Confusion and Mood Control

When I woke Kate yesterday, she was confused about me. She was very suspicious of me. This was unlike the day before when she didn’t recognize me as her husband from 5:00 until I went to bed last night. At least she seemed comfortable with me. That wasn’t true yesterday morning. It was somewhat awkward for her because she was completely dependent on me to get her to the bathroom and ready for the day.

I decided not to push her or try to explain anything. I just helped her get ready. When she was dressed, I told her I wanted to show her something. She followed me into the hallway off our bedroom where we have several pictures of her family. We stopped at the first one. I said, “This is your grandmother Franklin.” She smiled, and her eyes lit up.” I told her that was her father’s mother and there was something special about her that she would like to know. I said, “She was the first member of your family to go to TCU.” (a bigger smile) Then I told her we have a grandson who is the 60th member of her family to attend TCU, and his sister will join him in the fall. She was coming around.

The next picture is one of her mother that must have been taken in her late teens. It’s a beautiful photo and one of my favorites. I explained that she was her mother. It was no surprise that Kate was drawn to her smile and commented on how beautiful she was. We continued down the hallway and looked at pictures of her grandfather as well as her father. By that time her mood had changed dramatically. I don’t mean to suggest that she now understood that I was her husband, only that she was happy.

From that point we went into the family room where I showed her several other family pictures. As usual, she also admired the plants on the patio. Then I took her into the kitchen for her morning meds, and we left for lunch. I played music that I know she likes all the way to the restaurant.

When we returned home, I asked if she would like to work puzzles on her iPad or look at some of her family photo books. She noticed an album of her father’s family and picked it up. I asked if she would like me to help her with it. She said no. I went to the kitchen work on my computer. An hour later, she wanted to rest and spent the next two hours lying on the sofa. I brought my laptop into the room so that I could sit with her. I don’t think she ever went to sleep. After a while, I asked if we might look at family pictures together. She said she would but “later.” She said she just wanted to relax. I let her do that another half hour before going to dinner.

After dinner, she picked up a coloring book I bought for her about two weeks ago. She hadn’t shown any interest in it before. This time she opened it and spent at least forty-five minutes going through it. It is a big book – 200 pages. I was surprised she could spend that much time looking at it. She didn’t even take the crayons out of the box. When I suggested that we go back to the bedroom, she said she just wanted to finish the last few pages. I told her that would be fine. I was very curious as to what she was doing. There is nothing to read, only cartoon-like figures and shapes to color. When I looked over her shoulder, I saw that she was meticulously going through each page, touching each drawing or part of a figure on each page. She was pushing them the way she touches the screen of the iPad. Of course, nothing would happen, and she moved to the next one. I am still puzzled that she went through the entire book that way. She never appeared to be frustrated. Looking at her from across the room, it appeared that she was enjoying herself. It’s just one other thing that puzzles me.

She wanted to do something else once we went to the bedroom. She didn’t want to work on her iPad or look at photo books. She said she would like to read something. I gave her the three-ring binder that I call her “Memory Book.” It contains a variety of information about her and her family as well as our courtship and marriage. When I gave it to her, she didn’t know what to do with it. I explained that it was information about her life and that she could just read through it. She still didn’t understand. I read the initial information and then turned it over to her. She started touching selected words on the page just the way she had done with the coloring book earlier. When I explained that the book was different than her iPad, that touching the words would not take her to something else, she closed the book. I decided it was best not to push it.

She was already in bed. I told her I would put on some YouTube videos and pulled up a mix of videos of The Three Tenors, Pavarotti, Andrea Bocelli, and Andre Rieu. She listened to the music for over an hour while lying in bed. She was very happy, just another example of the power of music.

We experienced only one other hiccup before going to sleep. When I got into the bed, I frightened her. She apparently had forgotten I was there. When I spoke, she realized who it was and was relieved.

As you can tell, there is a lot going on in our lives right now. Apart from these moments, we had a good day. We enjoyed good moments together, and, except for frightening her, the day ended on a high note. What is encouraging is that even with her moments of confusion and feeling down, I still find it possible to find a way to bring her back. I hope that is something that will endure for a while longer.

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