Signs of Distraction, Not Noticing Things

I got home a short time ago from donating platelets. It had been almost 4 hours since I left the house. Kate had been outside working in the flower beds at least 30 minutes before I left. I stopped as I drove in the driveway where she was working and asked if the heater man came while I was gone. It was a dumb question as I knew that he was on the way when I left. In addition, I called the company as I was leaving the Red Cross to give them my credit card information to pay for the services. In other words, I knew that he had been here. When I asked Kate the question, she looked puzzled and said, “I don’t know.” Then she asked me what he was doing. I told her he was here to fix the heater. (We had not had heat since returning from Memphis. The weather had not required heat or cooling until today when it was 38 this morning after 40 degrees the previous morning.) She looked puzzled again and tried to think. I told her I knew that he had come, and that I had talked with the office. She then said, “Yeah, I let him in the back.” This is another example of how faulty her memory can be and/or how little attention she pays to things. I believe both things are happening all the time. The important part of this is helping me try to understand how she must be feeling about things. She must feel less and less a part of things going on all around her. It is a withdrawal from life that I am witnessing.

Some of this keeps her from feeling a sense of anticipation about doing different things. Although I knew she wanted to attend Tina’s granddaughter’s wedding, she expressed very little enthusiasm as the time approached. In fact, I had no sense that she was ever thinking about the wedding except when I mentioned it as I did frequently.

Earlier today it dawned on me that I don’t believe I have mentioned anything (or much) about Kate’s moving things that are mine and putting them in places where I can’t easily find them. This morning I was looking for a box of business envelopes that I bought 6-8 weeks ago. I was replacing some that I used to keep here in a drawer in the kitchen (which subs as my office). They disappeared so I bought a new box. When I opened the drawer, they were not there. I went to Kate and asked if she knew anything about them or where I might look to find them. She had absolutely no recollection of them at all. I went to her office and started looking in places that I thought she might have put them. I opened a draw of a table that is by her chair in her office. I found a stack of envelopes that had disappeared earlier; so I took what I needed. I didn’t even try to explain that I didn’t find the ones that had just disappeared but the earlier ones. I simply said that I had found them. This is just one of a number of instances in which she has moved things that are mine.

Last night was our first meeting of the new year for our music club. Kate had been resting for an hour or so when I reminded her about the meeting. She was very lethargic. It was clear that she was not eager to attend. I asked her if she would like to stay home. She said no. At the social hour after the meeting, she seemed to be alone a good bit, but she did talk with several people including the pianist who performed for us. When we got home she said how much she had enjoyed being there. Fortunately, it appears that she gets some pleasure out of the activity of doing things like this even when she doesn’t want to do them in advance. I have noticed this on quite a few other occasions.