We are now at Panera, something I had planned for the morning though it didn’t happen quite the way I intended. That is one of the commonplace occurrences in our lives nowadays. Each day I list the day of the week, the date, and our activities for the day. Except for meeting and other appointment times, I am flexible though I put down a specific time. This morning I put down 10:00 for Panera. Most days Kate isn’t ready before that time. Once in a while, she is. Today was one of those days. It is also an example of how short-term memory affects coordination. Shortly after 8:00, I mentioned that we might go to Panera this morning and have an early lunch before a United Way communications meeting I have at noon. Here is how things turned out.
At 9:15, Kate walked into the kitchen and said, “Well, I think I will work outside for a while.” She sounded as though it was not something she was excited about, just something to pass time. I said, “I thought we were going to Panera.” She smiled and said, “Oh, I forgot.” Then she turned around to go back to her room to change. She looked happy that we were coming here.
At that point, I was still in my walking clothes and needed to change for the day since we would not be coming back home in time for me to get ready for my meeting at noon. It turned out she got ready very quickly but she had only changed clothes. She had not gotten her iPad that she uses while at Panera or her cup that she also uses for her drink. I also noticed that she didn’t have a sweater, and it is usually a little cool at Panera in the morning. So I gathered all my things as well as these things for her, and we left at 9:35.
All of this occurred without any angst on her part or mine. I have learned to consider these kinds of things normal. She is always ready to do something that she likes. Most of the time Panera fits the bill, especially if it is in the morning. First of all, I think she considers the blueberry muffin to be a treat. Second, it is a comfortable location to pass time. We almost always see people we know.
My intention in writing down this experience is to convey that this is the kind of thing that happens multiple times during a day. They are not horror stories in any way, but they are examples of how the caregiver is always shifting gears and trying to head off or solve a problem. There are so many of them that I find myself slipping.
A good example is a phone call I placed this morning. About a month ago, I took Kate to see a neurologist who said he would need her to get an MRI. We did that a few days after the appointment. I expected to hear from the Doctor the next week that he had the results and wanted to schedule an appointment. I have thought of this a number of times since then but never remembered to call the doctor. It turns out that the doctor has never received the results. His office is going to call today. Then we will schedule a follow up appointment with him. This is the kind of thing that I could and should have taken care of right away, but it somehow just didn’t rise to the top of my list of things to do. That is happening with many of my obligations.