Turning a Corner With a Little Trepidation

Earlier I posted emails that followed our visit to the Robinsons last Wednesday. In those I speculated that Kate seemed to have been worn out after the visit. During the afternoon, she closed her eyes and rested in a chair at the Robinsons while we were visiting. After we got home, she went to bed rather quickly and expressed only minimal interest in her new iPad that had arrived in the mail that day.

The next day things everything was pretty normal. For quite some time she has seemed to require more rest than she used to. Then on Saturday after we returned home from seeing a movie and getting ice cream, she got right into bed in her office. That would have been around 3:30. She remained in bed the rest of the afternoon. I had made reservations for dinner at 6:45. She had been fine with that. At 5:30 or so, I checked on her, and she said she didn’t think she wanted to go. We talked a minute, and she decided to go ahead with our plans. A few minutes after 6:00, she was still in bed. I asked if she still wanted to go. She indicated that she did. When she had not made a move to get out of bed by 6:15, she said she thought I should cancel the reservations which I did. Then I went to Panera for a sandwich and salad. Before leaving, I turned on an ETV fund raiser that featured music from the 50s and 60s. When I returned from dinner, she was up and smiling. She quickly told me about the wonderful program on TV. It was the one I had turned on for her before leaving. She was in good spirits from then on.

She got into bed early that night and told me she was waiting for me. I took my shower and then got into bed with her. She seemed especially glad to see me. She always does. She likes to be cuddled before going to sleep. This time, however, I sensed a deeper meaning.

Then yesterday after we had gotten home from Sunday school and lunch, (We did not go to church at her request.) she again went to bed and remained there for the afternoon. I was watching the final round of the PGA championship; so I didn’t rush her. Finally, around 6:30 I asked if she wanted to go out for something to eat. She said she did. When we got home, she again got into bed after changing for the night. Again, she indicated she would be waiting for me. When I got into bed and held her, she said (as she has done a number of other times), “This is the best part of the day.”

She still does not want to talk about how she is feeling, but it seems like she is seeing herself drifting into a new stage, and it concerns her. It seems like she is telling me with her behavior, “Richard, I am drifting away. I love you.” In the past I have wondered if she would ever reach a point that she would say something like this. I believe I would if I were in her position. Her way, however, is to express her appreciation without ever specifically and literally connecting it to her Alzheimer’s. She does say how much I do for her, that she couldn’t live without me, is so glad she has me, how much she loves me, etc.

I am beginning to think that this is the beginning of that stage of AD that we all imagine when the person who has it no longer connects with the world around her, doesn’t put up a front, and doesn’t even recognize her condition. Although Kate and I are quick to count our blessings, I can’t deny how much it hurts to watch her drift away like this. It also makes me very doubtful that our cruise next May and the trip to Chautauqua next June will come about. The cruise is not that big a deal, but Chautauqua has been such a special place for us that I don’t want to let that go easily.