Smooth Traveling Yesterday

As I suggested in my previous post, Kate was ready early yesterday. We were able to get to the airport with time to spare. I do notice, however, that traveling with her is a much bigger responsibility than it was just six months ago. She moves much slower and gets very confused. Fortunately, she depends on me for guidance, but I find that I am not at ease. I have to watch her at all times. I feel like I am on “high alert.” Going through security did not cause any major problems, but she doesn’t understand what to do. That adds a little extra stress as I seek to comply with all the security requirements for each of us.

Kate worked puzzles on her iPad the entire flight. Since I was seated beside her, I had the opportunity to watch her more than I normally do. I have said before that she seems to pay no attention to either the shapes or the color of the pieces as she seeks to put them in their proper places. It seemed like she was simply randomly getting them into the right spots. Now, I don’t believe that is true. She does seem to pay attention to the shapes of the pieces. I still believe, however, that she doesn’t notice how the colors on a piece might match a particular configuration of colors on the puzzle. The app she uses shows her how long it takes her from start to finish. It looks like she takes from five to ten minutes to do each sixteen-piece puzzle. It also looks like her ability to work a puzzle comes and goes as she is working. One moment she seems to be fine. The next she is stumped.

We had dinner with Kevin and his family and had a good time. It was difficult for Kate to follow the conversation at our end of the table. She responded by being quiet.

When we got back to our hotel, she was in a very appreciative mood. Several times she thanked me for “all that you do.” At least two times, she said, “Thank you for all you do for us, especially what you do for the women.” I decided not to ask who she meant by “us” and “the women.”

After my shower, I went into the living room area where Kate was working on her iPad. She said, “I want to thank you for being my friend.” I said, “I am glad to be your friend. I love you, and I think you love me.” She began to get teary and said, “I think I do.” I usually say something about being her husband but decided to let it go this time. She also said, “Not everyone likes me.” I said, “I can’t imagine anyone’s not liking you.” She said, “We’ll see.”

When I got up this morning, I heard her chuckle. I saw that her eyes were open. I walked over and kissed her on her forehead. She smiled but didn’t say anything. I had a sense that she recognized me either as her husband or her friend. She didn’t appear to be confused. She was still awake when I was ready for breakfast. I told her we are at the Residence Inn in Lubbock and that I was going to get some breakfast and bring it back to the room.

We have stayed here quite a few years. In recent years, I’ve requested a room on the first floor. That is so that I won’t be far away when I leave her for breakfast. More recently, I have brought my breakfast back to the room. That way I am gone only a few minutes. If for any reason she would leave the room, I would see her. This is just one tiny thing to which I must be attentive when we travel. I also have to be prepared to wash clothes. In fact, I did that yesterday morning before leaving Nashville.

She was asleep when I returned to the room and is still sleeping. There is no reason to rush this morning. We will try to get to Kevin’s house between 11:00 and 12:00. I’m looking forward to a Happy Thanksgiving and wishing the same for you and your family.

An Uneasy Start

We are currently in a Residence Inn in Nashville. We drove from Knoxville yesterday afternoon before flying out to Lubbock this afternoon. We can catch a direct flight from here. Coming up the day before is much easier on Kate. We had an unusually good dinner last night. It was a special time for us, almost like it was before Alzheimer’s.

Knowing that it can be hard for Kate to get up in the morning, I had her take a shower last night. That was to help us get away by 10:15 or so. We both slept well, that is, until just before 5:30 when she hit me and tried to get me to move away from her. I think I must have bumped her, and she didn’t recognize me or our surroundings. I remained very calm and spoke to her softly trying to calm her. She didn’t say anything for a while. By then, I think she recognized me as a familiar face but not as her husband. She was confused but not frightened. I was very close to her, and she didn’t push me away.

She asked, “Who are you?” I said, “I am your husband.” She seemed puzzled but didn’t act like I was wrong. Seeing her confusion, I said, “We are in a hotel in Nashville.” She said, “What are we doing here?” I explained that we were here to catch a plane to Lubbock to be with our son for Thanksgiving. She said, “Who is that?” I told her and also told her about our having a daughter. She said, “What’s wrong with me?” I told her that I thought she might have had a dream and woke up a little confused. I said, “You are all right. Let’s just relax right now. I’ll take care of you.”

I picked up my phone from the bedside table and played “Send in the Clowns.” She reacted immediately and said, “That’s beautiful.” When it ended, I asked if she would like to hear it again. She said, “Oh, yes.” After that, I played an album by the Susquehanna Chorale. It contains some of her other favorites like “Shenandoah,” “Danny Boy,” and “Deep River.” I followed that with two other albums. As the music played, she went back to sleep. She had been awake for an hour.

She woke up a couple of times after 7:30. Then she got up at 8:00 and went to the bathroom. She is awake now but in bed. She seems to be doing fine. Her music had run out, so I put on another album she likes. She said, “Where did I get you?” I said, “At TCU. That’s where we got each other.” She said, “That fits.” She seems to be fine now.

For me, the good news is not just that she is relaxed but that she is up early enough that we will have no trouble getting to the airport in plenty of time and get a bite to eat before the plane leaves at 1:00.

Sad Moments

Yesterday I mentioned the sadness that accompanies special holidays, events, or occasions that one believes might be the last ones. They are not the only sad moments. There are plenty of others. I had one of those yesterday afternoon. It was almost 3:00 when Kate and I came back to the house after lunch. For a short time she looked at one of her photo books that she and her brother Ken had made for her mother’s family. I was glad to see her pick it up and sat down with her. It’s been a week or two since she had looked at any of her photo books. With her memory fading quickly, I was interested in seeing how well this one brought back memories. I was pleased that she was often able to recognize her various family members, especially her mother, father, and grandmother. It wasn’t long before she said she was tired and wanted to lie down. An hour later, I asked if she would like to get out of the house for a while. She did and got up to go to the bathroom.

I went to the laundry room to transfer clothes from the washer to the dryer. In a few minutes, I heard her say, “Hey.” This is becoming her common way of calling for me now that my name is slipping away. Until the last few weeks, she has been calling my name. I walked into the family room. She was standing there pointing to her wet pants. She didn’t say a word. She was like a little child who might have had the same experience. She just wanted me to help her. I felt so sad. Although she has had accidents around the toilet, this was her first experience when she was fully dressed. I said, “It looks like you had a little accident, but we can take care of that. Come with me.” She followed me to the bathroom where she took off her clothes, again with my help as one might do with a child. Then I got her some clean clothes. She thanked me. I told I wanted her to count on me anytime she needs help. This is the kind of experience I find the hardest to deal with. I don’t like seeing this disease bring her to her knees like this.

I had one other sad moment last night as she was getting ready for bed. She asked, “Who are you?” I told her I was her husband and that I loved her. I added, “And you love me too.” She could not believe either of these things. I went to the family room and got a photo book with our wedding pictures. I showed her several of her with her father and with me. She was convinced. Then she said, “What is your name?” Her memory of me is fading more quickly now and will soon be gone.

I hasten to add that she is remains very comfortable with me. She still mentions the good times we have had. It is clear that her memory comes and goes throughout the day. It’s not just a period of confusion in the morning. It’s almost like someone turns a switch on and off at random times. I am grateful for those moments when she does know who I am, but know what lies ahead.

Our Trip to the “Doc-in-a-Box”

The other day I wrote about Kate and conversation and mentioned that I wondered if she might not have a buildup of wax in her ears. This has been a persistent issue for her since childhood. Yesterday seemed like a perfect time to find out if wax had been a primary source of her hearing problem. On one other occasion, I took her to a local clinic (Doc-in-a-Box) to have her ears washed out. Since then, I had learned that you can go online and book an appointment. They will call you thirty minutes before they are able to see you, so that’s what I did. It was interesting that they ask if this was something that would require a nurse or a doctor. I indicated a nurse figuring that would make it easier to get in.

Except for a brief sign-in procedure to update our/their records, we waited only a few minutes. In less than ten minutes, they checked Kate’s vitals and put us in an examination room. Shortly thereafter, a physician’s assistant came into the room to take a look at Kate’s ears. She quickly discovered a good bit of wax in both ears. She left and someone else came in to handle the task of cleaning it out.

The interesting part of the experience was Kate’s response. After the PA came in and introduced herself, I introduced myself and said, “This is my wife, Kate.” To my surprise, she said, “And I am smart. <pause> That’s what my mother and daddy tell me.” Later, during the examination, she repeated that she is smart.

Once she was on the examination table and the PA started to look into her ears, she became anxious. She wanted me beside her and to hold her hand. Both the PA and the person who did the cleaning were very gentle and non-threatening, but the exam itself scared her. This has to be another consequence of her Alzheimer’s. Even though I told her where we were going and why, she couldn’t remember where we were or why. This was only the second time we had been in this office, and that was three or four years ago. In addition, she didn’t seem to understand the instructions she was given. For example, when she was asked to lie down on her side so the attendant could put drops in her ears, it was very difficult for her to understand. I wonder now if part of the reason was that her ears were blocked up.

After she had gotten the drops in one ear, she had to lie on her side for fifteen minutes. Then the attendant came in to “irrigate” the ear and put drops in the other ear. Once again, I could see the power of music. She wasn’t fully at ease yet, so I got my phone out and played one of her favorite songs, “Send in the Clowns” from A Little Night Music. She loved it and seemed to relax. I was surprised that she was able to mouth some of the lyrics before they were sung. From there, I played a variety of songs from folk to opera.

It took a little longer than might have been expected because they weren’t able to remove all of the wax on the first try. Kate got a little restless, and several times, she asked when we could go. While we were waiting, she asked, “Who are you?” I told her I was her husband. As frequently happens, she was surprised and didn’t believe me. A few minutes later, she asked, “Are you my daddy?”

As we were about to leave, the PA asked what we were doing for Thanksgiving. I told her we were going to Texas to be with our son and his family. Kate said, “What’s his name?” I am sure the PA understood the situation. Their records should have shown that she has Alzheimer’s. To make sure, I told the attendant who took Kate’s vitals. As I said earlier, they were very understanding.


This is Thanksgiving week, and we leave tomorrow to spend the holiday with our son Kevin and his family. As you would expect, Kate and I are approaching this trip in very different ways. This is very likely her last trip to her home state of Texas. I have been thinking about this trip for months. Her feelings for Texas are actually stronger now than they were when she was younger, but one of the things that disappeared with her memory is the ability to anticipate the future. I have been telling her for weeks that we are going to be in Lubbock for Thanksgiving. I’ve heard that the estimated length of time that a person at this stage of dementia can remember is a matter of seconds. As a result, she has no idea that we are going. She will enjoy the visit with family and being in Texas “in the moment” as she does with all her experiences.

There is usually a bit of sadness associated with “last-time” experiences. I think immediately of the time when a child leaves for college or gets married. Parents know that their lives will be changed forever. The sadness brought on by those experiences is partially offset by the pleasure we derive from watching our children take their place in the world as adults. That is very different from the anticipated loss of someone who is approaching the end of life. I derive much pleasure from my recall of our lives together. I believe we have made the most of our time, not only since Kate’s diagnosis but from the beginning of our courtship. We will continue to enjoy life together as long as we are able. I have to say, however, I cannot escape the sadness of these last experiences. I believe that is as it should be.

Another Day Without a Sitter

For the second Monday in a row our sitter is sick and not able to be with us. I am sorry she is sick, but I am happy to spend the day with Kate. Rotary is taking a Thanksgiving week break, and I have no other special obligations. If I had anything, I could have arranged the agency to provide a substitute.

The good news is that I don’t have to be concerned about getting Kate up and dressed and take her to lunch before the sitter arrives. That seems to be an increasing challenge as she sleeps a little later. I am thinking about changing the time the sitter comes on Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 to 1:30 to give me a little extra time. I can’t do that on Monday since Rotary starts at 12:30.

I am glad to say that we ended on a high note yesterday. We went to dinner from Barnes & Noble and then came home. I watched a portion of the Monday night NFL game. I put the sound on mute and turned on some music that both of us could enjoy. Kate worked on her iPad until time for bed. I hope we start off as well this morning as we finished last night.

Why does “roller coaster” come to mind?

This has been quite a day. Let me see if I capture it in words. First of all, there was no sleeping in today. I heard Kate push open the door from the back of the house to the family room. When I checked, she was standing in the doorway fully dressed. It was 9:15. I walked over to her and said, “Good morning.” She said, “Let’s go.” She was impatient, ready for her muffin at Panera. I told her I needed a few minutes to get ready and that I would get her medicine for her. She said, “What medicine?” Apparently, she had forgotten she takes pills each morning. This was the first time she has responded this way about her meds.

She went to the kitchen. I went to our bathroom for her medicine. I heard her say loudly, “Hey.” Before I could answer, she said it again. I got the pills and headed toward the kitchen. Again, I heard her say, “Hey, are you coming?” It is not uncommon at all for her to rush me when she is ready. This morning she was more vociferous than usual.

I put her meds on the island where I put them every morning along with a glass of water. After taking half of them, she turned around to the sink and poured out the water. I noticed the others she had left and called her attention to them. This, too, is becoming a frequent pattern, so I am watching more closely to see that she takes them. When I pointed them out, she said, “Why didn’t you put them over here where I could see them – on the counter by the sink where she was standing.” (At one of Kate’s recent doctor’s appointments, the doctor mentioned the possibility of reducing the number she takes. He was talking about her Aricept (donepezil) and Namenda (memantine). I told him I didn’t know that they worked at all, but Kate was doing well. I wasn’t ready to drop them, primarily because there is some evidence that a decline sometimes follows that. I am still not ready to drop these two prescriptions; however, I believe we might be able to give up the vitamin D and calcium. That will be something to discuss at Kate’s next appointment.)

Once we were in the car, she continued her “gruffness” only this time she was trying to be funny. It wasn’t working. It was almost like a Don Rickles bit, and I was the victim. She said some of the things she has said before. She said that I wasn’t handsome and talked about my nose. She surprised me by asking me if she had a nose like mine. I told her she didn’t. She was relieved.

As we got out of the car, one of our Panera friends drove into the space beside us. I said something about his wife’s not being with him. Kate said something like, “I guess she didn’t want to be seen by you.” That is totally out of character for her. I’ve never heard her say something like that to anyone else but me. She was kidding, but it didn’t sound like it.

Once we were inside and about to sit down, Kate stopped and said something to a man seated at the next table. I didn’t heard what she said, but she was telling him something about me. She started to turn away. Then she stopped and said something else to the man. I set up her iPad for her and went to get her a drink. When I brought her drink to her, she said thank you. Then she spoke to the man she had spoken to earlier and said, “He’s really a nice guy.”

Her behavior was not just notable because she was teasing but not doing a good job of it. It was more like she were playing a role and not herself. Normally, she wouldn’t be talking so much, nor would she say the things she said. She continued in the car on the way to lunch. Once again, she was “teasing” me. Something came up about our relationship, and I told her we were married. She expressed surprise. That was nothing new. Then she said, “Is that for real?” I told her it was. She said, “I don’t know what I was thinking. In a few minutes, she said, “You know I’m kidding, don’t you?. You’re a nice guy. What’s your name?” Her tone was very different than before. She was more like herself.

As we settled in at our table in the restaurant, we had a rather typical conversation except that she was more talkative than usual. Several times she asked me questions about her mother and father, my name, her name and where we live. Our server commented that she hadn’t had to refill my coffee as much as she usually does. I also didn’t finish my salad before the entrée arrived. I told her I hadn’t had time because we were talking so much.

After lunch, we drove back to the house. On the way, Kate said she loved me. I told her I loved her as well. Then she said, “What’s your name?” She was very tired and asked if it would be all right if she took a nap when we got home. I told her that would be fine. She didn’t waste much time before she was in the bed where she remained for an hour and a half before I asked if she would like to get out of the house. She was ready, so now we are at Barnes & Noble. We’ll be here another thirty or forty minutes before going to dinner. I’m glad to say it seems like she is back to normal.

A New First in Connection with Sleep

Except for Thursday, Kate has slept late every morning this week. Night before last, she went to be bed later than usual. Several times I suggested that she get ready for bed. Each time she was engrossed with her jigsaw puzzles and wanted to finish “this one.” She always forgets and opens another one. I was able to get her into her night clothes, but she continued on her iPad after getting into bed. Finally, I decided to get in bed. That usually prompts her to do the same. This time she kept on working her puzzles. She didn’t want to but agreed to call it a night. It was after 10:00. She seems to need about twelve or thirteen hours a night, so I was a little concerned that she might be working her way into staying up longer and sleeping later. I suggested she stop for the night, and she reluctantly agreed.

Yesterday we had no obligations to be anywhere at any time nor did we have a sitter. I decided to let her sleep until about 10:30. That would have given her close to twelve hours sleep. As I have been doing lately, I turned on some music. About twenty minutes later, I checked on her. She was sleeping soundly. I tried to wake her gently. She looked up at me and immediately closed her eyes. I asked if she would like me to take her to lunch. She didn’t answer. I told her I would let her sleep a little longer. I went back a couple of other times before trying a little harder to get her up. That was shortly after noon. She was resistant. I asked if she would like me to go ahead to lunch and leave her with the housekeeper. She asked me to go ahead, and I did. That was a first. Each time I have given her the option to stay with the sitter and have the sitter take her to lunch later, she has always gotten up. That didn’t work this time. When I got back, she was still in bed. That’s when I told her I hated to get her up but felt I was concerned that she might not be able to get to sleep tonight if she stayed in bed much longer. She got up. As she does frequently now, she asked me where the bathroom is.  She held my hand as I walked her there.

She is still vacillating between wanting my help getting dressed and holding on to her independence. She started to dress herself. Then she asked that I stay with her. Ultimately, she needed help with every step. She struggled a second with her pants and then handed them to me to put on. She put on her socks by herself. Sometimes she gives them to me to put on for her. She handed her shoes to me so that I could put them on for her.

It was 2:25 when we left the house to get her some lunch. I had decided earlier to skip our customary lunch at Bluefish. We went over to Panera where she got a sandwich. We stayed there another until 4:00 and came back to the house. We relaxed in the family room. After a while, she put her iPad down, closed her eyes and rested in her chair. She was still tired even after getting up so late. Because of that I suggested that we eat early.

We had a very nice time at dinner. The food was good, but it was our time together that was special. We were both enjoying the moment. That doesn’t mean that she didn’t ask me the restaurant’s name multiple times as well as the city name. One of the new things is her asking, “What is Knoxville?” when I tell her where we are. I tell her that Knoxville is a city, like Fort Worth is a city. While eating, we talked about our marriage and being grateful that our love has lasted. She said, “I’ll tell you one thing. I’m going to keep you.” Immediately following that she said, “What is your name?”

Those of you who visit this site regularly know that we view eating out as a social occasion. We experienced a little of that as well. We saw two couples that I have known professionally. One of the women reminded me that she had hired me to lead a workshop at the State Library many years ago. I didn’t remember it at all. It must have been when I was just starting out because leading workshops was never a significant part of my career. I was pleased to see that the other woman immediately engaged Kate in conversation. We see her and her husband in various places around town and joined them for a few minutes at their table before we left.

On the way home, Kate asked, “Where are we staying tonight?” I told her we were going to stay in our “very own home.” She was both surprised and pleased. Since she is unable to remember where she is, she often feels like we are someplace else. Most of the time she thinks we are in her home town of Fort Worth. She said she was tired and was going to bed early. As we arrived at our house, she said, “It looks like they’ve kept up the house.” Then as she got out of the car, she said, “I haven’t the slightest idea where I am.”

Once inside the house, I put on an album of Puccini arias. She stopped working on her iPad to listen. When it was over, I asked if she would like to watch the last act of La Boheme. We had watched the first two acts the previous night. When it was over, we got ready for bed. She asked, “What is your name?” I asked, “Do you remember that we are married?” She nodded. I said, “Do you love me?” She said, “Yes.” Then I told her how long we had been married. She was as surprised as she has ever been. Then I said, “My name is Richard Creighton.”


One of the things I have heard from other spouse caregivers is how much they miss the kind of conversations they used to have. That is something with which I can easily relate. If you are a regular visitor to this site, you have heard me talk about how well Kate and I get along. That is possible because we have let go of the things she can’t do and focused on what she can. That has enabled us to enjoy many things together – travel, music, theater, and social engagement with friends, family, and even strangers. I never imagined that we would be able to get along this well so far into our journey.

Having said that, our story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t recognize the impact that Kate’s Alzheimer’s has had on conversations between us and her conversations with others. There is much in life we can enjoy without depending on our rational thought processes, but much of ordinary conversation depends on memory of people, names, and events. We tell others about a book we are reading, or the movie we saw yesterday, the meal we had last night, what our children and grandchildren are doing. As Kate has lost her memory, she has significantly less that she can talk about. There is little content left.

Another consequence of her memory loss is not understanding what has been said. She often stops me and asks me to repeat what I have said. This is something that has become a greater problem recently. It is as though her brain’s processing has slowed down and the conversation is so rapid she can’t understand. Several times recently when we have been with a group, she has jumped in to say something like, “Wait, stop! Who are we talking about?” I have been pleased that she speaks up in this way. It shows she hasn’t dropped out of the conversation. That is her typical way of responding.

When it is just the two of us, she asks me to repeat a significant portion of what I say. Most of the time, it is because I am giving her information too quickly. She also misunderstands certain words. Sometimes I have to repeat a word several times before she gets it. She may have a build up of wax in her ears. She experiences that from time to time, but I don’t recall its affecting her hearing. I need to check this out.

It is especially easy for her to get lost in a group, even when we are with just one other couple. When we are at a table of six or eight for one of Casa Bella’s music nights, she simply withdraws. We have an hour for dinner and conversation followed by an hour and a half of music. In that case, the music saves the day.

Kate’s most successful conversations have been one on one. I can think of three of those that have occurred over the past year. One of those occurred with our friends, Ann and Jeff Davis. We were in their home when the conversation drifted into one between Jeff and me and another between Ann and Kate. It continued for quite a while. I recall overhearing Kate say a few things that were not accurate. When she can’t remember things, she fills in with something else. Otherwise, Kate appeared like a person without Alzheimer’s.

Another was a few months ago when she received a visit from a church friend. I left the two of them in the family room while I did a few things in the kitchen. I was amazed at the flow of conversation. It was a perfectly normal conversation between two friends. The most recent was two weeks ago today when our housekeeper was here. When we returned from lunch, she and the housekeeper sat down and talked for about thirty minutes. In all three of these conversations, Kate was an active participant. I loved hearing her speak so comfortably.

Earlier this week, we ran into a couple we have met at Barnes & Noble. They asked us to join them at their table. We spent about an hour in conversation. I was surprised at how active Kate was although she did not appear as natural. I had told the couple about Kate’s Alzheimer’s on a previous occasion, so I suspect they appropriately attributed her behavior to her illness. Instead of pulling back in the conversation, she gently worked her way into it. The problem was that she kept talking about her mother and interjecting her comments in the middle of what others were saying. Her comments were totally out of context. It appeared that she wanted to participate but couldn’t judge the appropriate timing and didn’t know what to say except to talk about her mother. As with other things, she doesn’t remember a lot of specifics about her mother. Thus, all her comments are expressions of how thoughtful and kind her mother was. She often says, “She liked to help people.” She repeated essentially the same things several times.

There is something else that happens when she speaks. This is new within the past six months or so. She can’t think of the words she wants to say. Sometimes she mispronounces a word incorrectly in a way that I don’t understand. When it is just the two of us, she often says, “Well, you know what I mean.” Most of the time, I don’t.

Overall, the nature of our conversation has radically changed. We talk less. When we talk, we express our feelings about life, our family, and things we have done together. I often tell her about specific things that I know she can’t remember. I do have a concern that when I tell her things it also serves as a reminder that she can’t remember. So far, she seems to like this, especially when I tell her about our children and grandchildren as well as her parents and grandparents. What I like best about our conversations is that they always focus on good things. I think that is good for both of us.

Confused Upon Waking

Adapting to Kate’s sleeping later may be getting more complicated. Yesterday, she was up early. That worked well because she and I had a 1:30 appointment to have our picture taken in connection with the foundation on whose board I served for nine years. Not having to wake her made it less stressful getting her ready so that we could have lunch before then.

Today, however, she slept late again, and it is a day for the sitter. I turned on some music at 10:15. Then at 10:45, I tried to wake her. She wanted to sleep a little longer. At 11:30, I tried again. I sat down beside her on the bed and put my hand on her shoulder. She opened her eyes and looked at me. She looked confused and asked, “Who are you?” When I told her my name and that I am her husband, she looked shocked. Here is my best effort to describe the conversation we had over the next twenty minutes or so.

RICHARD:              “Yes, I am your husband, Richard, and we have been married for 55 years.”

KATE:                       “What is your name?”

RICHARD:              “Richard Lee Creighton.”

KATE:                       “Say it slower.”

RICHARD:              “Richard <pause> Lee <pause> Creighton.”

KATE:                       “What is my name?”

RICHARD:              “Kate Franklin Creighton.”

KATE:                       “Say it again.”

RICHARD:              “Kate Franklin Creighton.”

KATE:                       “Let me say it. . . Kate . . . Wait a minute; say it again slowly.”

RICHARD:               “Kate <pause> Franklin <pause> Creighton.”

KATE:                       “Kate Franklin Creighton.”

RICHARD:              “Yes, and we have two children.”

KATE:                       “We do? <pause> What are their names?

RICHARD:              “Jesse Brewer and Kevin Creighton.”

KATE:                        “What is your name?”

RICHARD:               “Richard Lee Creighton, and I am your husband.”

KATE:                        “You are?” (with a look of disbelief)

RICHARD:              “It seems like you feel comfortable with me even though you don’t recognize me as your husband.”

KATE:                       “Yes.”

RICHARD:              “That’s probably because we have been together so long. We have been very happy together.”

KATE:                       “We have?” (with her first smile of the conversation)

RICHARD:              “Yes. I think we are a perfect match (she smiled with approval), and we have two children that we are very proud of.”

KATE:                       “We do? Why can’t I remember that?”

RICHARD:             “Well, sometimes our memory fades as we get older.”

KATE:                      “I don’t believe you, but it’s nice of you to say that.” (She is still perceptive.)

RICHARD:            “I love you, and I’d like to take you to lunch.”

KATE:                     “Where are my clothes?”

RICHARD:           “They’re right here on the chair.”

Then I helped her get up. When she was dressed, she said she wanted to go to the  bathroom. She said, ‘Where is it?” There was more than I have quoted above, but I think this captures the essence of the conversation. There was a good bit of repetition, both in her questions and my answers.

From this point on she did not appear to be confused though she was still unable to remember that we have children. That has been common for weeks, perhaps months, now.