A Rough Start, But a Nice Day

Yesterday, as I was preparing for my morning walk (inside our apartment), I noticed that Kate was awake. She looked disturbed. It was easy to tell that it was one of those moments when she didn’t know where she was, who she was, who I was, etc. Her mind was an apparent blank. Although she didn’t recognize me, she didn’t appear to be afraid of me, only frightened by not knowing anything. This is something that used to occur occasionally before the pandemic. It seems to be making a unfortunate comeback.

I asked if she could tell me what was wrong. She said, “I don’t know.” I told her she had been sick and that sometimes caused memory problems. She said, “What’s my name?” I told her and then gave her my name and relationship along my usual recitation of our lives from college to having children. Sometimes she comes out of this fog rather quickly, but she didn’t this time. I turned on some relaxing music. Then I got her morning meds and gave it to her with some yogurt. I also made her a smoothie with cranberry juice, blueberries, and prunes, my latest effort to prevent constipation. I followed that with mandarin oranges. Her anxiety lessened, but she was still not cheerful. She looked a little tired, so I let her rest while I took my walk.

When I finished, she was very cheerful and talking to “someone.” That was the beginning of a day of talking and delusions that was only interrupted by an appointment with a podiatrist just before at 1:45. Knowing that the caregiver would have less time than usual to get her ready, I decided to fix her lunch. That was a good thing because Adrienne didn’t have to rush her while getting her dressed.

She remained in a good mood, but Adrienne and I were both a bit apprehensive about how she would respond to having her toenails cut. It had been too long, and Kate had protested vehemently the last time we tried. For that reason, I gave her half a tablet of Seroquel 25 mg. Normally, it takes effect with 15-20 minutes, but we couldn’t tell that it worked at all.

When we told Kate we were going out, she didn’t want to go. With a little coaxing, she agreed; however, her protest about leaving and the fact that the sedative didn’t appear to have worked added to my anxiety. Fortunately, the podiatrist’s “office” is only a short walk down the hallway. This is another benefit of moving from our home. We won’t trim her toenails again.

The podiatrist works primarily with seniors and visits a lot of local senior facilities in our area. Thus, she is experienced with the challenges she can face. Kate was quite comfortable with her. Her only protests came when the doctor lifted her feet to put them on a foot stool. She also screamed a few times during the trimming process, but she didn’t put up a fight.

After this successful experience, it seemed natural to stop for ice cream at the café we passed on our way to see the doctor. While Kate was enjoying the treat, two different people we have known from our church stopped at our table. We talked for about 30 minutes. When they left, we asked Kate if she were ready to go “home.” She said she wasn’t. We stayed another 30 minutes. During that time we asked several times if she were ready. Finally, we decided it was time and left. She didn’t protest at all. I’m glad she finds the café a relaxing place to spend some time. Adrienne and I feel the same way. It’s just nice to get out of the apartment.

We had more than an hour before dinner, so we spent that time on the balcony of our apartment. It was especially nice out as the temperature was much lower than usual.

Kate’s talkativeness had subsided until we got home. She began to talk again and didn’t stop until Adrienne left about 7:45. She even talked between bites at dinner. Once in bed, however, she relaxed and slept for about an hour. We watched a Peter, Paul and Mary concert on YouTube and then retired for the night. She was tired after a full day and was asleep in no time.

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