Caregiving for a husband/spouse seems to be a missing topic. Lets get our two words in.
My situation will probably be very different from most, since I am considered a newlywed, however I don't see many topics on this subject and would like to start something that includes those of us that are taking care of our spouse.
My husband, I was well aware of some his problems prior to our marriage 3-30-12, with issues due to his work environment working with the railroad after many accidents, not his fault, as you can understand by reading papers of train accidents when others are killed by their stupidity of trying to beat the train, or accidents where a vehicle stalls on the tracks. He remembers every death, and even knowing that he was not at fault, the number 57 remains in his head. The last accident was a major one when training a new engineer the person changing the track trip switch, went the wrong way ending in a head on collision, and three people died including his trainee. After that time, him being the only one that lived, this occurred over 11 yrs ago, he was removed from duty and hospitalized with many injuries, including mental. At this time besides nightmares he has been diagnosed with Bipolar,PTSD, Sleep disorder, and depression. During his hospital stay (11 years ago) he was given a chaotic treatment of electrodes attached to his head and zapped he calls it 10 times to try to help. This was some time ago, however we believe now it is causing, along with the drinking he did, dementia.
These things I have been informed can come on fast or slow, and in the last couple of months the dementia has increased to the point that I have to repeat myself every day on appointments, for instants, that are going to happen in the next few weeks. It seems his short term memory is what is really affected the most.
To add to the difficulty of this onset coming on so fast, he has now been diagnosed with Degenerative Disk Disorder and has a bulging disk, (now on pain medicine as well) so even though I am unable to do much myself due to my own issues, he now can do nothing around the house to assist me. (Two weeks after we were married I became ill with pneumonia 17th time) and was taken off my job for disability and on oxygen 24/7), This has made things very difficult since I was in a wheelchair for many years and in the last few years, prior to meeting my husband, had built myself up to be on my feet, maybe not perfect to walk around, however was on my feet just the same.
He was just given a medicine (Donepezil) that is a possibility of slowing down the dementia, which we are hoping works, but wish he would have gotten wind of this long ago…those of you having spouses with dementia, I was informed that this will not reverse anything however could give us longer together before things get worse. I now have to take care of all his medicine since he is unable to remember what he has taken and what it is for.
I am starting this string, one because getting my story out there I believe will help me and hope to help others that come in to this site with Husband/Wife assistance, not just parents/aunt/uncle and so on. And I would like to hear others maybe of things they have tried…or just to be able to connect with other spouses here so we can friend one another so we can use this as a, so to speak, bitching session, or to put a bit more nice, sharing session, to get things off our chest.
This is all very new to me, I am not sure if this is a way to start things, but am doing my best and hoping that this will open up a new area for those of us in similar situations...
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, hoping I did not babble to much, and I do hope we can get a good gathering of a group for the loving wives/husbands taking care of our spouses and getting stress relief with a little chatter.