End of my denial? Maybe this really is serious....

Started by

Just found this site. Crying. Seeing things differently. Posted the medical details already.

Decided that whatever is wrong, I should be keeping him from wasting more of his 'little gray cells' by upsetting him. Humor the lunatic when necessary. Nothing is more important than him staying functional mentally. Resolved to do whatever he wants (within reason). Find my support from more permanent things: the trees, garden, books, dog....

Trouble is ... "within reason". He had asked for wake up calls so he wouldn't sleep past noon.

Me: "But if you can't sleep during the night, will you email me to cancel the wakeup call?"

Him: "Yes."

He asked again last night, Friday, for a wakeup call this morning (Saturday). He was feeling good yesterday, wanted to do some projects today (Saturday).

This morning no email from him, so I made the wakeup call. Because I had resolved to do everything he told me, without argument.

Him: "I'm asleep... I got no sleep last night...."

Me: "Sorry!"

So I'm crying and posting this, instead of apologizing to him in person and breaking down crying in front of him, which would stress him more.


My heart goes out to you. You can function better as a caregiver if you are not in denial, but it sure hurts to face reality!

Please understand that treating him appropriately will make his life easier, and yours too, but none of us knows what is appropriate in all situations and we all make mistakes. This does NOT cause the loss of more little gray cells. The disease progresses on its own timetable. You just don't have that much control over it. Do your best. But don't think that you have to tiptoe around him so that you don't make him worse.

In the wonderful book, "Loving Someone Who Has Dementia," therapist Pauline Boss explains that as we view the losses our loved ones experience, we go through a kind of mourning. It is OK to cry. It is OK to feel sad.
The doctors keep saying they're not finding signs of Dementia/Altzheimers, and he has several other conditions that cause memory loss (and emotional disturbance); PTSD, diabetes, insomnia, stress....

So as these physical conditions are showing some improvement, in theory there is hope that the mental condition and general functioning can show some improvement also. But that's theory and possibility.

So maybe I should adjust to the way it works now, learn 'the wisdom to tell the difference'.... Instead of hoping his old self is in there somewhere and will wake up if I just argue with him in the right way. I AM sure his old self is in there, but is too busy with his meds and such to listen to any arguments from me....
Flora, I am sorry you are going through this. I have no helpful answers for you but want you to know you are not alone. I also take care of hubby who is 72. It is the hardest thing I have ever done. I am trapped at home with him, cant work anymore and just listen to his crap all day. I cant just leave him, he is wheelchair bound now and has mild dementia and other major health issues too. Diabetes and nerve damage has taken his ability to walk and I am tired and sore of lifting a very tall and 270 lb man all day. I have received a lot of good advice on this site also and even if I dont take right now, it is good to meet others who are going through this. I have learned also not to fight back with him. I just shut up and walk off. I have calmed down a bit since my first post here but there are those days where I want my life back, want to see my friends and do things with them, want to not have to rush when i leave house. I want to work, do things. Feel life is over at age 59. I wish you the best, you are not alone.
About the specific example you gave, don't take that so seriously. I think your plan had more of a flaw than his brain. When I can't sleep, there is no way I would get up and email someone. I am always hoping that I will fall asleep in 5 more minutes. He may or may not have major memory problems, but this wasn't the sign of it, IMO.

I have a lot of sympathy on the crabby father/husband front. When are they going to invent a pill for patience, or one that will keep me from opening my big mouth and saying something that makes it worse?
@ Jinx4740
Well, when he can't sleep, what he DOES is go to his recliner and get on the computer, emailing to social email lists, doing puzzles, etc. But I was dumb thinking he would REMEMBER to email me too. (I guess I could start reading his social sites and check what times he had posted during the night! But then if I disagreed with his posts I'd be tempted to reply!)

It's an 'on the cusp' thing. On some insomnia nights he would remember, on some he would not. Probably -- at least till further notice -- I'd better default to not expecting him to remember stuff, always expect the worst. Never depend on him acting normal. Even when he is normal for a while, it's like very thin ice; he's always falling through, at the least change in blood sugar, or the least stress or friction.

A couple of nights ago while we were at a grocery, he phoned to say he was through with his shopping and was getting hungry. I should have gone on alert at 'hungry' and dropped the rest of my shopping and taken him to dinner immediately, instead of 15 minutes later. Instead, what went through my mind was that if he was hungry enough, he could walk across the street to the restaurant, start his meal, and I'd join him soon. That would have been a normal reaction, something he often does -- but now I can't depend on him reacting normally, it seems.
On the cusp describes my husband, too. It's confusing. Good luck to you and me both!
if he is still able to maneuver the computer, then he should be able to set an alarm clock to wake himself up, you may be jumping in too soon, and it will take you down, better yet if he has a cell phone he can set that, but you being his answering messaging service is a little over the top. good lock, it's a mess isn't it? I have an on the cusp husband also!
sorry. good LUCK
@ twopupsmom
Good heavens, why didn't I think of that! Yes, it's obvious. He certainly can set his own alarm, and change it in the night if necessary. Why am I so wrapped up in him that it seemed reasonable for him to ask me and for me to not question it!

Something must be wrong with my own thinking. Thank God I found this group!

@ jinx
" When are they going to invent a pill for patience, or one that will keep me from opening my big mouth and saying something that makes it worse?"

Last week he informed me that I had worse mental problems than he did and he wasn't going to ever speak to me again till I sought medical advice. To calm him down, I took one of his discontinued Bupropions. It did help. ;-)

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support