Cheerful Days

In many ways the past two days were like a lot of other days we have. The difference was that Kate was cheerful all day long. Both days she awoke early and was in a good mood.

As she got out of bed on Tuesday, she called me by name. I took her to the bathroom. Afterward, she wanted to go back to bed. I told her I would be in the kitchen if she needed me. I added that I would stay if she preferred. She told me it would be all right if I left; however, she looked as though she wanted me to stay. I told I would be glad to bring my things to the bedroom and sit in the chair beside her. That made her happy.

Instead of leaving when she fell asleep, I stayed until it was time to get her up. That worked well because she woke up periodically and saw that I was there. Several times we chatted briefly. When it was time to get her up, I asked if she was ready. She said yes. I didn’t rush her at all. I told her I would get some clothes for her. It was another fifteen minutes before I told her I had her clothes. She got up very easily. I the the gradual process helped.

It wasn’t long before the sitter arrived. I hadn’t mentioned that I was leaving and thought she might be uneasy as I left. That turned out not to be a problem. She greeted Cindy with a hug and wasn’t phased when I told her I would be going to Rotary. The rest of the day went smoothly as well.

Yesterday was Kate’s birthday, and I was hoping she might have another good day. My wish was granted. She never showed any excitement or interest in its being her birthday; however, she did appreciate the emails, cards, and calls she received. She was especially touched by two cards. One of those was from our daughter. Kate was in tears as I read it to her. The other was from our twin grandsons. She was taken by the cards design. It had a pop-up when she opened it. She was fascinated by it and looked at it for a long time.

The celebration continued at dinner last night. After I had given the server our order, Kate noticed shrimp on the menu. The server, whom I had told about her birthday, asked Kate if she liked shrimp. When Kate said she did, the server said, “I’ll treat you to a shrimp cocktail.” Kate has always loved that. Although her eyesight complicated eating it, last night was no exception. Several times she dipped the tail of the shrimp in the sauce and took a bite.

The day ended with phone calls from our children and Kate’s brother and his wife who will be here for a visit tomorrow. That should be good for her as well.

Our experience does not mean there was any improvement in Kate’s memory or her confusion. For example, yesterday afternoon while she was getting her hair done, I went to the ATM at the bank across the parking lot. The stylist told me later that while I was gone, Kate said, “Where is my, uh, boyfriend?”

As we prepared to leave home for dinner, Kate said, “Let’s get out of here. I wanna go home.” There isn’t a way to stop the fundamental symptoms of Alzheimer’s, but, thankfully, we are still able to enjoy ourselves. I am grateful for that.

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