I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. At 5:10, I decided to get up. I like to get up at 6:00 or shortly thereafter, but I got up at 5:00 or 5:30 most of my working life, so it’s not such a bad thing.
After I was dressed for the day, I put a load of clothes (mostly towels) in the washer and was about to fix my breakfast when I realized I had forgotten to bring Kate’s iPad from the bedroom to charge it. When I walked into the bedroom, I saw that she was awake. I walked over to her and could tell she was having one of her moments of confusion. It fell short of what I would call an anxiety attack but more serious than her usual confusion.
I said, “Good morning. Could I help you?” She said, “I don’t know. Where am I?” I told her I had good news, that she was in her own home where we live. She said, “Huh.” I told her again. She said, “Who are you?” I said, “My name is Richard, and I can help you with anything you need.” She said, “What am I doing here?” I said, “This is your home. You live here.” She said, “What do I do now?” I said, “It’s early in the morning. I think you should go back to sleep.” Once again, she asked my name, where she was, and what she should do. After telling her I thought she should go back to sleep, I asked if she would like me to stay with her. She was relieved to hear me say that and said, “Oh, yes.”
I went back to the kitchen where I poured myself a glass of V8, and a cup of granola, picked up my laptop, and iPad and took a seat beside her side of the bed. I put on some soft music. She was asleep in less than fifteen minutes. I was just beginning to think about going back to the kitchen when Kate said something. I didn’t understand and got up and stepped closer to her. She pointed to my shirt and said, “Do you want to take that with you?” I told her I did and sat back down. I have no idea what prompted her to ask me that, but she seemed very much at ease. I felt relieved. I stayed a little longer to make sure she was asleep again. Then I moved back to the kitchen. I finished the granola and V8. That will be my breakfast instead of the eggs I usually fix.
At 7:20, I heard Kate’s voice on the video cam. She said, “I wanna get out of here.” I rushed to her bedside. She was smiling. I told her I loved her and she said, “I love you too.” I asked if she was all right. She said she was. Then I mentioned the time and asked if she wanted to rest a little more. She said she did. I told her I would be in the kitchen if she needed me, and I left. It was a dramatic change from just over an hour before, but a change I like to see. Her saying “I wanna get out of here.” didn’t match the way she seemed when I got to her, but it isn’t unusual for her to say that. In fact, just yesterday, she expressed it rather emphatically. I’ll save that for a later post.