Occasional Setbacks and “How am I?”

Thursday afternoon Kate took a call from the body shop that is repairing her car. They said her car was ready to be picked up and that the cost was just under $3,000. This is pretty close to their original estimate, but I had not told Kate how much it was going to be. She called me right away to let me know, and I could tell she was depressed. She had no idea what it was going to run. That has continued through today and has been reflected in a little irritability. I believe she is coming out of it though. When I returned from the grocery store about 15 minutes ago, she said she wanted to tell me she loved me. I considered that an apology for her mood the past couple of days.

In my previous post I was intending to say how each of us is getting along as we approach the second anniversary of our receiving the official news that she has AD. I believe I conveyed how she is getting along but ran out of time before commenting on my adjustment. Here it is.

On the whole I am doing well. I have made many adjustments. Among those has been accepting things that she does that are not the way I would do them (the way she loads the dishwasher, or leaves dirty dishes on the counter without rinsing). It also includes responding to her wishes more quickly. Things that I would have tried to explain, I don’t. That is because she stops me. It is amazing how many times she stops me during a given day. She simply says, “Let’s not discuss it.” I immediately drop the subject.

Thinking of my actions, I believe I am doing very well. On the other hand, I do feel the stress involved in taking care of Dad and Kate. It is remarkable how similar some of their symptoms are. One example is their desire not to discuss anything that I want to discuss or hear more about or to have them explain. I interpret this as occurring because the condition of their brains does not enable them to do it. The simplest things can cause problems; so explaining why she wants something or did something is just too difficult, really impossible.

The other things that cause more stress than I am accustomed to involve the sheer amount of time required to take care of them. For that reason I get behind on other things like returning phone calls, paying bills, or completing other tasks.

I am taking more time away from the office and will probably stop going in every morning in the next few months. That will give me even less time to do the various things I need to do for myself or to run the household, but I will be able to spend more time directly helping Kate. Her condition has given me much appreciation for the need for two people to run a household. Since I am doing it all, I am always hopping.

The last thing I would say is that my mood goes up and down. Sometimes I feel very good. At other times I am low. That is directly related to my experiences with Kate as well as Dad. I come home visiting Dad worn out from trying so hard to please him and discovering that it doesn’t appear to make any difference.

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