Moments of despair

How quickly things can change. After a lengthy period of joy and contentment (as expressed in my previous post), last night we hit a low point. About 5:00 Kate came into the kitchen where I was working on the computer. I could see immediately that she was wearing a sad face. I got up, walked over to her, and asked, “Bored?” (This is an increasingly common complaint.) She answered, “Bored and hungry.” I told her we could go to an early dinner and started to offer a few suggested places when she asked, “Would you take me to Chalupas?” This is her favorite Mexican restaurant. She seems to see it as a place of comfort. I am not sure whether it is just the food or the food and the general atmosphere of the place. We know the owner and almost all of the servers with whom I always engage in conversations in Spanish. She likes hearing me speak Spanish and likes the people there.

At any rate, I told her I would be glad to take her and said something like this. “You really like that place. This would be the third time we have eaten there in the past 7-8 days.” She said she hadn’t realized that and we could go some other place. I told her I would be glad to take her, but I wanted to get something different for myself. Then I told her I could just get a single cheese burrito and then have some V8 when I got back home. (This represents one of the challenges I have eating out with Kate. She loves carbs. In the past week we have eaten Mexican 3 times, pizza twice (2 nights in succession), pancakes for breakfast, ice cream at Marble Slab, and a bigger-than-usual meal with cheesecake at Casa Bella. I have gained 4 pounds in the last week and my stomach is feeling a little bloated; so I feel the need of something lighter than what she likes.

As we were walking out the door for the restaurant, she said, “I hate being so dependent on you.” Before getting to the car, she said, “I could live to be 90.” She seemed quite depressed. Although I tried to reassure her that I was happy to take care of her, this didn’t help. She perked up a little while at the restaurant, but her being dependent was clearly still on her mind. While we were in the car coming home, I suggested that we look for a movie on TV. Then I suggested watching “Doc Martin,” a BBC series that is available through Netflix. When we got home, I started thinking about something lighter and more upbeat and suggested we might find an old Andy Griffith or something similar. She liked that. I got on Netflix and search for Dick van Dyke and found it. We ended up watching 4 episodes, and she loved it; so did I. When we turned off the TV and went to bed, everything seemed all right. I was wrong. I heard her get up just after 11:00 and go into her office. In a few minutes, I went in and found her in the bed with the TV turned on to an old black-and-white movie. She has always found comfort in having the TV on when she is trying to go to sleep. She told me she couldn’t sleep, something very unusual these days. I asked if she wouldn’t like to come back to bed with me and that we could turn on the TV or listen to music. She chose music. It took a while for us to get back to sleep, but we did and slept until almost 7:00 this morning.

She wanted to go to Lowe’s for more plants. We did so around 9:00. Right now she is outside planting them. It is cooler this morning. I will let her stay out as long as she likes because I feel it is her therapy. Then we will go to lunch. I hope the depression goes away before evening.

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