I know I must have previously written about my newly discovered appreciation of short-term memory. When Kate was first diagnosed, she had some difficulty remembering things from one week to the next or sometimes one day to the next. These are not unlike all of us. I think it may have been more of an irritation to Kate than to me.
What was a minor thing then has become a significant issue in coordinating plans. This is something I never thought about until it occurred. Let me give you a couple of examples, one from yesterday afternoon, the other from this morning.
Kate and I went to Lowe’s to buy more plants after we finished lunch yesterday. I was motivated to do this because I knew that today I have an 11:30 meeting of the executive committee at the foundation followed by an afternoon at our Rotary golf tournament where I will be a volunteer for a beverage cart. I thought that would give her something to plant while I am away for about six hours or so.
When we got home, she wanted to go outside to work in the yard. She stayed outside the balance of the afternoon. We normally go to eat around six o’clock. When she hadn’t come in at 5:50, I went outside to let her know the time. I was careful not to rush her. I just asked if she were getting hungry. She said she was. I told her the time and she said she be right in. I went out again at 6:20. Once again, she said she was coming in. Finally, I went out at 6:50 and told her we should probably get ready for dinner. She came in, and I expected her to get ready rather quickly. Sometimes she does when we are not going out for a special evening which calls for something dressier. This was one of those nights when she took a long time. We finally left for dinner at 7:50. We returned home just before nine.
Our son sent me a text right about 6:00, shortly after I had gone outside the first time to let Kate know it was getting time to eat. He wanted to chat by phone concerning a meeting he is going to have this coming Friday with the owners of his company. He is exploring the possibility of his buying the company and wanted to discuss it with me. I responded to his text and told him Kate was coming in, and we would be going to dinner. I indicated I would text him when we got home. At that time I was thinking we would leave for dinner around 6:30 and return home shortly after 7:30. As it turned out, I could have spoken with Kevin at that time, but it was 9:30 before we actually did speak. (I normally go to bed about 9:15.) We didn’t finish until after 10:30.
Normally I would leave for the Y on Monday morning at 6:30 am and get home around nine. I decided not to go to the Y because of how late I got to bed and wanting to be with Kate as much this morning as I could before meeting my obligations of the day. I got up at 5:15 and had breakfast before taking a walk for an hour. I was back at the house by 7:35. Before leaving for my walk, I wrote the daily schedule on the memo board that I keep on the island in the kitchen. I noted the time I would be back from my walk, that we would go to Panera at 9:30, and that I would leave at 11:15 for the balance of the day and where I would be.
When I got back from my walk, Kate was dressed and headed outside to work in the yard. I reminded her that I will be leaving at 11:15 but didn’t stop her from working in the yard. I tried to work things out so that I could keep her busy this morning. Now I wonder if she will want to spend an equal amount of time in the yard this afternoon. If not, she may be left without something to do. That will happen if she puts in her new plants this morning. So far it doesn’t look like she is doing any planting. That is good. All in all this is a good illustration of how hard I work trying to see that things go smoothly for her only to discover that her short-term memory keeps her from going with the plan.