Multiple Signs of Decline

Kate continues to exhibit a variety of her symptoms. Without my giving an exhaustive account of each one, let me just list a few of them briefly.

1. The other night we had a good conversation in which we reflected on our marriage and some of the things we remember so fondly. The next morning when I said something about the conversation, she didn’t remember it at all.

2. After returning from her hairdressers the other day, Kate said that our daughter may know of her Alzheimer’s.  She has suspected this before, but feels more confident now.

3. This past weekend we went to Nashville to visit friends. She was quite stressed in getting ready for our trip. I told her the time we would leave . We left an hour and a half after that time.

The four of us went out to dinner with another couple whom we had not met before. We had a pretty active conversation throughout the evening, and it was hard for Kate to play an active role. She later told me that she felt very isolated. She mentioned that she could imagine her becoming quieter in social situations like this.

She also told me that she was hesitant in the conversation because she was afraid she was going to ask about something the other person had already told her.

I can’t recall another specific example, but she seems to have a harder time putting things together when we are with other people. She often doesn’t understand what people are talking about. The other day after seeing a movie she confessed that she couldn’t follow it.

My recognition that she knows exactly what is happening and is stressed by it dominates a lot of my thinking. I think this is because so many people believe that  person with dementia doesn’t understand that she has the disease.

Apart from the experiences with Kate, I had a frustrating day with Dad as I tried to teach him to use my old iPhone. He just couldn’t get it. Then tonight Kate couldn’t understand the movie. This is not the first time I have seen parallels in their situations.

Experiencing the Consequences of Fregetfulness

I continue to feel that Kate has been feeling the pain of losing her memory. A week ago today she had a PEO meeting. I am trying to drive Kate to places that might be confusing for her. That morning I got the address and wrote out directions from our house to the home of the woman hosting the meeting. I had a meeting that morning while she would be en route; so I told her I would stay in touch with my phone for any messages. When I didn’t hear from her, I thought everything was all right.

When we spoke on the phone later that afternoon, I asked if the directions had worked. She indicated that she didn’t want to talk about it. That evening she told me that the meeting had been changed to another member’s house. She had received an email the week before letting her know of the change but had forgotten. When I asked about her getting there, she told me that she hadn’t made it. I asked what happened, and she said she didn’t want to talk about it. I honored that request; so I still know only that she didn’t make it to the meeting and assumed that she was unable to find it. It is also quite possible that she got to the original place and then couldn’t reach anyone to tell her where the meeting was.

There are other examples of her forgetfulness, but I can’t remember them at the moment. Suffice it to say that she continues to be frustrated by her inability to remember things.

More of My Own Frustration

Yesterday I had another of those experiences in which I got frustrated with Kate. We planned to go to a movie at 5:30 yesterday afternoon. For that reason I got out to see Dad a little on the earlier side and left Kate at my office where she was working on her photo albums. I let her know that I would come back to pick her up at 5:10 so that we could make the 5:30 movie. Knowing that she doesn’t remember time very well, I called her when I was close to the office and told her where I was so that she could be ready. She asked me to call her again when I got closer which I didn’t do because I was already practically there. When I arrived (5:09), I called her from the car to let her know I was there. She said she would close up her computer and be right out. It’s not that she took a long time, but it does take a few minutes for the computer to shut down and then for her to get her things together. When she got in the car, I said something about her not being ready and then said what I wish I could take back, “You’re hopeless.” Now I am suffering guilt for not being more understanding.

Recently I have become more aware of her loss of short-term memory. Two or three times in the past few months, she has completely forgotten something we had talked about the night before. I don’t simply mean she had forgotten the facts or details; she didn’t even recall our having a conversation.

She continues to misplace her phone, keys, glasses, etc. I would like to get her an iPad because she has had such problems with her computer; however, I am concerned that she will leave it some place.