From the Mountain Top to the Valley in Less Than Twenty-Four Hours

Wouldn’t you know it, right after our wonderful day Thursday, Kate had a bad day yesterday. I have no explanation except to say she has Alzheimer’s. Changes can occur from one day to another and sometimes from moment to moment. I know the source of the problem is in her brain, but I don’t know what happens that causes the brain to change like that. Here is what happened.

I started to wake Kate around 11:00. Recently, I have felt I may have been more abrupt in waking her, so I took a slower approach. I began by turning on an album of show tunes by Julie Andrews. Then I went in to say good morning without appearing to look like I was in any hurry for her to get up. She smiled. I was encouraged. When I suggested it was time to get up. She said, “In a few more minutes.” That was a clue to what followed. What she said and how she said it was exactly what she has said on other days when she didn’t want to get up.

At 11:30, I remembered that I had scheduled an appointment for haircuts at noon. They are closing all barbershops and hair salons tomorrow, and this was our last shot for a haircut. I explained that to her. Once again, she acted like she understood me and didn’t appear to be obstinate. She just closed her eyes and acted as though she didn’t hear me. I tried to encourage her to get up for fifteen minutes and then gave up. I knew she had dug in her heels.

The sitter was to arrive in another hour, so I decided I would wait for her and then get a takeout meal for myself. When Mary arrived, I explained the situation and took her to the bedroom to let Kate know that she was here. Kate hadn’t had her morning medications, so I got them for her. In the past two weeks, it has become more difficult for her to take her medicine. She puts the pill in her mouth and takes drink of water. She doesn’t, however, swallow the pill. She takes it out of her mouth.

Over the weekend, I placed a grocery order for delivery on Monday. It included apple sauce I had bought just for her medications. Then I discovered that using apple sauce doesn’t necessarily work like a charm. I put apple sauce in a spoon with a capsule on top. She took it in her mouth but didn’t swallow it. That led me to open the capsule and mix the contents in with the apple sauce. That worked. I tried another pill and had the same results I had experienced with the capsule. She swallowed the apple sauce without the pill. We tried again, and it worked. Next time (this morning) I need to crush the pills.

I got my take-out lunch and brought it back to the house. When I finished eating, I decided to take care of a couple of income tax matters. I got caught up in that and spent more time than I expected. I ended up staying at the house all but thirty minutes of the time the sitter was here. That turned out to be productive although I felt funny staying home with the sitter. The only time I left was to drop by the pharmacy for a couple of things.

Kate never stirred while Mary was here. She left at 4:30, and I went to the bedroom to see if Kate was awake. She was. We chatted briefly. She seemed all right, but, unlike yesterday, she wasn’t at all cheerful. When I mentioned that it was approaching the time for us to get a pizza, she seemed interested. When I told her I would help her get up and dressed, she responded as she had in the morning. I tried several times over fifteen minutes. Then I decided to have the Brunswick stew I had bought the day before. I set the table and heated it. I wondered if she would get up when dinner was ready and thought about what I would do if she wouldn’t. Putting up a card table and chairs beside the bed seemed like a good alternative. That turned out to be what I did.

As soon as we finished eating, she wanted to go back to bed. I turned on YouTube videos for two and a half hours. She seemed to enjoy them, but she didn’t express the kind of enthusiasm she often does. Then I wondered if she would be able to go to sleep. That did not seem to be a problem, and she slept through the night. It is now 11:00, and she is still asleep. I am on the computer in the bedroom. She has awakened several times and spoken to me. She seemed all right. The test will be what happens when I try to get her up. I’m going to wait until she wakes up again before I try that.

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