We just got home from lunch and running several errands. The last trip was to Lowe’s where we had an unpleasant experience that I fear may be a hint of things to come. The start of the story is that last week I took Kate to get some new clothes. We are going to more receptions that require dressy casual attire, and she has gained weight and can’t get into many of her old clothes. We spent a total of $2,200. My general style is to take great care with the things I buy. That has never been here style but it is getting worse with the Alzheimer’s. Today she put on one of the tops she had bought. After we came home from getting her hair cut this morning, I went to the office for an hour. When I got home, I found her pruning shrubs in the backyard. She was still wearing the new top. I resisted saying anything.
This afternoon we went to Lowe’s to check on delivery of compost. While I was checking, she was picking up plants. The first thing I saw was dirt from the plants on her new top. I said something to her about it and started to dust it off when she got upset. We went ahead and got in the car. On the way home, she talked about various ways she was going to be able to get new plants. She started with a taxi. Then she talked about walking to Lowe’s and bringing the plants back home in one of their “grocery carts.” Then she said she was going to buy her own car. When we got home, I tried to tell her that I didn’t intend to stop her from buying plants that I just wanted to get her blouse cleaned off. She said she just didn’t understand. I stopped trying to explain. It is just no use.
This is the second time I recall that I said something that hurt her. The first was on the New Zealand trip. We were browsing in a gift shop when she wanted to buy a small tin box with a picture of a cat on the top. This was early in the trip; so I told her she might want to think about her priorities in things she would want over the whole time we would be gone because we wouldn’t have room to carry everything that she might want. I didn’t mean at all that she couldn’t buy the box. She didn’t buy it, but she was unhappy and told me she couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t let her buy it. Not only that but she brought it up several other times in the days following. It obviously was important to her.
I find myself frustrated by things, but I can’t say anything or I will hurt her. She, on the other hand, feels annoyed with me, and feels I am controlling her life. She brings this up periodically and is proud to point out the things she knows and can do. I have always said that people with Alzheimer’s know at the beginning that they are not able to do things or remember things the way they should. I still believe this, but I think she is beginning to enter the stage where she believes she is far more capable than she is. That is hard for me to take.