Yesterday as I was leaving Mountain Valley, I had a brief conversation with the woman who owns the dress shop where Kate buys a lot of her clothes. Her husband is there on rehab and will be going home next week. She had mixed feelings about his coming home related to the responsibility of caring for him. She noted that he has so many needs and is always asking her to do things for him. I shared a similar feeling about Dad. I do so many individual things while I am with him that I wonder how he gets along when I am not there.
That led me to think about taking care of Kate after her colon surgery as well as her foot surgery. It seemed like she was always asking for something. Of course, she was. After all, we go about our daily activities doing a lot of things for ourselves. When we are handicapped, we don’t want to give up everything. Naturally, some of the things we want are not frills – e.g., medications, especially those for pain.
My point is that it can be hard for the caregiver even if the patient is considerate. They have many needs that require attention. This also made me think of something yesterday. When I got home after Kate’s PEO meeting, she was not home and all of the dishes were on the kitchen counter and the island. Plates had been rinsed but serving dishes were mostly sitting with the remains of food. I cleaned up almost all before Kate got home and took care of the balance after we returned from a reception at the foundation. She never said a word. It was as though she never noticed that it was there to begin with. I didn’t fret over this, but I did have an immediate feeling of not being appreciated. On balance, however, she is quite good about making me feel appreciated, but there are lots of things she doesn’t notice because of her AD. This was one example and there is no good reason to get hot and bothered over such things.