Ch.28. Blackcap Pie, Memory Loss and Confusion.

Ch.28. Blackcap Pie, Memory Loss and Confusion.

            We had company yesterday morning at breakfast. I made waffles. Then the four of us took a ride to view the Borst County Woods, only to return here to share a piece of my homemade blackcap pie. Later that night Pat and I finished it off. That’s when things became a little strange.

            “Where did these berries come from?” Pat asked. How could she not know, I thought? We’ve been picking blackcaps from our bushes right by the house for at least a decade. It’s something we look forward to every year. But when I tried to remind her, she had no recollection. I even tried showing her the quarts of berries in our freezer. “Tomorrow you’ll have to show me what you’re talking about,” finished our conversation.

            I felt a wave of sadness that persisted through the night. Picking blackcaps was one of our nicest shared endeavors. Talking as we picked, consoling each other when one of us became snagged on a sharp branch, packing the berries into freezer bags, making pies and berry crisps, all that was an integral part of being us. Lewy Body wasn’t just stealing my wife away from me. It was eroding that sense of “us” that I never thought we could lose. 

            But then things changed again this morning. When I mentioned my sadness that she couldn’t remember our berry picking Pat quickly corrected me.  “Of course, I remember that”, she said. “I’m looking forward to picking again this year.” Pat knew where the berry patches were. No memory loss at all. She hadn’t forgotten, Pat assured me. She had just misunderstood what I said last night.

            Here’s what I think happened, although Pat may disagree. By evening Pat was tired. It had been a long day of friends and family (Easter Sunday). I’ve noticed that her memory tends to worsen with fatigue. I believe Pat really did have memory loss last night but only for a little while. This would also be an example of Lewy Body symptom fluctuation. Symptoms come and go, often unpredictably. Forgetting last night but remembering today. It’s confusing.

            I feel relieved. That part of “us” is back. I think I’ll go out today and thin out that berry patch so we can collect berries together this summer.


Pat’s comments on Blackcap Pie, Memory Loss and Confusion.

            I didn’t remember we had all those berries in the freezer because I hadn’t looked in the freezer for a long time. I’m always afraid to find ice cream there.

            I have been remembering picking in the patch more recently. I’m looking forward to the berries coming there and along the walls of the garage, but they haven’t yet. I just have to be patient. It takes warmth and sun and time for them to grow but I no longer wonder where I’ll pick them.

            I could have been tired that night when Ron asked me if I remembered the berry patch, but tired is different than dementia.