Kate continues to have many “Happy Moments.” There is a general pattern to her days. She usually sleeps a good bit until 11:00 when the caregiver arrives. For the past six months or so, however, she has been waking up early (before 8:00 or 9:00). She doesn’t often remain awake. She doses off and on and rarely speaks before the afternoon.
Her best part of the day comes after 2:00. Sometimes it doesn’t start until we have ice cream at 3:30 or during dinner. Our evenings after the caregiver leaves are usually good “together times” for us although she is sometimes tired and goes to sleep early.
The one thing I can count on is that she never seems to have what I would call a bad day. She does, however, have days when she doesn’t display much cheerfulness. They are usually days when she is tired, and they typically come after a day when she has been awake a lot and very cheerful. Friday was one of her cheerful days. It started in the morning and continued most of the day and evening before going to sleep.
She was awake around 8:45 that day and was more alert than usual. She greeted me with a big smile and responded audibly to me. A few of her words were understandable. When moments like these occur, I usually drop whatever I am doing and get in bed beside her, and that’s what I did this time.
The night before I had received a text from the facilitator of a support group in which I participate twice a month. He reminded me of yesterday’s meeting at 9:30. I told him I would attend via Zoom. When I saw that Kate was in such a good mood, I sent him a text indicating I wouldn’t be there.
That was a wise decision. It got the day off to a very good start. Except for a short time during which I got her meds, something to drink, and fixed some homemade applesauce for her (my morning routine for her), we just enjoyed being together. She was very talkative for the first hour. Then she began to relax. About 30-40 minutes before the caregiver arrived, she went back to sleep, but we had had a grand morning.
I went downstairs to lunch while the caregiver fed Kate. I returned for a few minutes after lunch and found that her cheerfulness had vanished. I left to have coffee with a longtime friend, a Friday ritual of mine. When I returned, she heard me when I opened the door and began to smile. I discovered that her cheerfulness had returned as well. The caregiver told me that she talked with a number of residents and staff when they went for ice cream.
She continued to be cheerful and talkative during dinner and afterward. As we were leaving the dining room, several residents talked to her, and she smiled and responded audibly as well.
After getting her to bed and the caregiver left, we enjoyed our time together until we called it a night. It had been an exceptional day. Who would have guessed we might experience this kind of day so late in her Alzheimer’s? Not I, but I am enjoying “Happy Moments” like these to the fullest.