Feeling Needy and Expressing Appreciation

Kate’s dependence on me continues to increase. That has been even more evident in the past few days. In particular, I have noticed that in her desire to have me physically near her. I think I mentioned that twice in the past few days she has wanted me to come to bed earlier than I normally would. That happened again two nights ago, and she wanted to hold my hand. I’m the kind of caregiver who wants to do everything I can to make her happy and secure, but often it’s just holding her hand that gives her the comfort she needs.

She is comfortable with our sitter, Mary, but twice this week Kate hasn’t wanted me to leave her. Friday she looked sad and frightened when I told her I was going to run an errand and would be back soon. After returning, another incident occurred while Mary was with still here. I was in the kitchen making phone calls when I heard her say, “Where are you?” She had been resting in the living room with Mary and gotten up to go to the bathroom. When I reached her, she was in the hallway outside our bedroom looking for the bathroom. I didn’t ask, but I am sure she didn’t want to ask Mary where it was.

Once we were in the bathroom she told me I was the only one she knew who would always help her. I told her I was glad to help, and she could call me anytime. Then she said something I found interesting but don’t remember her exact words. She conveyed that there are times when she doesn’t see me but calls for me in her “head.” That got my attention because she almost never tells me anything about what she thinks. I would love to know more.

It was also a time when she seemed rather clear-headed. She used my name and referred to our marriage. She went on to express her appreciation for the way I look after her and said, “You know I could not live without you.” The way she said it was not like a routine statement of appreciation, but something much deeper. It was just one of any number of other things that let me know how aware she is of her situation and our relationship. It is also a powerful motivator for me to provide her with the best care that I can.

Yesterday morning she was not so clear-headed. She didn’t know where she was or who I was. She was concerned though not seriously disturbed. I asked if she were ready to get up. She said, “I don’t know.” I told her there had been other times when she was confused in the morning and that it helped to get up. She asked how she could do it. I told her I could help and gave her instructions. As usual, I held her hand as we walked to the bathroom, and she said, “I don’t know who you are, but I like you.” Five or six years ago, I would have been sad. At this point, I feel encouraged that she still retains her feelings for me. May it always be.