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My DH believes he has been healed by the pastor of his church. His church is a full gospel church and lays hands on people to heal them. After his diagnosis two years ago, but before the Pandemic, they laid hands on him. Since the Pandemic, I have not allowed him to attend church. He won’t take the medicine given to slow progression. Because he doesn’t have the disease. He says Drs just want to make money, and I am negative and I don’t believe the Bible. He does watch streaming church service. I fall into the thoughts that I am preventing him his spiritual growth. His Neurologist did a second MRI to prove to him that amyloid and innumerable micro hemorrhages are still present. No one from his church has contacted him during the time he has not been there. I do not feel my DH can process the teaching of his church in a healthy manner. Am I stepping over the line deciding about his spiritual believes? I wanted to ask if anyone has experience this kind of behavior with their love one?

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My mother has Alzheimer's for 5 years now. The first 2 and 1/2 years, she took meds to slow down her Alz. progression. During that time, she was on and off the meds because she was hiding them and would not take them. Then the last 2 and 1/2 years, she has not taken any med for her Alz. condition. Personally, I don't think the med helps much if any. Her change in the last 2 1/2 years has been slow, her memory didn't get worse. In fact, her behavior is actually better, more calm, less combative now that she is off most of the meds. She is only on 2 absolutely necessary meds for her heart and bp as directed by her doc.
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Reply to polarbear
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I'm not so sure about this one.

The scientific as opposed to religious treatment that you want your DH to accept won't cure him. It won't even bring him back to a condition where he is capable of feeling any benefit or improvement.

His faith in his church, on the other hand, does make him feel better. And it won't accelerate his disease.

How about finding him a neurologist with a bit less of an all-or-nothing perspective? DH might cooperate better with someone who is more accepting of what's important to him.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Jan,

Confront the pastor. Don’t be surprised though if he treats you like you are the Antichrist.

Any pastor that thinks he can ‘pray’ away medical issues without his congregation consulting a doctor for medical treatment is a con artist!

These are the pastors that pass out the collection plate and has ‘online giving’ as well and line their pockets with the cash.
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom
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I would suggest that you schedule a time to talk to his pastor - one-on-one and just you and him. Explain that your DH has vascular dementia and Alzheimer's dementia. Explain that your DH believes that he is healed of his dementia and will not take medications to improve his quality of life. Ask for his help. Ask him to explain Luke 4:14-30 when Jesus did not do miracles in his hometown and Hebrews 11:35-40 when God said some did not receive their blessings on earth that they may receive something better.

As a Christian that leans into a non-denominational Protestant (I do not have Gospel background), I believe that we are to "ask God" in prayer for what we desire and He decides what to give us. I also believe that God inspired medical care experts to help us live longer, healthier lives. That the availability of this type of care is a miracle in itself. Hopefully, your DH pastor will lean in this direction. If not, please know that not all Christian leaders eschew medical care.
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Reply to Taarna
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"medicine given to slow progression"

Do you mean medicines given for cardiovascular disease? Eg blood thinners (anticoagulants)?

My Mother was very against taking medication for her high blood pressure. But changed her mind when we discussed her stroke risk. 5 yrs later she did have a major stroke. 5 extra good years I consider the drugs gave her.

Recently she decided to decline further cardiac monitoring. I think she is drawing her own line of what is acceptable to her.

It may be very hard to accept his views/reasons 😞. Even if you re-phrase he would benefit from the pills & he accept for now he can later refuse or spit out etc whenever he chooses.
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Reply to Beatty
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You've got a cult there, not a church.
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NeedHelpWithMom Feb 25, 2021
Best answer here! Absolutely a CULT!
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Who is DH? Darling husband? Daughter's husband? Divorced husband? Disenchanted Husband?

Healing can be spiritual, physical, emotional and mental. Faith based believes he is healed for eternity. We have hardly heard from our church friends since the pandemic. Does he have favorite scriptures you can read to him? Faith is personal.
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MargaretMcKen Feb 24, 2021
On this site, DH is the normal abbreviation for Dear Husband. The usual abbreviation for daughter's husband is SIL for son in law. Divorced is usually Ex. Disenchanted sounds a bit like Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz. Just for interest, is 'healed for eternity' include before death, of just after death?
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My 90 year old mother has been a Christian Scientist for decades. She now takes medicine because she wants to live. Her faith did not cure her from having 2 hip replacements,knee replacements,cataract surgery,aortic valve replacement. She did try to pray those away. Her practioner which is someone a CS person pays money to have pray has since died of cancer. All her friends in the religion have died. None of them had medical intervention towards the end but they did have prayer.

I admire those who have faith but I don't believe it should have precedence over the world of medicine. My mother continues to read CS material and at this point I think it's fine as she is now immobile in a NH facility. I think you can only do so much in this situation. I am familiar with amyloid diagnosis. Sadly it won't improve. I heard this directly from a neurologist. If religion is helping emotionally then there is the answer. It can be near impossible to change those beliefs in a person.
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Reply to Riverdale
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Honor and respect says to allow him the dignity to live and die on his own terms. You must respect his wishes, as well as this beliefs and the way that he serves his God no matter where it takes him. He will love you even more, knowing that you see him as a strong Man of God. When he leaves this world he will take solace in the fact that he has a child that respects his decisions, honors his faith and loves him enough to fight along side him through prayer and acceptance.
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Reply to Sloyce3443
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Can you reach out to the pastor of the church? Maybe agree that laying of hands can heal, but so far his doctor says he is still progressing with the disease. Ask the preacher if, personally, he would take medication in addition to asking God for a healing for himself or his wife? My guess would be, yes. He would take the meds. If that's the answer, maybe he could talk with hubby.

I mean it makes sense, from a religious belief, to ask for healing. Healing comes from God as well as God's hand leading the doctor. Hubby continues to receive treatment and when tests reveal disease is no longer showing up on tests, hubby will know his prayers were answered. Sometimes, prayers are answered in a different way that specifically what we ask for. Delaying progression may be what the Good Lord provides. We ask that God spare someone from death, but sometimes our prayers are answered in the way of a painless death. You might try a conversation with hubby along these lines if pastor won't help.
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Reply to my2cents
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I’m thinking that your father’s belief may stop him from getting the covid vaccine. Will this make life more difficult for both of you? Outings and visits would benefit from it. Can you find out if the church in question has found some way to reconcile the vaccine with their pastor’s useful powers?
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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That I know of there are no medications that are PROVEN to slow progression? Unless I am simply not familiar with what is being given for what reason. You may expect your DH to sink a bit more into religiosity; it isn't unusual at all. The point at which I would worry is the point it interfers with his being helped. With your husband's now suffering brain I am not certain how much you COULD interfere with his "spiritual growth". He likely will believe what he believes no matter what you say. I am assuming you are his POA. You have seen the MRI results. You understand reality. You will need to act now for your husband in his best interests, at the same time acknowledging his "spiritual needs". I do not see what can be gained by his full acceptance of his disease process, ultimately. He may in future be unable to understand such things, religion or no.
If his religion is a comfort to him now, with all the real losses that are coming, I cannot see the reason to deny him that comfort, as I said as long as it doesn't interfere with real life, which at this point YOU are in charge of and YOU must help with.
Is there some way you can help to GIVE HIM what he needs? Bible reading together? I am personally not a believer, but have read the bible more than once, and poetically alone it can be truly poetic and comforting. Might you read the bible together? Do you think that would comfort him?
As I said, there is no reason he must accept his diagnosis, and soon it will not matter at all because he will be unable to accept or understand it at all.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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MargaretMcKen Feb 24, 2021
The Book of Job would be a good start!
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You can certainly talk to his pastor and see what exactly he 'said' in this laying on of hands.

Did the pastor tell DH he was healed and there was no need for further medical intervention? I know that happens. It may well NOT be a manner of deceit, but of how your DH took the 'healing'.

In my faith, we do practice laying on of hands for healing, for blessings, etc., but those are also compounded with medicine. Most 'blessings' include a plea for the doctors in charge being able to have the ability to know how to treat the patient.

I am grateful my faith is followed by a very strong congregational support--when I went through cancer, I had so many people on the ready to help me. Sad when a religion cannot or will not sustain and support it's own in times of need.
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JoAnn29 Feb 24, 2021
You are very lucky.
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Most of the medications for Alzheimer's or dementia at best just slow the progression down, nothing more. If in fact your husband has vascular dementia,(the most aggressive of the dementias) his life expectancy is only 5 years anyway, so why not let him enjoy the peace and comfort his faith brings him? God does still heal lots of people on this side of Heaven, but some won't be healed until they leave this world for the next. My husband had vascular dementia, and died Sept. 2020,(2 1/2 years after his diagnosis) so I would just tell you to enjoy whatever time the Good Lord blesses you with your husband, and don't sweat the little things. God bless you.
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JoAnn29 Feb 24, 2021
Good point about the meds.
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Religious beliefs can be an obstacle to proper medical care. You are not preventing his spiritual growth if growing spiritually for him means ignoring his health and putting you under stress because of it. The only person that is being healed in his church is the pastor- financially! There have always been false healers who prey on the suffering to pad their own bank accounts.

Why is this “pastor” sequestered in his little private church? Why does he require the sick to come to him? Why doesn't he go out to the hospitals, MC facilities and nursing homes and cure those patients? Because he can't (although I'm sure he'll have a reason)! Christ healed those not even in his presence. The bible says Jesus raised the dead. Can your husband's pastor do that or does he have certain limited healing powers? If he can raise the dead, I'd like his phone number because I'd like my wife back.

I'm sorry you're in this position, but I don't think you will ever convince your husband that he's a victim of deceit, although I do like like Joann's idea of calling the pastor and discussing the fact that the doctors say he's not healed.
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lealonnie1 Feb 24, 2021
Amen!
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Do you have your own church or pastor you could reach out to? His church sounds not that great and as JoAnn points out, obviously your poor husband wasn’t healed. And now a person with a disease affecting his brain is making decisions about how his brain disease should be treated...

I hope others who have had to make decisions for an ill spouse will chime in here.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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JoAnn - I'm probably showing my prejudices here but in my experience with churches like this there is often a sharp divide between men and women and the pastor and his supporters are not very likely to be helpful to the OP, especially since she is an unbeliever.

JanBro - I don't suppose it really makes a difference in the long run whether or not your husband believes he has dementia, although as his caregiver and partner it would have been nice to perhaps buy a few more years of better cognitive health. If he gets comfort from his religion then I don't see any problem with him continuing to attend, BUT if it causes him to speak or act in any way that causes you trouble in your home or marriage that is a different story.
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Reply to cwillie
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I may call the minister and ask if he/she would be willing to talk to your husband concerning his meds. You can tell him that a second MRI shows he has not been healed. Could he explain to husband that God also enables researchers to discover medications that will help in his healing?

Don't you just love it when the Church takes your money and your time but is not there when u need them. My Mom was very involved in her Church. On committees and put the annual dinner together. Spent the whole weekend before, with the help of other ladies, organizing, overseeing and cooking it. When she became homebound did her minister of 16 yrs come visit, no. When I mentioned it to a Church officer I was told he didn't do home visits. After Moms passing I tried to go back. I miss some of the people but just not comfortable there.
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