Update on Kate’s Cold

Kate’s cold was a little worse yesterday. The good news is that she was in a good mood, and her cough occurred only periodically. She had one loud cough after we sat down for lunch but didn’t cough again until much later in the day. Even then her coughing was very infrequent.

She slept late but no later than on any other day. Our server at lunch had just about given up on us when we arrived close to 1:00. The most obvious sign that she is sick is that she is wiping more saliva and phlegm from her mouth than usual. I wish I could say all of it goes into the paper towels and napkins she uses. The truth is that she wipes a lot on her clothes. This happens all the time, but I am more sensitive to it now that she is sick. I want to avoid getting whatever she has, but it is going to be hard to protect myself. I washed my hands a lot yesterday and used hand sanitizer. I am also trying to avoid coming in contact with her clothes and hands, but that is tough.

She rested a couple of hours after lunch but didn’t appear to go to sleep. She also went to bed somewhat earlier than usual and without any prompting from me. She wasn’t asleep when I got in bed. That is beginning to be common.

She slept well until 3:00 this morning. That’s when she started coughing. It must have gone on close to thirty minutes though it seemed longer to me. After breakfast, I glanced at the video cam and saw that she was getting out of bed and looked confused as to where to go. I went back to the bedroom. She was looking for the bathroom. She used the toilet and brushed her teeth. In the process of brushing, she got her night gown wet. I got her another and put her back in bed. I suspect she will sleep until at least 10:30, perhaps later.

I had planned for us to attend the regional Metropolitan Opera auditions at a local college today. We have enjoyed going the past three or four years. They begin at 10:00, but I didn’t even think of trying to get there that early. I thought we would catch the last couple of hours this afternoon. Now I am doubtful about that. I don’t want to risk Kate’s coughing as well as passing along her cold to anyone else. That’s a shame because it is something she has enjoyed immensely, and it’s hard to imagine that we will be able to attend next year.

Yesterday I was reminded of how many lives are affected by dementia when I tried to reach a childhood friend and neighbor. I discovered she is now in memory care and unable to communicate. I am always saddened by news like that.

I am also thinking about a family member whose birthday is today. He was the husband of one of Kate’s favorite cousins. He is someone else who lived with dementia. We lost him five years ago. I have fond memories of conversations with him at Franklin family gatherings. We were both newcomers to the family and because of that connected in a special way.

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