A caregiver and Lynne called Sunday night for no reason other than to video chat. No tears, no fears. Almost normal.
I told her I had a scan scheduled for Tuesday and had to avoid chocolates for 24 hours beforehand, so I was going to have chocolate cake for breakfast. She laughed.
I asked if she was eating lunch in her bedroom or with other residents. She didn’t know. “I haven’t paid attention to that. They have places on the floor and the tables, so we’ll be safe.”
She had the new book in her hands from her sister Pam. She took the flyleaf off and scanned it and scanned the book, hesitating as she read each word in the title. “I’m excited about it.
Ok, remember when you get a new book you have to return one for me. Return Bear Town because I hadn’t read it yet.”
The caregiver was still there so he looked for it in her shelves. She said, “No, it’s not there,”
She tugged back her blanket and sheet to rummaged through them until she found a couple of books and found it. She gave it to the caregiver to leave with the concierge.
We chatted for 18 minutes. I updated her on Pam suffering in wildfire smoke, her niece liking her visit to Lynne’s alma mater Oregon, and on an on. She responded with understanding to each one. When I paused wondering what to say, she said, “Well, I should go.”
We told each other we loved each other.
Those oases of normalcy are normal with Alzheimer’s. They are abnormally wonderful to experience and share. And I believe her cognitive clarity was also helped by the major reduction in COVID inactive isolation. She’s escorted outside daily, exercising regularly, walking her floor, helping fellow residents, getting video chats.
Whatever, we persist and give thanks for each oasis.