We’re off to a good start today. I woke up at 5:15 and thought about getting up since that isn’t too far off from 5:30 which I consider a good time for me. I checked the weather and discovered that it was raining, so I got back into bed. I woke again around 6:00. This time I just decided to stay there. The next thing I knew it was 7:00, so I finally got up.
Kate got to sleep easily last night after having slept late yesterday morning and taking a long nap in the afternoon. She was up at a typical time for her around 9:30. We are now at Panera where the crowd is slim this morning. I think a lot of people are out of town or were in earlier Kate is in a good mood, and we’re ready for a nice day.
As we started to get out of the car, she said, “What is your real name?” I said, “You mean my last name?” She said, “The one your parents gave you.” I told her, and she said, “I’ll bet that was your father’s name too.” It was.
I find myself analyzing Kate’s behavior in light of the book I finished reading yesterday, The Dementia Handbook. In this case, I could look on this incident with sadness. It is truly sad that she is forgetting my name. On the other hand, I have somehow been able to take pleasure in the things that she can do. I believe this one of the things that Cornish was trying to communicate in her book. There are many losses of “rational thought” for people with dementia, so we as caregivers need to focus on the many aspects of intuitive thought that our loved one’s still possess.
Interestingly (to me anyway), in the middle of the paragraph above Kate looked at me. I must have had a very serious, intent look on my face. She started to mimic my expression, and I laughed. She chuckled as well. Then I said, “You know, I think we were meant for each other.” She said, “If I could only remember your name.” Then I said, “Could I be serious a minute.” She nodded. I said, “Do you really remember my name right now.” She said, “If you tell me.” I did, and she said, “That’s what I thought.” It’s clear that she really is forgetting my name. It’s equally clear that she remembers me. I am glad that she can be so open about forgetting and that she can add a touch of humor to it. As I’ve said many times, my mood is heavily influenced by how she is getting along. When she’s happy, I’m happy. I’m looking forward to the day.
That takes me back Cornish’s thoughts about the retention of intuitive thought by people with dementia. Kate’s ability to correctly interpret and tease me about my serious facial expression indicates that her intuitive ability to read and respond to emotions is alive and well.