Happy Days

It’s been five weeks since the 13th anniversary of Kate’s diagnosis, and I haven’t had anything but good news to report. I’m happy to say that she continues to surprise me with her “Happy Moments.” They have been more frequent in the past two weeks. That is especially true when she and I are alone or with the caregiver, but she has also shared her cheerfulness with residents and staff.

I’ve been taking more videos because she has been talking more. Despite her aphasia, she appears to be communicating appropriately. I also continue to jot down things she says that are clearly understood. Here are a few of those from the past couple of weeks.

While having ice cream on Saturday afternoon, I said, “I didn’t have lunch today.” She said, “Why?” At Dinner that night, the caregiver said, “I had a cough.” Kate said, “What did you say?”

At dinner last Thursday, I said, “You’re entertaining us tonight.” She said, “That’s great!” As we neared the end of dinner, I said to the caregiver, “She really cleaned her plate.” Kate immediately said, “Yes!” A little later, she and the caregiver were waiting for me at the elevator. Kate said to her, “What are we going to do now?” Later in our apartment, I said, “You make me happy.” She said, “Yes, I know.”

Earlier this month, the Seekers were on YouTube singing “I’ll Never Find Another You.” I turned to Kate and said, “I’ll never find another Kate.” She said, “That’s wonderful.” These words may seem trivial to some people, but they don’t occur often; therefore, they are very special to me.

Kate has been saying things like this more often than in the past couple of years. Perhaps, the brain itself is repairing the damage from her stroke on February 7, 2022. Whatever the reason, I enjoy every word she speaks even when I can’t understand them. I just love hearing her voice.



The Happy Moments Continue

For the record, I would like to report that Kate’s “Happy Moments” have continued throughout the week since this post was written. As always, I want to emphasize that this doesn’t mean that they occur all day every day. She is usually in what I call her “neutral mood” in the morning. She tends to perk up in the afternoon, but this past week, she was unusually cheerful several mornings .

I am not naïve. I know that these good times will pass, but I have no idea when. It could be tomorrow or much later. In the meantime, I celebrate every “Happy Moment” she has.

A Happy Valentine’s Day

It’s been years since Kate has been able to anticipate future events or holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, birthdays, or anniversaries. So I would never expect her to show any recognition of a holiday like Valentine’s Day, but she does have frequent “Happy Moments.” We shared two of those on Valentine’s Day.

The first occurred when I came home after lunch. As I do every time I’ve been out, I opened the door and said, “Hello, I’m home. I’m looking for Kate. Where is Kate?” As usual, she was in her wheelchair with her back to the front door. As I walked toward her, I could see her profile. She began to smile. I continued to walk closer and repeated “Where is Kate?” and finally said, “There she is! I’m so glad to see you.” I got down on my knees so that I could look directly at her and said, “I missed you while I was gone.” She beamed and started to laugh.

She was in a cheerful mood, and the two of us talked for almost an hour. I couldn’t understand most of what she said, but it is always a thrill when we have conversations like that.

This doesn’t happen every time I come home, but it does occur occasionally. It seemed to be more meaningful on Valentine’s Day and certainly more touching than any card or other gift she might have given me.

That was topped off by a romantic evening. After the caregiver was gone, and I had my shower, I got in bed with her. She was very relaxed but still talkative. We spent the rest of the evening listening to music and talking about our lives together. I reminded her about our first date and those that followed. That led to talking about our engagement, marriage, having children, and our travels. Again, I could not understand most of her words, but she appeared to be giving appropriate responses to everything I said.

It was a wonderful way for us to celebrate Valentine’s Day. At the time of her diagnosis thirteen years ago, I could not have imagined our having such moments this late in her Alzheimer’s. We are very fortunate, and I am grateful.

More Good Things

Wednesday morning, the caregiver who is with us Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday brought me more good news. She is now free on Tuesday and asked the agency to assign her to us for that day. She still needs to leave a couple of hours early on Wednesdays, but this brings closure to the most challenging period of stress I have experienced during the entire six and a half years we have had care at home for Kate. I am very happy. Not only do I have one person to handle Kate’s care for our weekdays, but she is the caregiver I have liked most since we first started home care in 2017.

That’s not all. Kate has had an unusually good week, and Friday was her best day since before she was hospitalized with Covid in November 2020. She was awake early and talkative off and on throughout the day. She was also responsive to residents who stopped to speak to her at the café downstairs while she was having her ice cream that afternoon.

For me, the highlights of the day were our times together that morning and that evening. I spent a large portion of the morning with her before the caregiver arrived at 11:00. She was cheerful and talkative. We had a good time. Our evening was a repeat of the evening I reported on in my previous post so I won’t elaborate. Moments like these are precious. I know we are very fortunate to have such experiences this late in her Alzheimer’s and wish that were true for every family “Living with Alzheimer’s.”