From Chautauqua

Yesterday we arrived at Chautauqua (Chautauqua) after two nights in Niagara-on-the-Lake. For several years we have gone there before going to Chautauqua. From April through October they have the Shaw Festival that we both enjoy. They have a theater company that performs as many as 8-10 plays either by George Bernard Shaw or ones that are similar to his. We packed in a lot, seeing four plays in two days. They were all terrific. We love live theater, it was another of the very special times we continue to have.

I continue to notice ways in which I need to take more responsibility. Kate came without any comfortable shoes and left some shoes, a jacket, a pair of slacks, and a few other things At our B&B. I notice a conflict between my wanting to take more responsibility and Kate’s wanting to feel independent. There are some things she appreciates – my taking care of, everything financial, some communications with friends, making arrangements for dinner and entertainment. There are also times she feels insulted by my efforts to help. Yesterday I showed her where the bookstore is and told her I would meet her there. She gave me a disgusted look and said she knew where the bookstore was. We have had a number of such things on the trip.

On the positive side, I still believe that we are fortunate that for everyday interaction with people that her long-term memory is still more than adequate for her to enjoy herself with others (most of the time) and to prevent their noticing that she has a memory problem. It is the short-term things that are most difficult for her. For example, we had a delightful conversation with two couples at our B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake. A short time (perhaps, 2-3 hours) later she couldn’t remember them when I mentioned them to her. I explained, and she said she remembered. I know this is frustrating, even distressing, for her. She says little, but it shows in her face.

I have often been critical of those who say that the person with AD does not know what is happening. I have a different perspective on this issue. My experience with Kate has reinforced this opinion. Clearly Kate knows she has AD, and she can see signs of it everywhere. On the other hand, I see her transitioning to a rather innocent, even child-like, stage that I don’t think she recognizes. One indication is that she very frequently remarks how intelligent people are. It often seems like she says this about most people she encounters. Another is that she is forever wanting to arrange to get together with people that we have not gotten together with before. She will even suggest inviting them to our house when I know that she will not remember to follow up on that desire nor will she be able to organize things for the event should I extend the invitation for her.

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