Emotions on High Alert

I have often said that Kate responds with much greater sensitivity to noises, especially sudden ones, hot or cold temperatures, and music. That has increased significantly in recent months and now reached a point when I have to be more careful with what I do or say. She can be easily disturbed.

Of course, there are many things that are completely beyond my control. Yesterday, our server at lunch came to our table to fill our glasses with water. Kate said, “Oh, is that for me?” The server, who is one of our regulars, teased her and said, “This is for him.” Kate was crushed, and tears filled her eyes. I jumped right in and told her the server was teasing her. It took her a moment, but she recovered without any problem.

After we had ordered, Kate asked what she was having. I said, “The trout.” She said, “What is that?” I said, “It is a fish.” The moment I said, “fish,” she looked disturbed and tried to say she was bothered by the idea of eating an animal. (She just couldn’t put the words together.) This is something that has started recently. We have had these conversations before, and she is usually able to talk about it without any emotion. With that in mind, I said that it does bother us when we think about the animals we kill for food, but I was glad that we don’t eat dogs or horses the way they do in some places. I should have known that was the wrong thing to say. She responded with tears and required a little comforting on my part to calm her.

We were seated at a table across from the bar, and a little later, the bar tender tossed something into an aluminum tub. It wasn’t a really loud crash, but it was audible throughout the seating area. Kate gasped very loudly. The bar tender apologized. There were three women seated at the table just two feet away from us. I am sure they were far more startled by Kate’s reaction than to the noise that caused it. Then Kate called to the one man who was seated at the bar. When she got his attention, she apologized profusely to him. It reminded me of the way she apologizes to me after she says something to me that she thinks is out of line.

I have also mentioned her being frightened when she doesn’t know where I am. She is particularly sensitive about that now. Even at home she can be frightened when I am in another room.

Last night, we went to Casa Bella for opera night. The program was dedicated to a 95-year-old man who died suddenly last week. Kate and I had sat with him and his wife for the past six years. The emcee had only said a few words before Kate was whimpering, and she didn’t even remember that the man being honored was the man with whom we always sit. This response is becoming typical anytime she hears about someone’s dying.

Kate has always been tender-hearted, and now her emotional responses to many things are going well beyond what I have observed before. Like other aspects of her behavior, this has not presented a problem so far. I hope it will remain that way.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *