Travel, Confusion, and Learning How to Address It

Kate came into the living area of the suite to which we had been upgraded. She looked very groggy and confused. I asked her if I could help her. She gave me a confused look. Then I took a more direct approach that is not like me. I said, “Let me tell you where we are. We are at the Haywood Park Hotel in Asheville, North Carolina.” She said, “Oh, yeah.” I went on to tell her that we were going back home this morning and that we had no time schedule to meet. That seemed to satisfy her. Then she asked, “Can I rest a little?” I told her that would be fine. Then she said, “If I can find where to go.” I said, “Let me show you.” Then I walked her to the bedroom.

I find that I am always learning and changing the way I approach things with Kate. My normal style is not to be abrupt or too directive. I know she does not like to be controlled. There are times like this one, however, when she is disoriented or in need of direction. In this kind of situation, I have learned enough to know that she won’t realize where she is when she wakes up when we are traveling. I can make things easier for her by simply telling her and not acting as though she does know.

Three weeks from tomorrow we leave for Texas where we will spend a week visiting family and friends. I will need to remember how important it is to provide regular information of where we are, what we are doing, etc. in order to maintain her comfort level in strange surroundings. This is more difficult than it sounds. It is amazing how easy it is to fall back on the way I have related to her over the course of our marriage. In so many respects, she continues to appear quite normal, even to me. That makes me want to respond to her in the way I would have before her diagnosis.

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