They say doctors make the worst patients, and this was certainly true especially early on with my husband. I wonder if others are going through similar situations caring for a retired doctor. Do you have advice or stories?
When my husband was healthy, he was completely focused on his role as a doctor - at the clinic, writing research papers, presenting at conferences, and teaching students. When he got sick, it was a shock to all of us, and dramatically changed his life. Now, at 78 years and unable to walk, see well, on daily PD dialysis, and easily fatigued, he doesn’t have any hobbies or interests to fall back on. He must be bored out of his mind, but avoids going out because getting in and out of the car is taxing and doesn’t like having people over because he becomes easily tired during the day (but then he’s awake all night!). God forbid he would sit down and do an old person activity when he’s awake. It’s a waste of time to even bring it up. He refuses to be medicated for depression (I’ve tried doing it without his knowledge, but there were side effects that prevented it from continuing.)
I think good old sunshine and interacting with people would help, especially since he likes joking with his doctors at appointments (his only “social” activity). Any ideas for activities that would bring out his doctor skills and make him feel useful? He always wanted to set up a volunteer clinic, but this is out of the question.
Now, he’s showing signs of early dementia, but getting him to a neurologist would mean he would have to resign himself to being inspected by another doctor with depressing and intrusive questions and likely result in a difficult diagnosis to absorb. He’d rather not know.
He and I have a really beautiful relationship (no kids, God’s plan), and all of this has brought us closer. But, it has dramatically changed my life, too, since I am now on 24/7 nursing duty, and I constantly have to be on my toes to keep him healthy and engaged. He’s smart, caring, and still has a lot to offer. I don’t want I’m to feel that his life is over.