We figured out what was happening over 4 years ago when my wife was 59 (FTD). Because of what she would experience, I chose to close my business and be with her 24/7. I believed that it would be important to prepare in the early stages.
Perhaps because of my personal choice, and because of the natural unwillingness to be around dementia, most relationships have fallen off. Whether or not my decision was a form of enabling is debatable, but I just couldn’t see her going through the fear and frustration, wondering if I would abandon her. I know how that sounds, bear with me.
My wife can’t understand TV, finish a thought with company, remember where anything goes, follow instructions, roll a die and move a game piece, dress, or bathe. She has occasional hallucinations, but a lot of delusions.
She’s very healthy but is losing interest in walking and has started complaining intermittently of leg pain and pain in general. Coincidentally, pains seem to appear around 6:00 at night.
But, she’s appreciative, empathetic, has a good sense of humor, can be witty, and strives to care for me when I’m hurting. If she starts to get angry, I have faked vertigo and she immediately switched to caregiver. I have snapped at her twice in the last couple years significant enough that I can remember.
But, she is very insecure around people and we have few relationships that bring her comfort. I can’t converse with people much, she gets jealous that I can converse and she can’t. This isolated me. I can only text and people don’t like to write. As a result, I don’t know what’s on the horizon.
On one hand I think I may have enabled her and on the other hand I think if I had forced things she could have spiraled out long ago.
Whichever, I’ve committed myself early on and there’s no way to backtrack or second guess.
What is it going to be like for me as she loses touch with the outside world? Is it as natural as the past few years have been?