I should preface this post by saying that I don’t want my readers to think our lives are all smooth sailing. They are not. We experience many of the same or similar challenges that are common among people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. I wish Kate had never received her diagnosis, but she did. From the beginning we wanted to make the most of a bad situation, and we have.
During the past ten years, our lives have become smaller in that we can’t do as many things as we used to. The surprising thing to me is that we continue to enjoy life and each other, and some moments, even days, are very special. I reported on one of those in my previous post. Since then, except for a few moments, we’ve had a series of good days. That was capped off by a very nice Easter.
Kate is usually asleep when her caregivers arrive at 11:00. Yesterday, she would have been late for a sunrise service, but she was awake before 9:00. Like other mornings recently, she smiled when I went into the room. In fact, that has become the norm sometime in the past few months. She displayed no sign of confusion or fright. I’m not sure she knew my name, but it was clear that she recognized me. Except for my knowing she is confined to bed without our help, she seemed as normal as she was before Alzheimer’s entered our lives.
Because she was up early, I was able to take care of a few things that we usually do after the caregiver arrives. That included getting her meds, yogurt, and juice. After that she wanted to rest a while. Once the caregiver was here, I cooked her breakfast. We gave her a little break and then changed her and got her out of bed and into her wheelchair.
Kate and her caregiver watched an Andre Rieu concert on YouTube while I went to lunch at Andriana’s, something I have been doing almost every Sunday for the past few months. It’s different going without Kate, but I enjoy the whole experience. I always get one of two of my favorite salads with blackened salmon. We’ve eaten there on Sundays for years. We know the servers and they know us. In addition to our regular server who is very attentive, several others always stop by the table to say hello and check on Kate. Yesterday, one of them was especially excited to tell me that she is in her thirteenth week of her first pregnancy, and she’s going to have a boy. The manager brought my salad, and we chatted briefly. Since I’ve been going alone, I’ve also ordered a meal that Kate and I can split for dinner.
Yesterday was as near perfect a day as it gets. The temperature was in the low-to-mid-70s, and the dogwoods and azaleas in our back yard are in full bloom. When I got home, we took Kate outside on the patio.
Even in the mid-70s, it can get hot when seated in direct sunlight, but we sat in a shady spot that was just right. The first couple of times we took Kate outside, the caregiver and I clearly had a good time. We think Kate did as well, but she was not very demonstrative. The last two times she has enjoyed the change in scenery, and yesterday, she was enthusiastic. She loved looking at the new growth of leaves on the trees as well as colorful flowers. It was a pleasant experience for the three of us.
We went inside for dinner ninety minutes later. The dinner itself was also good. Kate always enjoys her food, and this time was no exception. Then we took her back to the bedroom and got her ready for bed. Kate was tired and rested while I listened to Tchaikovsky’s fourth and sixth symphonies on YouTube. Kate wasn’t talkative, but we both enjoyed the music and being together. It was a nice end to a very Happy Easter.