The past week has been good. More specifically, Kate has been much less irritable. Indeed, she has shown hardly any signs of irritability. It hasn’t been just the lack of irritability but genuine expressions of affection during the week. Even as I say this I have to add that it is not as though she doesn’t regularly express affection. It is that I have seen her irritability with me replaced with more affectionate responses.
The interesting thing to me is what a difference it can make in the feelings of a caregiver. It has enabled me to experience less frustration and derive more enjoyment of being with her. Even moments when I needed to encourage her to get ready for us to be someplace have been dealt with more like pre-Alzheimer’s days.
Yesterday we both had an affectionate experience at the same time. We were in the car driving home from Lowe’s. I turned on a CD by Ronnie Milsap. He was singing “What a Difference You’ve Made in My Life.” I have heard this song many times in the past, but for the first time I thought about our relationship and what a difference she has made in my life. Then she said (without my saying anything to prompt her), “You know, that ought to be our theme song.” I told her I had been thinking the same thing. We then talked about the coincidence of our reflecting on the song and our relationship but had never done so before.
To me it is clear that Kate’s Alzheimer’s affects both of us in ways that are directly obvious to others. I have found another song sung by Linda Eder called “If I Should Lose My Way.” The line in the song is “If I should lose my way, please look for me.” I have taken that as though it were a message from Kate to me and that she is losing her way.