Great Fourth of July

I realize the last entry was on the negative side. In fact, we had just had a great 4th of July together. We didn’t have any plans at all. I got up early, had breakfast, and took an hour’s walk. Then I had a cup of tea and took care of some email. After that Kate wanted some help with trimming some of the shrubs she had a hard time reaching. We worked together for about an hour. Then I took a swim. She finished a short time later, and she got in the pool as well. Following our short swim, we decided to have some leftovers for lunch. I mentioned that Bernie was playing, so we went to the 1:30 movie. When the movie was over, we came home, and I went to visit Dad. We enjoyed the pool and a glass of wine when I returned. This was the first time I felt like being retired would be a good thing.

Spending money

Although we live well, we have never lived beyond our means. The exception would be when I was starting my business. We borrowed money to undertake that adventure. We continue not to spend more than we make, but this year has been different. We are spending more, and my intent is to spend even more in the next year. The reason? I feel that we need to do as many things together as we can before time runs out. This coming week we are going to New York with our oldest grandson, Brian. We are doing it up right by staying at the Marriott Marquis, attending the Cirque du Soleil, Spiderman, and Blue Man Group. I have already booked a B&B in New York for a week in December for a special trip that I am considering the first part of our 50th anniversary celebration. On top of that I am going to book a trip to the Galapagos for February or March, 2013.

What is early stage of AD like?

This is a stage when the disease is mostly hidden from other people; however, to someone like me, it seems more obvious. The major problem is day-to-day functioning. For example, Kate has worked on a half-page letter of reference for a young mother who is a candidate for a PEO scholarship for more than a week. She has revised and revised it. I signed off on it several days ago, and discovered that she had never sent it and was revising it again. Two months in a row she has forgotten her monthly PEO meeting until someone called the night before. In fact, I just went into the bedroom to wake her up so that she would have plenty of time to get ready for PEO, and she had forgotten about the meeting. Of course, it is likely that she would have remembered it after getting up, but it would also be common for her to have forgotten completely. Two days ago she lost her purse with all her credit cards and ID, and we are scheduled to make a trip to NY on Tuesday. Right now I am assuming we will use her passport as ID. (Note added at 10:03 am. Kate found her purse at 9:30 this morning. It was beside her chair in our bedroom where she often works on her computer. She is quite relieved.) Her personal possessions are continuously being misplaced. She is less able to do the simplest things on the computer. All of these things frustrate her tremendously although we don’t talk about it. We just exchange knowing glances when things happen and I find myself often giving her a hug.

More than ever in our married lives, she feels she really needs me. When I come home from visiting Dad each evening around 6:00, she often looks miffed that I have been gone so long. Then she will often say, “I am glad you are home.” This is not said in any routine way. It is a genuine expression of her insecurity and need for my presence. She also feels she needs me to take care of things for her.

She gets along beautifully with friends. They really wouldn’t know unless she asks a question about something they have just talked about. Even that is something that doesn’t normally tip the off since all of us do that sort of thing occasionally.

She can’t follow instructions or any explanation of things nor is she able to give instructions. She will quickly stop me when I start to explain something. With others, she will simply “listen” and not process what they are saying. She frequently asks me to make calls for her, for example, to her doctor’s office to get a prescription refill or almost anything she can pass off to me.