Our 60th Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to my wife, Kate. Sixty years ago today, we began the greatest adventure of our lives. Well, it actually began with our first date during our senior year of college and a year and a half before the wedding.

We had quite a courtship. Less than a month after that first date, I took a job at a funeral home where I worked 4 nights a week. I was a college student strapped for cash and time to date, so my job played a big role in our romance.

On nights that weren’t too busy, Kate would join me at the funeral home where we cooked hamburgers on a grill in the parking lot. Then we adjourned to one of the empty viewing rooms where we watched TV as we became better acquainted. I also took advantage of the flowers that fell as we moved from the funeral home to the cemetery and passed them along to her whenever I could. One of the things I remember most was taking her with me when I was assigned to pick up a body in another city. I was on the company expense account, and the management let me include Kate. We would enjoy a nice steak dinner without costing me a penny.

Less than six months after our first date, it was even obvious to Kate’s parents that ours was a special relationship. After my dad died, I found a letter Kate’s mother wrote to my parents. Here is a quote from that letter.

“I wish you could be experiencing with us all the fun and excitement of their friendship. Yesterday was the 19th and on Dec. 19th, Richard had his first date with Kate to attend the “Messiah.” So they celebrated a six-month ‘dating anniversary’ with 6 lovely red roses. They have such a wonderful time, and it keeps us young just watching them.”

We married eleven months later, launching a lifetime of joy and adventure. We have two great children, and five grandchildren. We have lived in four different cities, traveled, and enjoyed memorable times with close friends and acquaintances.

Late in life, we have faced a few bumps in the road. The first and biggest was Kate’s diagnosis with Alzheimer’s 12 years ago this past January. Then 2 ½ years ago she spent 8 days in the hospital with Covid, and in February a year ago, she suffered a stroke. But through it all, we have continued to enjoy life and each other.

“Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away . . . And now, these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Always Looking for Patterns

As a caregiver, I’m always looking for patterns in Kate’s behavior; however, I tend to talk more about variations. I suspect that is true for most of us. It’s the unusual things that stand out, not what is normal every day. There are exceptions, however. The first time something new occurs, I wonder if this is the beginning of a new “pattern.” Often, it is not, but that doesn’t keep me from wondering the next time I see something new.

Kate’s daily pattern has changed many times during the course of her Alzheimer’s. I remember the early days when she worked in the yard 6-8 hours a day. Later, she working jigsaw puzzles on her iPad became her primary activity. She did that, too, 6-8 hours a day. That ended with the pandemic. It was also the end of her self-initiated activity. I had to spend more time keeping her occupied. Despite that, she began to rest on and off during the day.

She’s gone through several changes in her sleep patterns. Most of the time since she was hospitalized for COVID, she has slept until 11:00 or noon almost every day. There were always exceptions, but I found I could pretty well count on her not being awake before 11:00. That gave me time to relax and take care of routine household or personal responsibilities.

More recently, perhaps the last couple of months, she’s been alternating in a somewhat unpredictable way between waking much earlier, sometimes before 7:00, and sleeping until 11:00 or 12:00. I haven’t tried to keep a record of the time she wakes and how she is behaving, but it appears that she has one or two days when she wakes early and then is worn out the next day. Sometimes when she wakes early she is talkative. On a number of those occasions, she’s been talkative a good bit of the day.

The past two days have been a good example. On Tuesday, she was awake around 8:30, just before I took my morning walk. I gave her some juice and her morning meds. She was somewhat talkative for that time of day and in a good humor. I expected that she would go back to sleep while I walked, but when I finished, she was wide awake and even more talkative. That doesn’t mean someone was actually there to talk with her, but she doesn’t talk as though she is talking to herself but somebody she imagines to be there.

I decided to join her in bed and talked with her. As usual, I couldn’t always understand what she was talking about. Some of her words were unrecognizable even to her. That is something new in the last few days and occurred a number of times that day. She would say something like “She’ll want to go to the ‘boober.’” Then she would say, “’Boober’? What’s that?” Each time it was always a different word.

I spent most of the morning with her but checked on her periodically when I was out of the room taking care of other things like finishing up a few details on our 2020 income tax for which I had taken an extension. She never stopped talking.

After the caregiver arrived around noon, I joined a couple for lunch in the café downstairs. When I returned almost two hours later, Kate was still talking. She was also fiddling with her clothes, running along creases in her pants as well as pulling her shirt up as if she planned to take it off, something she was unable to do. This was something I had noticed when I was with her that morning. She was somewhat agitated but not disturbed, just talkative and fidgety.

It was about the time that we normally go out for ice cream, but the caregiver and I agreed that it seemed better to remain at home. She gradually seemed less agitated but continued to talk. When it was time for dinner, we decided not to go to the main dining room. I brought our meals to the apartment.

After dinner, we sat on the balcony for a while before getting her ready for bed. Kate talked the whole time and continued to talk after we put her in bed. Shortly after 9:00, she was still talking. I gave her a 5mg tablet of melatonin and turned out the light. Twenty to twenty-five minutes later, she was asleep. It had been quite a day, certainly not her normal pattern.

I wasn’t surprised that she was very tired yesterday. She was still asleep when the caregiver arrived at noon. Adrienne let her sleep another hour or so, before getting her up for the day. She fixed Kate some lunch. Kate ate it all but was very quiet. She rested until it was time for dinner.

We ate in the main dining room. When we returned to the apartment, we spent a little time on the balcony before giving Kate a shower and putting her to bed. It wasn’t long before she was asleep.

She slept until 8:30 this morning. After my walk, I spent the morning with her. She was cheerful. We had a good time together. It looks like a more typical day, but after the events of the past couple of days, I can’t help wondering if we are in the early stage of a new pattern. Time will tell.

Lots of Happy Moments the Past Two Days

Life has a lot of twists and turns and highs and lows. As Kate’s Alzheimer’s progresses, I am more mindful of such variations. The good news is that we still have far more highs than lows. New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day have been among the highs. As I’ve said before, that doesn’t mean her memory improved or that her confusion disappeared. It means that she has been in a good mood and that we have enjoyed ourselves to the fullest.

Both days were low-pressure ones. Except for our dinner reservations New Year’s Eve and our 12:30 lunch reservations yesterday, we didn’t have any time-specific obligations. That makes both of us more relaxed. After lunch yesterday, Kate rested on the sofa while I watched some of the Alabama/Michigan game. She rested about two hours and was asleep most of that time.These two days were a great way to bring in the new year. It reinforces my belief that we have been very fortunate.

In a post one year ago, I noted several significant changes that had occurred in 2018. Among those were starting to forget my name and hers, recognizing me as her husband, greater confusion (often forgetting our house and how to get around in it, the city in which we live), sleeping later in the morning that led to our typically going to lunch rather than to Panera, and greater dependence on me with things like toileting, showering, and dressing.

For the most part these are the same things that I would say about her changes in 2019. The difference is that everything is noticeably worse than before. The exception is sleeping. That has become more erratic. On the whole, she still sleeps later than she used to do; however, she isn’t consistent. Sometimes she gets up earlier. She routinely rests right after we get home from lunch. That normally lasts at least two hours. Until recently, she hasn’t slept much while resting. Now she seems to drift in and out of sleep. She does seem to be more tired than in the past. I believe that is a result of having to work harder to get through the day.

Two other changes are worth noting. One is her physical mobility. Getting into and out of chairs or up and down steps requires a lot of thought and effort on her part. It was during this year that I got a handicap placard for the card. I have only used it a couple of times, but I expect to use it more in the coming year. Most places we go I can find a parking place that is reasonably close to where we are going, and I want her to walk as much as she can. I am, however, much more sensitive to parking than I used to be. There are at least three restaurants that I would visit were it not for the difficulty getting in because of parking or stairs.

The other thing is her problem with speech. The past six months her loss of vocabulary became obvious. I am sure it has been diminishing gradually for a long time. I suspect most of that loss has been words that we don’t use very often. Now she is forgetting words that are in everyone’s daily vocabulary. In addition, it is much harder for her to express herself. She starts to say something and then says, “You know what I mean.” If I say that I don’t, she gets irritated with me.

As I said last year, I can’t predict what lies ahead in 2020. I only know that this is a progressive disease. She won’t be better. In fact, the last year has been one in which her decline has been more rapid. Her experience on Monday of this week when she was unable to make a lot of sense throughout the day may be a sign of things to come.

Next year at this time we will be looking at a move to a local continuing care retirement community. When I checked a couple of weeks ago, I learned that they are on schedule to be ready for occupancy in January 2021. That means I will soon need to begin making preparations for a move. When I made the commitment in May, I felt that it would not be a problem for Kate. Now I am beginning to wonder. She still likes our home here. Although she doesn’t know her way around the house, and except for mornings, she seems to have a comfort level being here. I think her confusion in the morning is because she wakes and doesn’t recognize where she is. If that continues, it should not make much difference where we are. In addition, a smaller place might actually be easier for her. I just don’t know, and I’m not going to worry about it now. We have taken everything a step a time since her diagnosis. That has involved many gradual changes along the way. I expect the changes this year to be more significant, but I feel I have a game plan that is working. In addition, I have the flexibility to shift gears as needed.

Having said that, I am now recognizing that life as we have known it for the past nine years is passing away. I am particularly mindful of the things that have dropped out of our lives in recent years – our last summer to host grandchildren, our last international trip, our last visits to Chautauqua, to Kate’s home in Fort Worth, to Texas to share Thanksgiving with our son and his family, and to Memphis for Christmas with our daughter and her family. I don’t expect this to have been my last Christmas and New Years with Kate, but I know that it won’t be the same next year. I confess to more than a bit of sadness at that thought, but I believe I will adapt this year in the same way I have done before. I’ll keep my focus on Kate’s happiness and celebrating what she can do as opposed to what she can’t. I am still amazed at how much she can enjoy life. She may well continue enjoy life through 2020. My intent is to stand by her as long as she can and thereafter.

Living in Two Worlds: Ours and Her Own

I’m not really a writer; I just play one on TV (whoops, I mean this blog). What I mean is that I have neither the desire nor a special talent for writing. That would be especially true if I were writing fiction. Let me explain.

In this blog, I simply attempt to present an accurate account of what “Living with Alzheimer’s” is like for Kate and me. That doesn’t require any special creativity. It does demand that I pay attention to what is going on and write down my observations as quickly as I can. That has worked for a long time. While I wouldn’t say that every post does a particularly good job of that, I do think readers can get a pretty good idea of what life is like for us if they are regular or even periodic readers.

Recently, I find that so much is happening that I can’t remember everything and don’t have the time to make adequate notes during the day. That fact has made me appreciate the writers of fiction, especially those writing about the lives of caregivers and people with dementia. They always seem to have the necessary knowledge of dementia and the ability to write realistic portrayals of what it is like along with telling an interesting story.

For quite some time, I don’t believe I have given proper credit to the work of such writers because, after all, it is fiction. That couldn’t be as good as the “real thing” could it? However, I now feel that my own non-fiction account is somewhat compromised because of my failure to remember relevant events or conversations. There is simply too much coming my way to remember all of it. If I were a fiction writer, I could just create a situation that conveys the same message, but that has two problems for me.

First, is that it seems awkward to mix fiction and non-fiction. The reader might be confused about what is fiction and what is not. I don’t want that. Second, I don’t feel like I am sufficiently skilled to write a convincing fictional account of our lives. With that in mind, let me attempt to describe a significant change that is taking place.

From the beginning, Kate was quite normal. That’s how the story begins for all of us. In fact, she was so normal that she wasn’t concerned at all when she had her memory slips. Sometime later these slips became more common. I heard her say, “I think I have Alzheimer’s.” I gave her the typical, and truthful, response. “Everyone forgets once in a while. You’re all right.” We continued this exchange off and on for the next four years or so. She began to get lost when going somewhere in the car. We had several episodes in which I had to give her directions over the phone or drive to where she was so that she could follow me home. I began to recognize she was right. Finally, we talked with her doctor and went through the process of getting a diagnosis. It really was Alzheimer’s.

When we think of Alzheimer’s, or any other dementia, we tend to see an image of a person who is in the advanced stages of the disease. That is usually the “tip of the iceberg.” For much of the time, a person with dementia behaves quite normally. That is one of the good things I have learned since Kate’s diagnosis. That has enabled us to live rather full lives despite Alzheimer’s.

Now that she has reached the last stage (that can last years), we experience more dramatic changes. For the first time, I see what I have heard other caregivers talk about. It is a blending of what is normal and what is not, or, as I put it in the title, a blending of our world (yours and mine) and her own. She lives in both and shifts almost seamlessly between the two. Increasingly, she lives in both worlds at the same time.

Most often I have illustrated this blending with a story about Kate’s responding to me perfectly normally and then saying something like, “I love you. What is your name?” Now I see it in interactions like we had last night.

We had a good day though she wasn’t as talkative or cheerful. I don’t recall that she asked my name or hers the entire day. We came home from dinner, and everything was fine. I pulled up some YouTube songs from the musical Annie and then My Fair Lady. She enjoyed them. Then we started to get her ready for bed. We started with the bathroom. After brushing her teeth, she washed her face and arms. She rubbed them as though she were trying to get something off. That’s when she said, “Look. Can you see what I am doing?” I said, “Yes, you’re washing your face.” She gave me a look of irritation and said, “No, can’t you see that I am getting them.” (She frequently talks about things that are on her body. Often she gets one on her finger and shows it to me. I’ve never been able to see anything.) Having been through this before, I said, “Oh, yes, you’re doing a good job.” She said, “Well, it takes a while, but it’s worth it.”

From there we went back to the bedroom. Before getting into the bed she sat down and crossed one leg over the other so that she could work on her toes. This is one of her rituals in which she runs her fingers between her toes “to get them out.” She wanted me to watch. I was obedient. Then she wanted me to do it for her. I told her I had another way to do it. I got a hand towel and rubbed it several times between each toe. When I didn’t do it to her satisfaction, she told me I missed a spot and to do it over.

Then she got in bed and started pulling her hair. Again, she wanted me to watch. She said, “I want you to know what I am doing.” I knew what was coming next. She wanted me to do it for her. This time I told her I thought she did a good job and that I wouldn’t be able to do it as well. She accepted that. I should emphasize that during this entire time, she was talking normally as she always does. It was only what she said that was strange.

These days I never know how she will be from one moment to another. It keeps me on my toes in terms of how to respond to her. Fortunately, I’d say that more than 90% of the time when she is in her world, we are able to enjoy our time together. That’s a big plus for me. I know that isn’t true for all couples “Living with Alzheimer’s.” I do, however, believe that is a hopeful message for others traveling this same road. It is possible to live happily with this disease. Kate and I are not alone. I have read a number of accounts of other couples who have had similar success, but most have grimmer stories to tell. I wish everyone were as lucky as we have been.

Good News

My optimism paid off. When Kate finally got up, she appeared to recognize me. Last week, I received a shipment of new clothes I had ordered for Kate online. I selected something for her that looked very nice. That made me think about going to lunch at Andriana’s since we are planning to be in Nashville on Sunday. When I checked with our server to see if she was working at lunch, she wasn’t. I decided to try another restaurant that is nearby, Sunset Café. Like Andriana’s it is a cut above the average places we eat, and we don’t eat there often.

On the way, I played an album of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons hits. Kate and I laughed about most of them. They are so dated now, but we still enjoyed them. We also had a good lunch. We are now back home where Kate is now resting on the sofa across from me. That is her customary pattern now. She has a hair appointment in thirty minutes. After that we’ll have another break before going to Casa Bella for opera night. That’s sure to be another hit. After a rough start, it looks like we will have yet another good day.

Welcome to Living With Alzheimer’s

March 1, 2021

This site consists of a journal I started on January 21, 2011. That was the date on which my wife, Kate, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. It is an account of our lives since that time and includes the symptoms Kate has displayed as well as how we have adapted. You will also learn about our frustrations and problems.

What may surprise you is how much we have been able to enjoy life and each other even as we experience the toughest challenges of this disease. In that respect, we have been more fortunate than most couples who travel this road. Kate has declined significantly in recent years and has been in the last stage of Alzheimer’s about two years. We both tested positive for COVID two weeks before Thanksgiving, and Kate spent eight days in the hospital. She recovered quickly from the physical effects of the virus but is still recovering from the trauma of being taken to the hospital by ambulance and the whole hospital experience. Although our lives have changed significantly, our relationship remains strong.

When she returned home from the hospital, I increased our in-home care to 7-8 hours a day seven days a week. She has made a gradual recovery but continues to be frightened anytime we have to move her in anyway while caring for her essential needs. For years, she has been frightened by many things, especially sudden noises. Her hospital experience added an additional source of fear.

I don’t know what life will be like a year from now, but I plan for us to enjoy ourselves as much as we can for as long we can. That seems to have worked in the past, and I am hopeful that it will serve us well in the future.

Thanks for your visit.

Richard Creighton                                                                                                 @LivingWthAlz

A Very Good Day: Mood Trumps Memory Loss and Confusion

If Kate were unhappy, frustrated, or disturbed, I could easily have been depressed yesterday. Instead, I am adding this to our long list of good days. It began in the morning and lasted until we turned out the lights for the night. Kate was in an especially good mood. I don’t mean to suggest that her primary Alzheimer’s symptoms were any less than usual. As I mentioned in my previous post, she was especially dependent and insecure at 4:30 a.m. What was different was her mood. She was happy and contented. This was reflected in the way she responded to me and the sitter.

After getting up in the early morning hours and again around 8:30, she slept until almost 11:00. That’s when I checked on her and found that she was awake but still in bed. I sat down beside her and told her I would like to take her to lunch. She smiled and said she would like that. Some mornings she lingers a good while before getting out of bed. This time she got up rather quickly, and we left for lunch about 11:45.

On the way to lunch she asked my name several times. When we got to the restaurant, she continued to ask my name and hers. Consistent with previous occasions, she did not seem frustrated over not being able to remember the names. The style of the conversation was just like an easy one between any husband and wife or two friends. Anyone who might have watched us from a nearby table would never have imagined that she was asking my name, trying to repeat it, failing to do so, and asking again. This was another of those occasions when she wanted me to tell her about her mother. She loved hearing me tell her what her mother was like and how her mother and father met. She was also curious about our children, and I filled her in on them. In our conversations she keeps returning to her parents, her family, and our children. There is no mistaking their importance to her even if she can’t remember their names or much else about them. I love being able to tell her about them. I never tire of it even though it is something I need to repeat over and over and over. This is a sign of adapting. During the early years after her diagnosis, I could not have imagined deriving any measure of satisfaction as her memory vanishes. The people who know this disease say that caregivers need to live in the world of the ones for whom they care. Fortunately for Kate and for me, I am able to do that. It didn’t come overnight. It has been a long slow progression.

On the way home, she asked me the nature of our relationship. I told her we were married. She was surprised. She wanted to know how long we had been married and if we had children. All of these questions were asked innocently as though we had never had the previous conversation while at lunch. As much as I see this, it always takes me aback when it happens.

When we walked in the house, she asked me if she could take a nap. I told her that was fine. She brushed her teeth and then proceeded to get in bed when the sitter arrived. Mary walked over to Kate and gave her a hug. Then she said something that really surprised and pleased me. She told Mary that she was glad to see her, that she wouldn’t want to stay at home by herself. I told Mary that I was about to put in a DVD for them to watch and asked if they had any preferences. They quickly agreed on Fiddler on the Roof. I set it up for them and started to leave. Then Kate said, “She’ll take care of me. Well, we’ll take care of each other.” I left feeling good.

When I returned, they were in the family room where Kate was looking through “The Big Sister” album that her brother Ken had made for her. Mary left, and I sat down with her and went through the album for another twenty minutes. I really enjoy seeing her go through the album. She gets so much pleasure from seeing pictures of herself, Ken and her family. I know this is exactly what Ken was hoping for when he made it. This is something else that provides joy for me as well. It is a very simple pleasure but a powerful one.

It wasn’t long before Kate was ready for dinner. We left for our Friday night pizza. When we got home, we relaxed in our bedroom. Kate worked on her iPad while I watched the evening news. Then I turned on a YouTube video of Messiah.

After we got to bed, I told her I loved her. She responded the way she has on several other nights. She laughed. When she does this it is because she thinks we are in the early stages of our relationship, and it seems too early for love. I said, “You love me, don’t you?” She said, “We’ll see.” I said, “I guess we could just go on living together.” In a serious tone she said, “Don’t ever say that again. I’m surprised you would say that at all.” This situation seems so incongruous. We were lying close together, and my arm was around her. A few minutes later she asked, “Where are we?” I told her we were in our bedroom in Knoxville.

Confusion in the Morning

Kate was getting dressed when I went to check on her at 10:30 this morning. She asked my name. I told her, and she said, “I knew that. I just couldn’t remember. What’s your name again?” I told her again. She said, “Oh, you’re a nice guy.” Then I said something about our being married. She said, “We’re married? How did that happen?”

She sat down in the family room to take her morning meds. I heard her call my name. (She still does pretty well recalling my name when she needs something. I suspect it is a conditioned response. It occurs without thinking.) She had noticed a TCU magazine on the table and asked if she could take it with us. A minute or two later, she had forgotten asking me. She asked, “Is this ours or theirs?” She may have been thinking we were in a hotel. I told her it was ours. She said, “So I can take it with us?”

As we were leaving for lunch, she decided to use the bathroom. She pointed to the door beside her and asked, “Is this a bathroom?” I confirmed her suspicion. It’s just another indication of how the house is becoming less familiar to her.

Acid Reflux?

I don’t know how I could have failed to say something about what may be a recurrence of acid reflux. This is an old problem for which we found a resolution two or three years ago. Since that time she has taken a prescription for Prilosec that had solved the problem. About six months ago, she experienced a couple of instances of the problem. I thought the problem had gone away on its own. Kate said she was eating more slowly which she believed helped to prevent a recurrence

I can’t recall exactly when, but she started using extra paper napkins at restaurants. This typically occurs before she has even eaten anything. As I reflect, it is something that occurs at various time during the day. She goes through lots of toilet paper which I now believe may be associated with this problem. Let me describe the problem as well as I can

Unlike her previous experience with acid reflux, what she is experiencing now does not involve exactly the same symptoms. When she has had the more serious experiences, she has to stop eating. She usually lowers her head slightly and appears to be trying to calm herself. With the current problem, she can continue to eat. As I have already mentioned, she will be having the experience before food arrives at our table

To me it appears that she is simply spitting up saliva. I do not see any visible signs that she is experiencing acid creeping up her esophagus. It is more like the normal salivation collects in her mouth, and she spits it out. I think one reason I haven’t mentioned it before was that it never seemed like something serious. In the past month or so, the problem has become more serious and seems to bother her. In fact, last night she had some difficulty getting to sleep because of it. I suspect it was more than an hour before she got to sleep after going to bed. She got up at one point. I heard her burping in the bathroom next to our bedroom. That led me to give her some Gaviscon. Before she was taking Prilosec, I gave her Gaviscon when she had a problem. It always seemed to work. I have tried it several times recently without the same success. I am not certain that it helps at all. I do know that she finally settled down and slept well during the night

About three weeks ago, I sent a message online to Dr. Reasoner, Kate’s doctor. She suggested that we try several things. She said we could take a second Prilosec in the evening. She also said if that didn’t work, we could try her taking an antihistamine. Finally, we recommended staying away from acidic foods and beverages. I tried doubling Prilosec and could not tell any difference at all. I dropped that. I then tried adding a Claritin with her morning medications. I have not been able to detect a change though I plan to continue to give it a fair chance of success. My reason is that I think her symptoms seem more like a post-nasal drip which sounds like an allergic reaction
One other symptom has made me think of the situation as more serious than I originally did. Within the past 4-6 weeks, I have noticed that she sometimes starts burping when she takes her pills. That made me think there might actually be a gastro-intestinal source of the problem. On the whole, however, I find it very confusing. What I know is that it has become a chronic condition that annoys her. It also concerns me that it might possibly be a symptom of something more serious. Unfortunately, Kate is unable to provide any kind of description. I am hoping that we might have a conversation with her doctor. I think her next appointment is in January or February

Kate does drink a lot of tea and Dr. Pepper. That would be the next step to try. That will be a hard one as these are long-standing habits.

Back Home

We got back in town and went directly to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Chalupas. It was quite a contrast to the meals we have eaten the past few days in Asheville, but it was just what we needed. I know I picked up a couple of pounds while we were away. I need to take some of them off
I brought our suitcases inside. I put mine in our bedroom and Kate’s in her office. I opened hers and took out a few things – her shoes and put them in her closet. I also took a pair of slacks and a couple of tops and put them in my closet so that I would know where they are. I’d like to take them to Texas with us.

In less 30 minutes, I noticed that Kate had moved her suitcase into the family room. Typically she puts it in the kitchen or laundry room when she has unpacked her things. I didn’t think much of it but picked up the suitcase to take it back to our storage room. When I lifted it, I couldn’t help noticing that it was heavier than I thought it should be. I opened it up to find that she hadn’t unpacked anything. She had simply moved the suitcase from the bedroom into the living room. This led me to take the suitcase back to her office where I unpacked everything and hung up her clothes. Then I took the suitcase to storage. She hasn’t said anything. Nor have I. I am sure that she wouldn’t remember anything about it, and it serves no purpose to inquire.

She continues to exhibit other misunderstandings or to have imagined things that didn’t happen. At dinner this evening, she commented on how spicy our dish was. I mentioned that to the server when he asked how we liked our food. Kate told him it was her own fault, that she had asked for it that way. Some time after he had gone, she told me she asked for it to be spicy, that he had not even asked. She just volunteered. Actually, she didn’t say word. I did all the ordering, and spiciness never came up.

On the way home, Kate said it was early. That led me to say we might take a look at what is on TV tonight. Then she said, “I think I will work on my new computer.” I said, “That would be nice.” For weeks now she has periodically mentioned something about a new computer. Each time I have told her she doesn’t have a new one but the same one she has had. This time I just accepted what she said.

Then when we got home, she said, “I think I will stay outside for a little while. I’ll change shoes though. I wouldn’t want to get these messed up.” It has been about 40 minutes, and she is still outside. I think she is still wearing the same shoes. I know she hasn’t been inside, but she might have changed to some yard shoes she keeps in the garage.