My husband, a 10 year survivor of a liver transplant and HCV TX (thank goodness, he is now 100% cured) is starting to show possible signs of dementia. I don't really know what I am looking at. He's always been forgetful, but now it has become a real problem. He leaves in the morning and has to come back home at least once, sometimes up to three times for "basic" stuff-watch, phone, wallet. Sometimes I have to run stuff to the office that he has forgotten.
He has maybe 15% hearing in his right ear and now his left is about that bad. He doesn't listen to me, but I get that, he now also can't hear me. This drives our 5 kids just insane. They complain about this and expect ME to deal with it--this am I had told him at least 4 times that we did not have church today--he got up and went anyway--and felt a fool b/c he was there and nobody else was. I got up and saw he was dressed for church and said "I told you there wasn't church today" and just blew up at me. Said I was a nag and whiny and--well--it wasn't pretty, and tho I am standing there, barely awake, he rips into me and lists all my faults. I'm next to tears, and then he does a 180 and says, "Well let's go for a long car ride instead". Hello, he just told me I was worthless and annoying and he wants to be stuck in a car with me for 12 hours? I opted out, went back to my bedroom and just, well, I prayed.
He doesn't do this often, but when he does, he really shuts me down. I can't get him to see an ENT and be evaluated for hearing aids. He is missing all the conversations that go on and he's just really being a jerk. I put up with this behavior during the last 10 years b/c we really didn't think he was going to have much of a lifespan--TP patient with HEpC....now that he's fine and expected to live a normal lifespan, I find I have created a monster. I will admit I baby him a lot--he goes to work and I do everything else. Yesterday I asked if he would help me in the yard for 1/2 hour and he said he was going to sleep all day. And he did. He is either quiet and fine (what he calls "putting up with me" or he's raging and angry. He doesn't shout, but he is a large man and talks very loudly, so the effect is about the same...) I have heard that dementia often shows itself in anger at first...and I am terrified.
So depressed today--it's lovely outside, I am going to break my usual Sabbath routine and work in the yard and try to decompress. He won't apologize, he never does. I'm beginning to feel like a single woman stuck in a loveless marriage and the thought of 20+ more years of this--I can't deal with it.
I just got on an even keel with my difficult mother, and now hubby is acting up. Don't even suggest marriage counseling, he said he'd file for divorce first.
Thanks for just listening. I am feeling so blue and so hopeless. I have done everything I possibly could for this man since and before his liver cancer DX and maybe I did it all wrong. I feel more like a caregiver and housekeeper to a cranky old man than I do a wife. He hasn't touched me in years and won't discuss that problem either.
Wah, wah wah......call ma a wahmbulance. I am really bummed today.