Going Through Different Phases

Right now I feel a little rushed. I have things to do to catch up on that I put aside when I was preparing for Dad’s party. Then it was the 50th TCU class reunion. Now we are leaving for Jesse’s for Thanksgiving. I have bills to pay and arrangements to make for various things. In addition, I continue to have responsibilities with Dad. In particular, I have been trying to work out a way for his blood sugar level to stay at a desirable level. I am concerned because he keeps having low blood sugar levels. The staff is concerned because he has high levels. He also had surgery on his right forearm this past Friday to remove a squamous cell carcinoma tumor. He is scheduled to go back next Monday to have the stitches removed, but we are going to Jesse’s that day.

At the same time, I am just becoming aware that Kate and I are moving into a new stage in our journey. Even before her diagnosis almost 2 years ago, I was taking a larger role around the house. She had given up cooking some time before then – perhaps 3-5 years. The only big change that occurred immediately after diagnosis was my making sure I spend as much time as possible with her. I started taking her to lunch everyday instead of eating alone. I was still working a full day at the office then. As time passed, she became bothered by the time I would get home after visiting with Dad. That led to my taking off work a little earlier so that I could spend the same amount of time with Dad but get home a little earlier. Gradually I have stopped working in the afternoon. I go to lunch with Kate. Then spend some time at the house working on the computer or other odd jobs.

Over the past 2 years, I have now come become responsible for almost all of the household arrangements except decorating and tending to her plants. Both of these things have been escapes for her. At least that is the way I view them. She gravitates toward them because they don’t involve any frustration for her. They are simple pleasures.

I have taken over almost all of her financial things. I had already before she had AD taken care of family trust activity. But now I have her American Express bill emailed to me and make the payment through her account. She doesn’t even know how much her bill is. She doesn’t see it. This morning she asked me if I knew where she keeps our envelopes. She wanted to mail a check to someone. She said she normally would have done an online bill pay from her checking account, but she can’t remember how to do that. I first found the envelopes for her. Then I told her I would be glad to help her with online bill pay. She indicated she didn’t want me to do that. I said, And I don’t want to take over everything for you.” She acknowledged her own need to continue doing as much as she can.

She did say there are somethings for which she would like help. I suggested we change our daily routine a bit. From now on we will go to lunch. Then we will focus on things that she needs help with. Then I will go to Dad’s. She seemed to like or accept that suggestion. So this is yet another step along a very long journey. I still think most people would not know what she is going through, but for someone as close as I am to her, it is a continuous series of incidents that are reminders that she has AD and it is getting worse.