I have often mentioned some of the coordination problems that arise because Kate doesn’t remember what I have said. Right now we are experiencing one of those occasions. At 6:05, I went outside to tell her the time and that we should be getting ready for dinner, something we typically do between 5:45 and 6:30. She reacted negatively and said she wanted to plant a few other plants we had bought at Lowe’s yesterday. I said OK, but I really felt like it would be best to start getting ready now because she will need to take a shower and then dress. That sometimes takes an hour. I know, however, that she might need only 30-45 minutes. As I get to this sentence, I see that it is 7:11, and she is still outside.
This is one of those occasions that almost any married couple could face almost daily. In a normal situation, however, they could talk about it and negotiate something that would suit each one. I recognize, of course, that it can also end up in a standoff. My view is that such a standoff in our situation is simply unproductive. For example, if we had an appointment to be someplace at a particular time, I would need to push her a little. In tonight’s situation, we don’t have any such obligation. This is the more typical case for us; so I am simply letting her stay as long as it takes (that is, unless it gets close to 8:00). While I take this position, I have to be honest in saying that I am really ready to eat and would like her to see that and do it for me. On the other hand, I know that her brain doesn’t work normally. She would never have been like this before Alzheimer’s. I truly miss being able to have normal conversations about things like this, but those days are gone.
Something similar happens with the temperature in the house or in the car. Most of the time I am comfortable, and she is hot. That means that she wants me to make the house or car cooler. I always comply with her desire, but I do sometimes let her know that I am either comfortable or in some cases cold. She totally disregards this and actually thinks I am crazy. I, naturally, believe that her own body thermostat is not working the way it used to do. I do recognize that she feels hot and try to see that she gets relief, but I would love it if she gave just a little recognition to the fact that I am cold. Alas, there is no way to reason with someone who has Alzheimer’s.