Kate and I finished a very nice lunch and had just gotten in the car when she asked, “Where are we?” I asked if she meant the city. She said yes. I told her we were in Knoxville. She said, “So we are still at home.” This is not the first such experience. I know I have reported on occurrences like this when we are traveling. I can’t recall if she has ever asked that when we are here at home. This was the first of several things she said on the way home.
Not long after we left the restaurant and out of the blue, she said, “Katherine Rose,” her mother’s first and middle names. I said, “That’s right.” Then she said, “Katherine Rose Benson,” her mother’s maiden name. A few minutes later, she said, “Fort Benning.” Then she said, “That’s where my daddy was based.” Once again, I told her she was right. She went on to say, “Sometimes the names won’t come to me, but if I think a minute, they do.”
I am not sure what was prompting this, but I am confident that she recognizes her difficulty remembering things that she used to know so well. I also know that she checks the names of people and places with me quite a bit, not just when we are about to see someone. I suspect that she spends some time rehearsing, trying to cement the names in her brain. She does not appear to sense that her AD is causing her memory problems. I am certain that is true for other things that are not directly related to her memory. This represents a distinctly different stage of her illness. She knows that she has AD, but she seems not to know what that means or the symptoms associated with it. At times, I feel like telling her, but I always come back to what I think is best for her. She is happy. It serves no purpose to call attention to her illness at this point. I don’t anticipate changing my mind on this decision.