Yesterday morning was a time of significant confusion for Kate. It was similar to several other moments when her memory seemed to be completely blank. She was concerned but showed no signs of the panic she has had in similar situations. I was in the kitchen when I heard her call my name over the video cam. Yes, she did remember my name. This was one of those times the camera paid off. Kate called to me in a somewhat soft tone of voice, nothing like a shout or scream. The microphone is very sensitive. I heard her immediately and went to her.
At first, I didn’t sense the degree of her confusion. As she does so often, she asked me where we were. I told her we were in Knoxville. She looked puzzled. She asked why. I explained that we live here and that “this is our house.” Then I said, “You look like you are a little confused. What could I do to help you?” That opened the door to an hour-long conversation during which she asked questions (often the same ones over and over) and I gave her the answers. We talked about her parents, my parents, and our children and grandchildren. The topics also included how we had met, places we had lived, her work and mine, and other special things we have done.
Several times, I asked if she might like to get up. She declined saying, “I would rather hear you tell me about my family.” The last time I asked, she agreed it was time to get up. She took a shower and got back in bed for another hour. When I got her up for lunch she was fine.
I don’t know how confused or clearheaded she was about our relationship. I only know that she called my name when she wanted me. She was in a pleasant mood throughout the episode and for the balance of the day. This is another good example of the transition she can make extreme confusion to a more normal state. It seems clear to me that when she wakes up most of her connections to the world around her are dormant. As she receives the information I give her and as she directly experiences more of her everyday life, she feels more at ease.
That doesn’t mean she knows where she is or the people around her. Increasingly, she thinks we are staying in some other place than our home. That was true when we got home last night. In the car she asked where we would be staying. I told her we would be in our very own home. She asked if it was very far. When we drove up to the house, I said, “This is where we will be staying.” She admired everything she saw and never realized we were at home, but she was happy.