I see loss of memory and judgement in my husband, he says I exaggerate and am melodramatic. He has always had bowel problems, crap got on the wall near the toilet, etc., but now he is fecally incontinent and it has gotten worse over the last 3 months, and now he says he is going to get better and I dwell on the bad stuff. I spent an hour today cleaning poop in his bed and bathroom, and even got biohazard cleaners in on last Friday because it was so gross - 2 days after the housekeeper had come. But he presents as very together, smart, affable at the very same time he can't smell or feel he is pooping on himself. Some months ago he asked me if we had any spray paint - turns out he wanted to paint over some poop on the wall. He has COPD and is on heart medicines and has some mild cognitive impairment, but is very defensive about it.

Part of this is his nature and old bad habits. He has been impotent for 12-15 years and over time, with his many surgeries and illnesses, I have become more and more detached from him. I love him and care about him, but I'm tired of him and I'm tired of the constant stress. He really does not take responsibility for himself and I have tried to stand back as much as possible and let natural consequences take care of that, but now, with poop all over the house, it is really impacting me.

He tends to be non-compliant with doctors, at least over the long term, but always talks about getting back to the gym or some such nonsense. I don't say anything but I wonder if he thinks I take him seriously. He has been falling a lot, I had to call 911 to help get him up on Friday, but he won't use a walker or cane. The paramedics told him, I have reminded him, but today he didn't use one. I'm not mentioning it again. He usually doesn't tell me when he falls.

I think he is in a serious decline - do you think I am exaggerating? Am I crazy?

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Goodness no, you are not exaggerating or being melodramatic. I think your husband is embarrassed and defensive about making these messes, so he is lashing out and calling you the problem. If he makes a big enough fuss, the fight becomes about you and his poo on the wall gets cleaned up and forgotten about (sort of.)

You are doing a great job, don't let his blustering and anger cause you to doubt the wonderful care you are giving. He's mad, at the world, at aging, at everything - and he's taking it out on you. Like the country song says, we always hurt the one we love.

Others have given some great advice, hopefully you can get him on the road to a solution for this!
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The next time your husband falls call 911. Tell them (out of your husband's earshot) that your goal is to get you husband into the hospital. They'll do a basic memory test and if your husband fails they will override his objections and take him to the hospital. The paramedics will ask questions such as does your husband know what year it is. Does he know who the president is. Does he know what day and/or date it is. Very basic.

Once your husband is in the hospital see if something can be done about his fecal incontinence. Lord knows I'm not a Dr. but I cared for my dad in my home and he had fecal incontinence and there was nothing that worked but that doesn't mean that something won't work for your husband. Would he willingly wear Depends? I bought my dad Depends and he would use them....on occasion. But I had many times where I was cleaning his bathroom and it was as you described. Feces on the floor, on the wall, on the shower door. It was everywhere. We tried medication, herbal supplements, probiotics, Immodium, name it and I tried it. And bless my dad's heart but occasionally I would find him trying to clean his own bathroom and trying to wash his own clothes in his sink. It was just a losing battle.

Based on what you wrote I don't think you're exaggerating anything and I don't think you're crazy. Yet. ;-) This is a challenging problem and I think you need to go back to square 1: The Dr. Any Dr. Your husband may need to be put on medications for his cognitive decline, there may be a medication he could go on....find out what the options are. He has a lot going on and getting it all addressed at the same time while during a hospitalization might start you out on a good course of action.
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You say that he comes off pretty normal with people, but if he is wanting to spray paint over top of feces on the walls, I would see that as very concerning and as evidence of some serious cognitive decline.

When was he tested for dementia? Did he have a neuropsycholical evaluation? An MRI of the brain? I would certainly discuss it with his doctor and ask for a referral to get this accomplished. He needs help. And so do you.

You may need the diagnosis regarding his mental state in order to have him placed into a facility or hospital. I take it that he may refuse.

Perhaps some medication could help him. A hospital setting where they could assist him and get meds adjusted might help.

It sounds like his symptoms are really not something you can safely handle in the home. You are seeing memory problems and bizarre behavior. I'd act on it.

I have a friend who's mother had to be placed into a facility due to her incontinence and obsession with feces. Her memory went thereafter, but her first symptoms were with her feces. It was very troubling for my friend and his wife. Every weekend he was calling in professionals to clean the place.

I hope you can get help.
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My dear, you are TOTALLY on the mark.

I think you should get someone to re-post at that MI diagnosis. How long ago was that testing? And was it a full neuropsych battery ( several hours of paper and pencil testing).? I think you want a followup right now.

I think for me, bowel incontinence would be a dividing line between " we can do this at home" and " it's time for a facility".

What I know incontrovertibly is that you have to put YOU first in this situation, at least when it comes to your health and well- being, otherwise, you ll end up dead, like the 40% of caregivers who die before their charges do.
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