So what’s going on?

It has been a busy couple of weeks. Kate and I took Brian to New York July 17-21. We had a week to ourselves, and then we hosted the twins from Memphis. Yesterday afternoon we met Taylor at the airport in Nashville for a week’s stay. The twins are still with us and are actively having a good time. As soon as we got home last night, they played basketball, then took a swim, then watched the Olympics until just after 11:00.

During this same period of time, Dad has been getting along reasonably well. His latest challenge is a skin cancer on his right arm. We went to the dermatologist this week and found out it requires some careful attention. We had several options to choose from and have decided to take off the top crusty layer of the tumor and then go through radiation 3 days a week for several weeks. He is not in any great pain and is not experiencing any special emotional reactions to the procedure. He does continue to talk about his birthday party coming up on Oct. 20. I am feeling the pressure to get things organized, but that will have to await the departure of grandchildren.

In the meantime, Kate has enjoyed herself, but we continue to see signs of her Alzheimer’s. The other day she asked me for the umpteenth time how to view her pictures on her camera. I know she has hated to ask, but she increasingly doesn’t try to fool me about her memory. I am sure she does sometimes and suspect she is becoming more aware of how much help she requires. I really felt sad for her when she asked the most recent time she asked.

Recently she has said, “You’re so good to me.” I have several reactions to her comment. The first is again a sense of sadness for her. Another is one of guilt that I continue to lose patience with her at times.

Last night she asked me how to do something on her camera, and I showed her. Then she said, “You told me that before.” It was something that I didn’t recall her asking about and felt there was no reason for her to know; so I told her. She was so relieved, it was striking to me. I know she hates to encounter one instance after another in which she has asked about something but can’t remember it. I am continually running into numerous instances in which I have told her something, and a short time later she is unable to recall having been told.

This memory problem is an issue for the caregiver in that we frequently talk about events, issues, etc. in everyday conversation. It also limits the amount of conversation.