Hanging in there...

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My wife of 46 years has developed what has been diagnosed as probable Alzheimer's. She has a family history of Alzheimer's so this isn't totally unexpected but that doesn't make it any easier. We watched her dad deteriorate for years and are really concerned with what the future holds. We moved to Florida about 3 years ago and were really looking forward to enjoying our retirement and it hasn't turned out like we planned. She is in the early stages and the strange thing is that I'm really the only person so far that she is having a problem with remembering. She knows who I am. She is constantly telling me how much she loves me and never wants me to leave her but she really struggles remembering anything about me. She asks me how I know her daughters. She remembers going on vacations but just doesn't remember me being with her. We have 3 daughters... she remembers them but doesn't remember that I'm their dad. Almost anywhere she's been and anything she has done in the last 47 years... I've been with her but she can't remember it. She'll ask questions, I'll answer them, she'll say that she understands but then ask the same thing again and again. If my life was a movie it would probably be called Groundhog Zone because sometimes I feel I'm living in Groundhog Day and the Twilight Zone. I'm gradually working on convincing her that we need to move back around our family and friends. I really think that it would help her and I know it would help me. Have any of you experienced being the only one forgotten while you have really always been the only one that supported your spouse? That's really the thing that I have trouble understanding. Thanks for letting me vent. It helps.

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One of our daughters is planning to be with us over Easter and my wife is really excited about that. We are getting closer to becoming snowbirds and so far I'm not getting the opposition from her that I was dreading. I feel like we will be a lot better off when we do find another place back home but we have to wait until it quits snowing back there because we've been in Fl long enough that our blood has gotten thin.......haha. All of the advice and suggestions from all of you has been very helpful. I'll be back when I need to vent and get some more help. Thanks again !!
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I like MargaretMcKen's suggestion - make it a "trial" period of sorts. I'm not sure where you would stay - would any of the girls have room for you two or would it be better to stay at a hotel? The reason this sounds good is in the event that it does not work out for your wife, you can return to your own place (I mean REALLY doesn't work out, if she is stressed, feels lost, whatever - it might take time to adjust.) I would hate to see you sell and pack up everything to move and then you might be doubly lost!

Being with extended family might help - she seems to remember the "kids", but it might be that, like you, she remembers them from long ago... If it seems like she will be okay, and fit in with the rest of the family, then try to find a place where you might be able to set it up as close to how your current place is - that way it will seem like home?
We have not crossed this particular bridge yet - as others indicated, everyone has their own path to follow, there is no one road for everyone, which makes it hard for all of us. She still knows me and my brothers, is confused sometimes by my kids, and after 9+ months of begging to go back to her condo, she now talks about her mother (gone 40 years) and their previous residence (sold 23 years ago.) The time will come, we just do not know when. Just keep on as best you can, do not worry about the gaps in memory, just enjoy what you can while you can!
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One thing we must accept some people esp children cannot face the chg in the one they loved & prefer not to come around.
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My mom didn't recognize me for a while, but liked me and was happy that she met me. :) It was actually very nice to be liked even though she didn't realize who I was.
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Yes it will get worse but for now savor every day. Maybe you could tell her you are her new boyfriend? I agree that moving near family and friends is a good idea but only if they will be willing to help. Bless you for taking care of the woman you love.
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Bad Movie,

I will share a conversation my Mom’s Geriatric Physician had with me when I asked him questions regarding Mom’s short term, long term memory. I was struggling with things she was doing, saying, and decisions she was making.

The Dr told me to stop struggling to figure it all out. He told me pathways to different memories are broken. So, it’s not personal that her pathway to the memory of you is broken. It’s random. It does sound like you presently remind her of someone she once knew. It sounds like the picture she is obsessed with is of someone she dearly loves, and did dearly love at the time the photo was taken.

I was one of the last persons my Mom totally “forgot”. But, for a very long time I was someone that reminded her of her oldest daughter.
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Daddy's girls will be so happy and blessed to have you and mama home.

I remember going to see my step-grannie at the NH, she thought I was my mom as a young person. While we were visiting with my step-mom sitting across the table from her, she very sadly said, "you know that Nadeen never comes to visit me!" It was so sad for me but my step-mom said, "it hurt terribly at first but, I know it is the disease and she is always happy to see me, so it doesn't hurt so much now." I was relieved for her, they were a close, loving family and she not only lost her mom to this demon but, was lost to her mom. I know that if you and your wife have been married in this culture for 46 years, you obviously figured out how to make it work and to love one another through all the trials that come with marriage, you are so blessed that you have that legacy to leave your daughters. Take care of you as well as DW on this journey, it doesn't have to be a horrid awful journey. Keep your sense of humor and tease and play with her to help her keep hers.

Traveling mercies and God's Grace to you and your family.

My Dr said you can be who and whatever you want to be everyday, who are You? I'm Fred and I'm an astronaut.  Wow! I guess his point was to not get sucked in to the disease and the pointless struggle to make them remember. 
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My Mama is somewhere in the middle of dementia. Everyday is Grounding Day. My Dad died 6 years ago and they were married for 50 years. Most of the time it was like he never existed. She hardly ever asks about him until now 6 years down this road. She seems to be back in the 1940's and early 1950's. I am finding that it takes a village to run this show. I think you need to be back with YOUR village! Sending you Grace and Peace.
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What a great husband and dad you are! I bet your daughters can't wait to have you back in the area. It will be a plus for them as well as for you.
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Thanks everyone ! Yes....She is in Aricept and Namenda. I used the term "early stage" because it was just recently diagnosed. I've noticed some small changes in her over the last couple of years but didn't consider it a big deal. The big one hit about 5 months ago when it all of sudden became obvious that there was a big problem. Out of the blue she asked me how I knew our oldest daughter. Needless to say that took me by surprise. I almost had to force her to go to a Dr but she realized something was seriously wrong and went. After cognitive testing, EEG and MRI........here we are today.
Our kids and friends are all fully aware of her condition. We have 3 daughters and they are all "Daddy's Girls" so they will be there for me. I'm having some good conversations about us becoming "snowbirds" and my wife seems to be receptive to that. I know we'll be fine and I also know that I haven't seen anything yet 😔
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