All’s Well That Ends Well

Morning confusion isn’t something new for Kate. She isn’t usually frightened by it, but that happened earlier this week. She was sleeping soundly at 11:00 when I went in to wake her. The look on her face is always the first sign of how she is feeling. She often smiles. Sometimes, she is quite cheerful. Sometimes, I see the look of confusion. This time, I sensed fright and said, “You look scared. Are you?” She nodded.

I launched into what has become a common routine. I try to be reassuring and say, “I can help you. You and I met at TCU and have been together ever since.” She looked doubtful that I could do anything for her. I went on to tell her that I knew a lot about her and her family. Then she said something that I’ve never heard her say before and can’t remember her exact words. She conveyed that she wasn’t able to think of anything, something that fits what I have perceived before as her mind’s being a “complete blank” though she had never been able to articulate it.

When I repeated that I would like to help her, she said, “What can I do?” I told her it would probably help if she could get up and get dressed. I went on to say that I thought she would feel better after she got up. She surprised me when she said, “You’re probably right.” I was encouraged by that, but when I asked her to give me her hand to help her, she said she couldn’t do it.

I sat down on the side of the bed and talked with her a few minutes and tried again. She wasn’t ready. I gave her a little more time but continued to sit with her. When I tried again, she was cooperative. She was very uneasy as we walked to the bathroom and had the normal confusion about what to do once we were there. As we completed each step, she seemed to be more at ease. By the time we walked into the family room on the way to the kitchen, she seemed fine. We stopped a few minutes for her to enjoy the flowers and plants and to rearrange a few things on one of the tables.

Breakfast went well. She enjoyed her food, and the music I was playing. When she finished eating, I asked if she would like for us to spend some time together in the family room. She wanted to stay at the kitchen table. I don’t think I have commented on this before, but she seems very comfortable sitting there. One of the sitters told me that once she wanted to remain there after lunch, and they stayed there for a couple of hours.

That evening she was fine when she got in bed. Two hours later when I was about to get in bed, she had that look of fright on her face and asked who I was. She wasn’t reassured after my telling her. Then I thought of The Velveteen Rabbit. She wasn’t particularly interested, but I read it anyway. Midway through the book, she was making her audible responses to the passages I read. She was fine when I finished. I said, “I love you,” and she said, “I love you, too.” Another rough edge smoothed out.

Sleep and Rest

Long ago I learned that people with dementia reach a point at which they sleep more. I’ve been mindful that would happen, but I wasn’t prepared for the way that is happening with Kate. I just thought she would simply start going to bed earlier and getting up later.

I’ve not been able to identify a consistent pattern for her. Until two years ago, she went to bed between 8:00 and 9:00 and got up early enough for us to get to Panera for a blueberry muffin between 9:00 and 10:00. In addition, she would rest a while after lunch. That would give us time to spend an hour or more at the café at Barnes & Noble before going to dinner.

When she started sleeping as late as 11:00 or 11:30, we stopped going to Panera. It was time for lunch. Along with that, our afternoons changed. She wanted to rest immediately after lunch. That would last as long as two or three hours which took up most of the afternoon. That put an end to our visits to Barnes & Noble.

This pattern changed with the arrival of COVID-19. Kate was losing her ability to work jigsaw puzzles on her iPad long before then, but she lost it completely after we began sheltering. That was her last self-initiated activity and had a significant impact on her sleep and rest. As recently as a year ago, she could easily spend 6-8 hours a day working her puzzles. That lessened during the day because she was either sleeping or resting, but she continued to work on her iPad for an hour or more each night. That meant she got to bed between 8:00 and 9:00.

Without her puzzles, she had nothing to do after dinner. I tried to interest her in looking at her family photo books, but she really needs someone to identify all the people. That was a time when I would try to catch a little of the evening news and get my shower. The result was her going to bed shortly after dinner. Since we have started eating out some evenings, that means she gets to bed around 7:30 although she is rarely asleep when I get in bed.

Several times a few months ago, she refused to get up when I tried to wake her. Before that, she wasn’t always eager to get up, but she never refused. Since that first time, there have been several other times like that. One day she remained in bed until 5:15 in the afternoon. Then she began to wake up early on a few mornings. I am now used to her getting up early almost once a week, sometimes twice.

Until recently, she has always gotten up rather quickly in the afternoon. The exceptions occurred in the last week or ten days. The first time happened when I wanted her to get up for dinner. After a couple of efforts within 15-20 minutes, I let her rest another hour. Then she got up agreeably.

Thursday afternoon last week we had hair appointments at 3:30. She was resting, not asleep, when the sitter arrived for me to meet a friend for coffee. I returned just a few minutes before we needed to leave. She was still resting. I told her it was time for our hair appointments and fully expected her to get up easily. I was wrong. She was just like she has been in the morning. She was very relaxed but also very firm in saying she wasn’t going. I called the stylist and told her I was having trouble getting Kate up and that I might have to cancel. I gave her another ten minutes and tried again. I could see it was no use and rescheduled our appointments.

I stayed in the family room with her while she rested. An hour later she was ready to get up. She was in a good humor. I feel sure she didn’t even remember that I had tried to get her up earlier. It wasn’t long before we left for dinner at Casa Bella and had a good evening. It was as though nothing had happened at all. We both felt good.

Saturday morning she was up very early. I had just gotten up and walked into the bathroom when I heard her moving. She had gotten out of bed. I helped her to the bathroom and took advantage of the early morning and confusion to give her a shower. When we finished, I helped her dress. She wanted to lie down on the bed. Because it was so early, I was happy to tell her that would be all right. That gave me time to comb my hair, shave, and dress. She remained in bed until time for lunch.

Sunday morning, she was up before 9:00. She was unusually cheerful at breakfast. Afterwards, we spent about forty-five minutes looking at one of her family photo books. It didn’t surprise me when she got tired and rested over an hour before lunch.

She awoke early again this morning, about 7:30. I went to her and found that she seemed wide awake and in a good mood. When I told her it looked like she was ready to get up, she said, “I don’t know.” We talked a few minutes. I told her I would be happy to help her get up and dressed. She said she wanted to rest a little more. It’s my day for Rotary, and I like to have her ready for the sitter who comes at noon. We had plenty of time, so I let her continue to rest. I don’t plan to get her up until 11:00. If she wants to stay in bed, I’ll let the sitter handle it.

The only thing that’s clear is that Kate hasn’t settled into a consistent sleep pattern. I’m not sure whether the present irregularity is something that is long-lasting, or she will gravitate to something else. As Kate herself is prone to say, “We’ll see.”

Still Having Good Times

I hope I’ve made it clear that Kate and I face more issues to deal with than at any other time since her diagnosis. I am also happy to say what I have said before. We still enjoy life and each other. This past weekend is an excellent example.

Saturday morning she was slow to get up. That meant we didn’t get to have our regular lunch at Andriana’s. Ordinarily, that would not have been a problem. We would simply have had a late lunch; however, this time I wanted to attend a virtual memorial service for a church friend who died unexpectedly. It started at 2:00, and I knew we would be unable to get home in time.

As it turned out, Kate hadn’t quite finished her lunch when it started. I had expected to have finished eating and that she would rest while I watched the service. Instead we watched it together at the kitchen table. She had no idea who our friend was, nor was she able to follow everything that was said. That didn’t keep her from finding the service to be meaningful. She was especially moved by the music and prayers. Periodically, she reached her hand out to me. When she does this, I put one hand on top of hers. She puts her other hand on mine, and I top it off with my other hand.

I have often attended services for other church friends but haven’t been able to do so for a while because they have always conflicted with my responsibilities for Kate. Before that, I had been touched by memorial services because they made me think of a time when we would have one for her. Given that, it isn’t surprising that I found both the service and Kate’s response equally touching. It was a special time for the two of us.

Thirty minutes later, we had a Zoom call with our son Kevin. That, too, was special. Most of his calls are on the phone, and often Kate has been resting or in bed for the night. The result is that she isn’t up for a conversation. To be sure, a Zoom call is a little confusing for her. Her vision problem is part of the reason. She has a hard time seeing anyone on a Zoom call. In addition, is the fact that she can’t quite comprehend that she could be seeing someone on a call. It took a while at the beginning of the call to get her to look at the computer screen and see Kevin. Even after that, she drifted away from the screen.

The good thing is that we were able to talk comfortably. Some of the time, she and I talked to each other. I felt that was a good thing in that Kevin was able to catch a glimpse of the way we relate to each other. It was very much like it would have been if he were not on the line. It was an hour of pleasure for the two of us and, hopefully, for Kevin as well.

The rest of the afternoon and evening went well, and we have added something new to our evenings. I ‘ve been reading a bedtime story just before turning out the lights. I started with The Velveteen Rabbit, but that is a little long. I learned about Love You Forever from a Twitter friend. His wife is in memory care now and still likes it. It is much shorter, and I found that Kate likes it as well. It is short enough that I added I’ve Loved You Since Forever by Hoda Kotb who wrote it for her adopted daughter. Together the two books work out just right for a bedtime story. I plan to add a few more. It’s a nice way to end the day.

Sunday was also a good day. Kate was ready to get up at 8:30. That gave me enough time to get her breakfast, spend a little quality time with her, and let her rest before lunch. The highlight came while we were still at the kitchen table after breakfast. I’ve mentioned before that she often cleans up her plate, but I don’t believe I have said much more than that. She uses her index finger to pick up the final specks of food and put them in her mouth. There are always some things she doesn’t like. She puts those on the table or her placemat.

She did something different yesterday. She likes to arrange things and often changes the arrangement of items on her bedside table and dresser. Not too long ago I reported on her food art. That was when she spent time placing her napkin, utensils, glass, and food in various places on her plate and placement. Yesterday, she did something similar.

I made cheese toast for her using Dave’s “PowerSeed” bread. As the name suggests, it is loaded with seeds, and a lot inevitably fall on the plate or placemat. I noticed her carefully studying her plate. She was arranging the fallen seeds on her plate along with her fork and one remaining bite of cheese toast. I complimented her on her artistic eye as she continued to arrange and re-arrange. She enjoys things like this, and I enjoy seeing her entertain herself. This and other simple pleasures provide us with plenty of good times.

A Restaurant Experience The Other Night

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.

An Experience I Couldn’t Handle

This morning I ran into a problem with Kate that had me stymied. She had just sat up after a short rest. I sat down beside her with the intent of looking at one of her photo books. It turned out that she believed she had to be someplace about that time. She said she was supposed to meet a group of women at her house. I didn’t think much of it because I am usually able to distract her so that she forgets whatever she has imagined.

This time was different. She thought she was running late and had promised “people” she would be there. Knowing that she didn’t have any obligations, I told her I didn’t think her meeting was today but tomorrow. If she accepted that, I was confident the whole issue would have been forgotten; however, she was sure that she was right. It was about time for lunch, so I suggested we order a takeout lunch and then I would take her to her house. She was fine with that and off we went.

On the way, she forgot that we were going to pick up our lunch. She became increasingly worried about being late. I assured her we would go directly to her home after getting our lunch. When we arrived, she didn’t recognize our house as hers. I mentioned that she might be thinking of her house in Fort Worth. She was adamant that I was wrong. I said, “I do remember that you have a meeting tomorrow, but I didn’t know about the one today.” She remained sure that it was today.

I told her we had lived in the present house for twenty-three years but that we had lived in two other houses in Knoxville before that and suggested she might be thinking of one of those. I added that other people were living in both of those.

She was almost in tears as we ate our lunch. She told me that she didn’t know what to do. I told her I wanted to help her but was in the same boat. I didn’t know what to do. Then she surprised me by saying, “It’s not your fault. You are trying to help me.”

Again, she asked if I would take her home. It was only thirty minutes before the sitter was to come, and I hesitated leaving but told her I would take her. I drove her by each of our previous homes. Fortunately, one was just around the corner and the other only two miles away. She didn’t recognize either one as her home.

She began to calm down as we drove. By the time we returned home, she was fine. The sitter arrived shortly thereafter. When we saw her, I said, “Look who’s here. It’s Mary.” Kate beamed and greeted her. They began chatting, and I got my things together and went to my office. She had suffered for almost two hours, but the crisis was over. I think the only thing I did that was helpful was to convey my desire to help her. None of my specific efforts to solve her problem was successful.

Feeling Needy and Appreciative

I am sure I am not alone among caregivers in wondering how Kate perceives her own situation. I make my own interpretations based on what she says and does, but I would really like to know what she thinks and knows. One thing I do know is that she recognizes that something is wrong with her, and it often bothers her. As on other occasions, she made that very clear yesterday.

It was a day when she appeared unusually needy. All day long, she seemed to want to be with me, holding my hand and asking me what she should do about everything. It is not unusual for her to be dependent. It was simply a day of her feeling especially needy. Except for being uneasy when walking, she didn’t appear to be particularly disturbed. Even when I left her with the sitter, she seemed to accept my departure although she was disappointed and said, “Don’t stay too long.”

At dinner, she expressed her appreciation of my care for her. We were holding hands across the table. She said, “I can’t live without you.” With a concerned look on her face, she said, “I don’t know how I would get along if something happened to you.” It was a moment when I believe our thoughts were in sync. It was one of our tender moments when we convey as much or more to each other through our non-verbal expressions as the words themselves. That isn’t everything I would like to know from her, but it is very powerful. It reinforces my commitment to give her the best care I can.

An Active Day With a Few Surprises

Kate continues to bounce from “knowing” me to “not knowing” me. Saturday she got up late. She didn’t know me and was suspicious of me. Sunday she recognized me immediately as her husband. Yesterday she was awake early (about 7:00) and didn’t recognize me. This time, however, she seemed perfectly comfortable with me as though we were very well-acquainted.

She asked my name several times including once at breakfast. Then she asked if I were married. Before answering, I asked if she were married. She said she wasn’t. I said, “I’m not either.” I asked if she wanted to be married. She shrugged and said, “Maybe sometime.”

After breakfast, we went to the family room where I planned for us to look at one of her family photo books, but she was tired and rested for close to an hour. Then she asked what she could do. I suggested that we look at one of her photo books. She responded very differently. She seemed a little uncertain about me and expressed hardly any interest in the photo book. We completed it, but she was never engaged. It seemed like she was irritated with me, but I couldn’t think of anything I might have done to cause it. I suspect her brain had made some critical changes while she rested. She didn’t want to look at anything else and wanted to rest again. I took her to her recliner where she rested again.

I’ve served on only one church committee during the past 3-4 years. It’s the one that calls members on their birthdays. While she rested, I made my birthday calls.  When I finished, she gave me a big smile and said, “You did that well.” She was in a completely different mood.

The sitter came at noon. She and Kate were just about to eat lunch when I left for Rotary. Kate was happy and didn’t show the slightest concern about my leaving.

When I returned about 3:45, I saw the two of them standing in the family room near the door to the kitchen where Kate appeared to be looking at her ceramic cat. I quickly discovered she was rather hyper though not agitated. The sitter said she had been walking all around the house and had been doing so for quite a while before I arrived.

This has happened a couple of times before when I have been with her. She walks around looking at everything with great interest. I continued to walk with her after the sitter left. I gave her my typical commentary. We spent at least another forty-five minutes looking around the entire house before taking a seat in the family room. She wasn’t tired, and we looked at her “Big Sister” album. Nothing seemed to ring a bell with her, but she was quite interested. We spent another thirty minutes with it before going to dinner.

We went to a nearby Mexican restaurant. On the way and during the meal, she spent a lot of time thanking me for taking care of her. She was sincere, but the way she expressed her appreciation was consistent with the hyper behavior that began while the sitter was with her.

She did something else that she has done a couple of other times at restaurants including this one. She wanted me to take pictures. First, she wanted our server to take our picture. Later in the meal, she asked me to take a picture of her. She asked me to wait while she got ready and began to create a little “food art” with her meal. This was very much like something she had done at home recently.

She began by taking some of the food off her plate and carefully placing it on the table. She also moved her sunglasses, napkin, and drink to places she thought were aesthetically pleasing. When I thought she was through, she took almost all of the food and placed it back on her plate. As we left, she wanted one more picture of herself.

When we got home, I played the other half of Sound of Music that we had started a couple of nights ago. Although she was in bed, she was more engaged than I have seen her in a long time.

She was still awake when I got in bed. I moved close to her as I always do. I quickly found that she didn’t recognize me. She told me her husband would be home soon and asked me to move away from her. Despite that, she seemed rather comfortable with my being there, just not that close. Not a typical way to end our day.

“Knowing” and “Not Knowing” Me Experiences

I’ve found caregivers as well as friends attribute a special significance to those moments when our loved ones fail to remember us. The first time it occurs is especially noteworthy. I remember the first time my mom told me she didn’t have any family. I said, “What about your sons?” She said, “I don’t have any sons.” Looking back it may have been my first wake-up call as to how far along her dementia had progressed.

Surprisingly, I don’t recall exactly when I experienced that same moment with Kate. I know it was two or three years ago. I do recall that it was also a moment that signaled a new stage in the progression of her Alzheimer’s. There was certainly a touch of sadness, but not as much as one might guess. It was something I knew to expect. I just didn’t know exactly when it would happen. I also knew that because she didn’t know me at that time didn’t mean she wouldn’t know me at other times.

Since that moment, there has been a lot of variability in her knowing my name and our relationship. Sometimes she does; sometimes she doesn’t. I don’t test her, but I can often tell when she doesn’t. During the past year or so, she hasn’t known me by name or relationship most of the time. That is different now. It is not unusual for her to call me by name, but it usually occurs spontaneously, especially when she needs something. When she is talking to one of our sitters or the woman who cuts her hair, she often refers to me as “My Boy” or “My Guy” as well as “My Husband.” Sometimes she doesn’t recognize me, and asks me where I am using those same expressions.

As I have noted many times before, she almost always recognizes me as someone who is familiar to her and whom she trusts. That has been changing during the past few weeks or months. Yesterday was one of those days. Between 11:00 and 2:30 when I was finally able to get her out of bed, she didn’t know me at all. I believe that is why it took me so long to get her up. She didn’t recognize my face or my name. She didn’t look frightened, but she was suspicious of me. I should add that she didn’t know her own name. That, too, is very common. There is no way to be sure, but I think that most of the times when she doesn’t know my name she doesn’t know her own as well. It’s as though a switch has turned off in her brain and blocked all the signals for the people she has known best. That includes all of her family members including her parents.

After getting her up, she was perfectly comfortable letting me help her with toileting, showering, and getting dressed. Once out of the shower, she seemed to be less confused although tired. I got her dressed. Then she wanted to lie down on the bed. She rested about ten minutes. The rest of the day went well. I don’t know if she knew her name, or mine, or our relationship, but she responded to me as though she did.

When I got in bed last night, she said, “Who are you?” I gave her my name. She didn’t recognize it. Then she said, “Who am I?” I told her and said that we had met in college and been together since then. She didn’t challenge me. I said, “I’ve always liked you. In fact, I love you.” She held my hand and said, “Me, too.” I doubt that she knew my name or our relationship, but it was a nice way to end the day.

Addendum at 2:00 p.m.

Follow up to my earlier post

I heard Kate say, “Hey” just before 11:00 this morning. When I got to her bedside, she was about to sit up. I said, “I’m glad to see you, and I love that smile. You are very special to me.” She said, “I guess that’s how we’ve stayed married so long.”

I was surprised as this is a time when she is most likely to be confused and not remember me. Even on mornings when she responds to me as though she knows me, I don’t recall her ever saying something that so clearly indicates she knows our relationship. It was a very pleasant surprise. It was also a good indication of how she would feel getting ready for as well as going to and from lunch. She closed her eyes on the way home and is now resting on the sofa.

The Sleep Issue Continues.

Yesterday was almost a rerun of Saturday though this time I was more successful in getting Kate up. There was another difference. On Saturday, she seemed to be all right. Yesterday she was disturbed and unable or unwilling to help me understand what was bothering her.

Around 11:00, I put on a Julie Andrews album of music from Broadway.  That didn’t have any impact although I may not have given it as much time as I should have, less than fifteen minutes. The end result was that she didn’t want to get up. Because she was disturbed, I shifted gears and brought in The Velveteen Rabbit. That calmed her, but she went back to sleep before I finished.

In the meantime, I received a call from the agency that provides our sitters. The sitter was running late. That meant I would be late to my Rotary meeting. I thought about cancelling but decided to be late to the meeting. The minute I hung up I felt that I made the wrong decision and called them back. Given Kate’s situation, I thought it would be better if I skipped the meeting altogether and see if I might get her up a little later.

I ordered lunch to be delivered by Panera. I let Kate rest while I ate lunch. Then I tried getting her up again about 12:30. She wasn’t interested. I decided she should at least have a little juice and one of her morning meds that has an uncomfortable side effect if it is skipped. She drank a little juice, but she refused her pill. She was quite angry. I knew then that getting her up was a lost cause for a while.

I returned to the bedroom about twenty minutes later with (you guessed it) The Velveteen Rabbit. I also took a couple of her photo books in case TVR let me down. She didn’t want me to read to her, but I told her I would like to read it myself (out loud, of course). She didn’t protest, but she closed her eyes and didn’t express any audible interest until after I was mid-way in the book. Then she began to make audible expressions that fit with what was happening in the story. That was a good sign. I forged ahead with some optimism.

She opened her eyes and kept them open through the end of the book. I said, “Thank you for letting me read that. It’s a nice story.” She nodded her agreement. I was developing some confidence, but I didn’t want to abruptly suggest she get up for lunch. I held back. Instead, I told her it was also nice to be able to share the story with her and went on to say that she was very special to me and how much I like our being together. I said, “I hope you feel the same way.” That enabled us to have a brief conversation about our feelings for each other. After a few minutes, I was able to get her up and dressed.

When we got to the family room, she stopped to look at some of the poinsettias that are thriving but now have mostly green leaves. Then she wanted to rest. She rested about thirty minutes before I asked if she would like something to eat. We spent the next hour at the kitchen table chatting while she ate. We followed that with one of our tours of the dining room and living room. She wanted to rest again and took her place on the sofa until it was time for dinner.

The rest of the day went well. We had a pleasant afternoon and evening. She was tired when she got in bed but didn’t go to sleep right away. She didn’t, however, encounter any uneasiness. She just rested while I played YouTube music videos for her. There was no need for TVR. I think she went to sleep soon after I got in bed. I know I did.

A Day of Sleep

Saturday was a day that Kate slept/rested until almost 3:30. It was in the early spring of this year that she first stayed in bed so late. Since then, there have been 3-4 other days like that. She didn’t get out of bed until 5:15 one of those days. In addition, there have 5-10 days in which I thought she wasn’t going to get up, but I was successful in coaxing her.

On some of those occasions, she was scared of something she couldn’t identify while she seemed all right the other times. She just didn’t want to get up. Saturday was like the latter. In fact, she surprised me. When I tried to get her up around 11:00, she was awake and greeted me warmly. I told her I was glad to see her and wanted to take her to lunch. She smiled. She told me that sounded nice.

The problem occurred when I told her I had her clothes out and would help her up. She said, “In a little bit.” That didn’t sound good. When she says that, she doesn’t usually follow through. I told her I would let her rest a little longer and came back in fifteen minutes. It was clearer that she wasn’t going to get up. I tried several times over the next hour and a half and then gave up.

Close to 3:30, I returned to try again. She was awake and in a good mood. I had no problem getting her up, showered, and dressed. I had already decided we would have an early dinner, so I didn’t get her lunch. I gave her some juice and blueberries. Then we enjoyed our time together looking at her photo books.

She hasn’t been as interested in the YouTube music videos, so I tried something different  after returning home from dinner. It was early enough that I decided to put on a DVD of Sound of Music. She has responded to movies for a long time, but I thought it was worth a chance, especially because of the music. She lay flat on the bed with her eyes closed most of the time. She didn’t appear to be watching or paying attention, but she remained awake until the end. At one point, I asked if she was still watching and was prepared to turn it off. She wanted to continue. She went to sleep without a problem after that.

She apparently got enough sleep. The next morning she was up before 7:00.