Although Kate sometimes speaks harshly to me, it is far from an everyday occurrence. She has remained gentle and kind-hearted. Not only that, but she has rarely said anything in public that someone else might take as rude or inappropriate though on a couple of occasions, she has said something to me that surprised the people we were with. Recently, she spoke harshly to the woman who was shampooing her hair. This wasn’t anything serious. She was just frightened by the splashing water. I don’t think the hair dresser thought a thing about it.
A few nights ago at a restaurant, we had a different kind of experience. We had had a nice day. She had been in a good humor, and we had enjoyed our time together at lunch and at home where we toured the house, looked at some of her photo books, and listened to music. She had been resting when I told her I thought it was time for us to go to dinner. She got up easily and wanted to go to the bathroom. As we were about to leave, she looked like she was troubled though she was quiet in the car.
She was very uneasy walking from the car to the restaurant. This is something that is becoming common. Her vision fools her into thinking the pavement is much more uneven than it is, and she is quite afraid of falling. Once we got to the table nothing seemed right to her. She thought it was taking a long time to get our drinks and place our order though it hadn’t.
She was confused and not especially interested in anything she was served. I tried to find something she would like but wasn’t successful. Our server was someone who has served us a long time, but Kate responded as though she had never met her. She wasn’t rude, but she didn’t express any special pleasure in seeing her. That was a surprise. At one point, she was bothered by something in her teeth. The server asked her about it, and she opened her mouth to show her much the way a small child would do. The server asked me if they were her real teeth. Before I could answer, Kate said she had one tooth that wasn’t hers. I was stunned. It was one she got long before I knew her. We’ve replaced it one time, but that was probably twenty or more years ago. I haven’t heard her say anything about since that time, and I had almost forgotten. How in the world she remembered I’ll never know.
I wish I could remember all of the things that happened. I know it was very clear to the server that she was not the same Kate she had seen before..
Her mood didn’t change as we walked to the car. When I opened the car door for her, I started to take off her mask as I usually do. She was angry and snapped at me. I was surprised. She is always eager to take it off and often does so herself before we get to the car. I apologized. After getting in the car she was fine. She did, however, wear the mask all the way home and didn’t take it off until we were in the house. What brought on the episode at the restaurant and why she changed so quickly once in the car remains a mystery.
I haven’t observed anything like it since then although I have noticed an increase in her uneasiness walking to and from the car. That is especially true when going to a restaurant or to her hair dressers. I am sure the same would be true for other places if we were going other places. I think this is largely a result of her poor eyesight. On the other hand, I notice she is more distirbed or frightened by things she hadn’t expected. Noise is one of those. She seems to feel less and less comfortable in a world that seems stranger and stranger to her.