Frustrating Experience

This morning I looked at my calendar and noticed that I had volunteered to call three members of church today to wish them Happy Birthday. Kate had three people, I think, to call on Monday. I had given her the cards with the calling information on them that morning. I had forgotten to follow up until now. When I got home from the Y and a stop by the office, I asked Kate if she had made the calls. She had forgotten. Then she got angry with herself. I felt bad for her. I should have remembered to remind her that afternoon. Now she is suffering for it. She asked that I remind her to make the calls later today.

I am wondering how this is going to work out. I had signed us up for the committee that makes these calls because I thought it might be something that she could do and enjoy. It may turn out that she doesn’t do them at all.


In the recent past I have noted that Kate is more irritable than in the past. More specifically, I noted that she gets peeved with me. Now I would like to report that she is going through a phase in which she is expressing an unusual degree of appreciation for what I do for her. She frequently says, “”Marrying you is the best thing I ever did.” Every time I help her with something, she seems quite appreciative and is more expressive of her need for me than before. The things I do don’t have to be of much significance. For example, last night she picked up her iPad before getting into bed. She discovered the battery was exhausted. I said, “”Give it to me, I’ll charge it for you.” She said something like, “”Oh, that would be wonderful. I can never figure out which thing to use.” She handed the iPad to me. I plugged it in, and she picked it up and started using it. Then she said something else. I don’t recall exactly what it was, but it was an expression of appreciation.

This makes me wonder if she is experiencing more problems doing everyday things and suffering more frustration. Nothing other than her appreciation indicates that is the case. I also am beginning to wonder if she is entering a stage in which she doesn’t cognitively process things in a way that leads to her being depressed, but she clearly still feels frustration.

Little Mistakes

Yesterday afternoon I picked up the mail as we were driving in from dinner. I gave it to Kate since I was driving. I noticed that one item was a package wrapped in a strong plastic like a shipment of clothing from LL Bean. I felt it and told Kate that it was my new checks that I had ordered last week. Later last night I opened the refrigerator to see the package on a shelf. I know this is supposed to be a common type of behavior for someone who has Alzheimer’s, but this is the first time I have noticed this. I have frequently noticed, however, that she typically puts things down in various places for convenience (on the floor, a chair, a sofa, the bed, etc.). It seems a bit stranger to open the refrigerator door and put the checks in it.

This morning we went to our monthly Y breakfast. Kate has given up tea as a way to minimize her acid reflux. For that reason, I told the waitress not to bring her iced tea as usual but to bring her water. She did so and also brought my hot tea. In a moment I noticed that Kate had taken my tea. I didn’t say anything. I just order another one for me. She never realized that she had taken mine.

An Example of Things

This morning I came from the office to take Kate to lunch before I went to a Rotary meeting. She was on her laptop in the bedroom as I walked in. She said, “”My dental appointment is.” . . “ Then she looked at her laptop calendar and said, “”September 23 at noon.” I didn’t say anything, but, of course, September 23 is long past. She had gotten an email reminder of her appointment a day or two before the 23rd. I realized we had a conflict on that day; so I called the dentist and rescheduled for January. Sometime thereafter she ran across the appointment listed on her September calendar and let me know that she had a dental appointment on September 23. I reminded her that we had changed the appointment and that it was past the 23rd. Sometime after we got home from our cruise (last week), she said that she had an appointment on the 23. I simply told her we had changed it until January. Today when she told me once again, I didn’t say anything. I felt it was better not to tell her it was almost November and that the appointment is now in January.

The funny thing about this is that she doesn’t seem to recall that we had made the change. The more typical thing that happens is that she asks me when something is and when I tell her, she says, “”I know. You told me that before.” Sometimes she says, “”I’ve asked you that 2 or 3 times.”

I still want to reinforce that despite these memory issues we can have a good times together. I believe our quality of life is quite good even though we are both making adjustments to her changing condition.

Not Learning Enough Patience

It is now fall. That means another time for planting. We have been to Lowe’‘s a couple of times already. Friday Kate mentioned that she wanted me to take her back to get some more mums. Today after lunch I did just that. When we got to Lowe’s I noticed that she walked right by the table with the largest selection of mums that is right outside their main section. I got a cart and took it to her. I found her looking at a small section of mums like the ones she had purchased before. She didn’t get any. She walked around without appearing to have a plan. I am confident that she didn’t. Then she picked out a couple of plants that were not mums and continued looking at other plants that were clearly not mums. I suspect she had forgotten that she wanted to get mums; so I reminded her that she had wanted mums, and I wanted to make sure she didn’t get a full load before getting what she said she came for. She seemed to accept this, but before we could get back to the mums section, she picked out several other plants. If I hadn’t reminded her again, we might easily have purchased a full load and not gotten what we came for.

This, of course, is looking at it from my perspective. The reality (I believe) is that she doesn’t have a formal plan anyway. She just likes to buy things that she likes when she sees them. She can always find a place for them. She can tell when I get frustrated which must bother her, and it bothers me. I need to develop more patience to just let her do what she enjoys without trying to get her to approach things the way I would do.

Shopping for Clothes

This is Friday. We got back home from our cruise on Wednesday afternoon.. Yesterday Kate mentioned that she would like me to take her to Belk’s for a sale they are having this weekend. Today after lunch I did so. I went with some trepidation because she still can’t put her hands on all the things we have bought since February. I sat down in a chair and waited while she strolled through the store. She must have spent almost 45 minutes walking around and trying on a few things. At one point she showed me a top and a pair of slacks that I am sure she had shown me earlier. She was sure that she had not. We finally ended up with 2 sweaters and 2 pair of slacks. When we got home, I took a picture of the things so that I can remember what she bought. I did so because she may ask me the whereabouts of these things, and I probably won’t remember without a picture.