Thursday, January 27, 2022

Worse, not better

Twelve days ago, Kathy emailed me, letting me know she'd moved in December and had a new address. In and of itself, that's not unusual. Except that Kathy had told me before Thanksgiving that she was moving and gave me the address then. I'd sent her a card from Key West to her new home at Christmas. I asked her if she got the card. She couldn't remember.

Ten days ago, Kathy sent me pictures of her new apartment filled with boxes. She admitted she was "overwhelmed" by unpacking. She was going from a 2BR to a 1BR apartment. Deciding what to get rid of is upsetting her. She also doesn't understand how to get cable and wifi in her new place. I suggested she call on her adult grandchildren who live nearby. They grew up with tech. She said I was "brilliant" and was sending hugs my way.

Yesterday she sent me a text, letting me know that she'd moved in December. She said she had no wifi and can't communicate except through email and her phone. She told me she'd be sending me her new address "soon."

I began noticing Kathy's forgetfulness two years ago. She invited me to spend the day with her. We started by having breakfast together. Her treat, she said. Then we sat down, she requested separate checks. OK, she changed her mind. When the waitress brought the separate checks, she grabbed mine, rolled her eyes and said disapprovingly, "Why would she give us separate checks?"

After breakfast, we went back to her place. I gave her a birthday present, a canvas print of a picture of her camping with her grandkids. She was delighted and put it on her bookcase, admiring it a moment. Then she got up to get me something to drink. Coming back into the room, she saw the wrapping paper she'd left on the sofa and asked, "What's that from? Did you give me a present?"

I asked, more than once, if she'd spoken to a doctor about her forgetfulness. She got angry, and then angrier, at me. She doesn't trust doctors. They over prescribe, they demand unnecessary tests. She had a problem with her brain, but "it's better now." She healed herself. She warned me not to ever mention it to her again.

I am comforted by the fact that her adult grandchildren live nearby. They had keys to her old apartment and hope they have keys to the new one. They can check on her. 

Kathy is also self aware enough to have quit driving "with anyone else in the car." She says she's too easily distracted. I don't think she should drive at all. 

Her birthday is coming up. She will be 74 in the second week of February. 

I am frightened for her.


4 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry. This is a hard one.

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  2. This must be so hard for you...and her. She's lucky to have you as a friend. Could you reach out to her grands (or would that be too interfering?)

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  3. It's so hard to see people we love decline. Sending you and Kathy hugs.

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  4. I'm sorry you are watching your friend go through this. I've never gone through it with a friend or family member, but after working with these dear souls at the nursing home I know what a thief this is and how hard it is for the family and friends (once they "pass through" it's not bad at all for the one with the disease, but until they do and they are aware something is wrong...it's awful). Just love her, be positive, and while I know it's hard don't argue or correct them as it aggravates them terribly. Hopefully, her family will handle protecting her from harming herself or anyone else.

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