her backup in the same way that I am for her medicine.
As we were headed to dinner last night, she told me that she had encountered a problem on her Facebook page. When I tried to explain what might have happened she got frustrated and said she wouldn’t understand it anyway. I understand, but at each moment when she brings up something like this, I forget and proceed with an answer that she can’t understand. I trust I will get better with time.
I ended quickly on the last entry because Kate called and said she was in the parking lot and didn’t feel like coming in at the time. As planned in the earlier conversation, we went to Casa Bella. We had our usual veal piccata along with amaretto cheese cake for dessert. For extra measure I decided to try their pistachio gelato which was good but not nearly as good as the cheesecake.
It turns out that Kate got lost as I has suspected. She drove around a long time and finally called the hostess for her meeting that she wasn’t coming. She was clearly frustrated, and I am sure, though she didn’t say so, that she attributed the problem as related to her Alzheimer’s. I commented over lunch that we know that she is geographically-challenged and that we can work harder to relieve any frustrations in that area. I also noted the conversation we had had with her behavioral psychologist commented on how well she does with the verbal area and that that is something that will work in her favor going forward since so much of day-in-day-out social activity relies on such skills. I also said that she might put greater emphasis on making scrapbooks and albums for the grandchildren as this is something she enjoys and that the grandchildren will appreciate in later years.
Having time at lunch in a place that has been special to us was just the right thing. Not surprisingly, she had thought of suggesting Casa Bella herself. She was quite calm during lunch and left for home relaxed and ready to tackle the family album that she and her brother Ken have worked on for the past 4-5 months. During Ken and Virginia’s visit to Knoxville this past week, Ken and Kate were able to make a good bit of headway. It now looks like they are into the final editing. I think they are both beginning to see the end. My guess is that they may let it go sometime in the next 2-3 weeks.
Because of their visit, I haven’t written anything about our visit to talk with Lillian Walters, the social worker at Kate’s physician’s office. The visit went well. Nothing of special note came out of it. We did not schedule another visit but Kate said she would prefer to call when she felt the need. Kate later told me she was glad I had gone with her although nothing occurred that makes me think it is good for me to be there. She began by asking Kate how she was doing, and Kate hesitantly said she had her ups and downs. This surprised me because I would have said she has done remarkably well. At the same time I recognize there are times of frustration that occur. We talked with Lillian about her irritability. She suggested that Kate give herself permission to excuse herself for some of this and to organize her life to minimize frustration. We talked about my doing more things and how Kate feels about that. One thing in particular was taking over the checking accounts. Kate said that was fine with her.
Just got a call from Kate. I had missed a call from her about 30 minutes ago. I sent her a text and asked if she were all right. Thus her call. I asked where she is, and she said she was headed back home. Then she asked where I was and what I was doing for lunch. I told her I was lunching with her. She asked where she could meet me. I said, “How about Casa Bella?” She said, “That would be great.” I asked her to stop by the office and we could go together.
She was obviously distressed. I fear that she either got lost on the way to the meeting or she did something embarrassing at the meeting.