Because we were going to Nashville yesterday to visit our friend, Ellen, I wanted to get Kate up a little earlier and hoped that would be possible given that she went to bed earlier the night before. That wasn’t to be. It took over an hour to get her out of bed. She was very tired, but I didn’t rush her. She never got upset with me. Nor did she give me any strange looks as though she didn’t recognize me. Close to the time she got up she said, “Where am I?” I told her she was in her bedroom at her house in Knoxville.” She said, “Who are you?” I said, “I’ll bet I don’t look like a stranger.” She said, “No.” Then I told her that I am her husband. She didn’t express surprise or any other emotion. Then she asked, “What’s your name?” After I told her, she said, “What’s my name?” I told her. Again, she asked, “Where am I?” Then, “What’s your name?” She asked me to repeat my name slowly. Over the course of the next 10-15 minutes, she repeated these questions several times.
She wanted my help getting out of bed. She also wanted me to tell her what she should do. I suggested that she go to the bathroom and then get dressed. That gave her too much information. I led her to the bathroom. After using the toilet, she wanted to know what she should do. I told her she should brush her teeth. When she was finished, I helped her with her clothes. She still likes to do as much as she can, but she also likes me to help, especially determining the front and back of her pants and top. She also gets her feet stuck in the pant legs. I get the bottom of the pant legs over her feet. Then she is fine.
After she was dressed, she began to appear normal. We had a quick lunch at Panera and left for Nashville where we had a good visit with Ellen. She was surprised and glad to see us. I am sure that her daughter had told her we were coming. She just can’t remember. That is one of the few signs I can see of her memory problems. She is always surprised to see us. I also notice it in other things like her not remembering the names of her grandchildren. During our last visit, I noticed some signs of confusion. This time she seemed more confused. I was surprised, however, that I was able to understand more of what she said this time than the last. It could be that her ability to speak goes through ups and downs in the same way that Kate’s memory does.
We were with Ellen a full two hours. We don’t often stay that long, and it didn’t seem long at all. I didn’t play as much music as our two previous times, but it was just as meaningful as before. I played a series of YouTube videos of Renee Fleming. At one point, Kate reached out and took Ellen’s hand, and they shed a few tears as they enjoyed the music. I love seeing each of them express such enjoyment. I sometimes wonder how long we will be able to keep up these visits. Both of them are declining, but I don’t see anything yet that will prevent our continuing to come. I hope that’s so.
We stopped for dinner on the way home. It was a restaurant that is a cut above most of the ones we frequent, but it seemed like a good way to celebrate such a nice afternoon. It made for another nice moment for Kate and me. We got home late, so I’ll be interested in seeing when Kate gets up this morning. I checked on her a few minutes ago. She had gotten up to go to the bathroom and then went the guest room and got into bed. When I asked if she wanted to rest a little longer, she smiled and said she did. I didn’t see any sign of confusion, and she seemed both cheerful and relaxed.