It seems at times, this is not the man I married 51 years ago and am very saddened. How do I handle it? - AgingCare.com

It seems at times, this is not the man I married 51 years ago and am very saddened. How do I handle it?

Follow
Share

My husband has been on Aricept 5 mg. since June 18. I asked the doctor if he could stay on this dose as he seemed to be ok and he said increase at your discretion, if he seems worse, up it to 10 mg. the last few days my husband's actions have changed. Our son and family were over Sunday and my husband was for the most part very quiet and didn't join in. I felt sad and guilty for not paying him more attention but welcoming the joy of the grandchildren being there. Yesterday I don't think he said a complete sentence until well after lunch and seemed better by evening. My husband just came from the bedroom very confused, he thought we were being beaten up by the Japanese and went back to bed. I spent time out in the yard working and crying at the princess I felt. At other times I can cope with things but the alternate with sadness, crying and wondering how much he is suffering, or is it just me, and what to do about it. Sorry for the rambling, just had to put my feelings in writing. Does anyone out there have these same feelings and how do you handle it? Thanks listening. Should I increase aricept to 10 mg at this time. (I feel the doctors answer was, in effect, it probably isn't that crucial what dose, so go with the flow, no disrespect as I do like this doctor)

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
31

Answers

Show:
Losing your husband or wife to Alzheimer's is a different situation than a parent or a grandparent another relative . When your husband or your wife has Alzheimer's you lose your best friend . You lose your lover , you lose your financial provider , you lose your protector, you lose your rock . I have taken care of three other people with dementia in my family; my mother-in-law, my aunt, and my uncle . End even though I had to change diapers and give bed baths and changing diapers, it was not as difficult as dealing with my husband who I am loosing day by day . When I took care of the other family members he was there to support me, to listen to me and even help me with the physical efforts I had to make. To lose my husband is the most dreadful thing I have ever experienced . He is there physically but he is not there mentally nor is he there emotionally or intellectually . He cannot understand when I ask him to do something I have to explain several times over and he cannot complete the job without being told how to do it . I am not complaining I just want other women and men to understand it is harder when it is your spouse that you are taking care of . You cannot later climb in to bed with someone and have them hold you and comfort you and tell you that it will be okay, that it won't last forever; because this is a forever thing. When it is your spouse they will be gone a little more each day and then finally all together. Then you are really alone because you yourself are elderly, frail, and given up any social life and friends to be with youw true love until the end.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

You are living your life and caring/being there for your husband and challenging/working with your doctors advice ... which is a good dynamic. My mum isn't on the aricept because she has too many co morbidities. Alzheimers is just sad. Yesterday I visited the hospital and watched her mime having a cup of tea, and I showed her photos of her new grandson ... and she started to cry. She said "what if they forget who I am" and I take this to mean "what if she forgets who they are". She knows her mind is going and it breaks my heart. I tell her I love her all the time and this is all I can do, other than be there for her. I'm sure you are doing all you can too, but this terrible disease is something else. Give yourself a break and be well.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

That is how I feel a lot of the time. I am caring for my husband also. We have been married 61 years now and it just seems so unfair, when we should be having a great time being together and looking back on our life together, instead we have this ALZ to deal with. My husband was diagnosed with ALZ 3 years ago and is now getting to the point where he doesn't remember some people. I can be talking about someone in our family and he will say " I don't know who that is" I have tried looking thru pictures with him but then I see he doesn't remember hardly anyone. As far as the medicine is concerned my husband has only been on Namenda but he was only on that for maybe two months and then he decided he didn't want to take it anymore.and the doctor told me that none of the medicines help very much so why fight with him to take it. You are so right, this is certainly not the men we married. This is a terrible disease. It takes a person and makes them so different from who they were. So sad. Many hugs to you. Keep writting. the people here have some great advice and it helps to share.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I don't live with the man I married anymore. Sometimes I get a peek at him and then often there's this different person. The different person holds grudges a long, long time. He can't name them, but they come out in his attitude and actions. He'll sabotage something I've worked hard on without seeming to care.
He guesses what I'm thinking but doesn't ask. He makes decisions based on those guesses and assumptions. But he doesn't ask. And he's often wrong because he assumes the worst of me. We can't seem to have any important conversation, certainly none of personal depth because he isn't capable. Logic escapes him, though he thinks he's highly sensible. He's become an emotionally ruled person.
I lived through 6 years of hell with his Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde transitions taking just seconds. Emotional and verbal abuse endured because he had dementia and was not well. Now he's changed again and is much calmer and significantly less abusive. He's more normal and capable...so what gives? What's going on? And who am I married to?
Sometimes he's actually nice to me. And that makes me wary. I occasionally get PTSD symptoms when he comes up behind me and surprises me by suddenly speaking. What road am I traveling? I thank God I'm not traveling alone! I can trust God a lot more than my husband. And that's just plain sad.
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

My wife of 31 years is now in a hospital for evaluation for placement in NH. She has had Alzheimer's for 5 years and progressively became violent at times where she threw things, threatened my life and many other things that are common with dementia patients. She was always someone who like to control what was happening or being center of attention which started after our wedding. She worked in different jobs and was very intelligent and learned her jobs and did great at them. When this came along and she became the way she is I became angry at the disease but had to keep alert to her actions and it would seem like someone would flip a switch and she would go off. She is now being treated and the doctor their has increased her meds and they say she is doing better but still has behavioral problems. I visited her yesterday and she is on the listless side which is a reaction of the meds and the new one Aricept. So, as my dad would say go with your gut feeling. I did not want to send my wife to this hospital but it was for her well being. She was not taking her meds, not showering and not changing her clothing and getting worse so now she will get help. Yes we are their caregivers and and must make decisions on our own and pray we do right. I was an LPN for 18 years and took care of seniors with all types of problems dementia being #1 and with my knowledge of dementia all you can do is try your best. I have cried, hated my self for not doing a better caregiving but when the person you care for refuses help and belittles you or threatens you there's not much you can do. Best of luck and Gob bless you
Helpful Answer (5)
Report

I agree with Grandmama......keep reading and writing. This is a great site and outlet for you. I'm taking care of my mom with alz/dem. Although she is in a facility now (has been for 5 1/2 years) she lived at home with my dad for 7 or 8 years with this disease. I truly don't know how he did it for as long as he did. I have told my story any times on this site and I will try to make it short but my sister and I started seeing changes in our mom 12 or 13 years ago. She was one of the sweetest women we knew. She started forgetting things, not understanding things, repeating question after question. It just got worse and worse. I would do my best to take her out to give my dad a rest but she would get antsy and want to get home since they would have to go eat which wasn't true (when I picked her up they had just eaten). She stopped wanting to go to church, dinner with friends etc. which left my dad totally dead in the water. He had a massive heart attack and during that time I moved in and took care of her since she couldn't be left alone. After 2 mos. of taking care of both of them, I ended up taking her to a facility just for respite. thought it would be for 2 or 3 weeks and here it is 5 1/2 years later. It was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do because she knew what kind of place it was and that I was leaving her there. Dad was not getting any rest at home due to her not understanding why he was in bed all the time. Even if he had been healthy I don't believe he would have been able to take her. He landed on Iwo Jima and was there all 36 days but he wasn't strong enough to take this woman he loved so much. So I did it for him. He doesn't go see her that much because it's just too hard on him to see her as bad as she is. They just had their 71st anniversary.

I've rambled too long but Alz/dem. is evil. It takes away the person you love and it takes away your life also. So many of us are going through this. You MUST keep your sense of humor. It's hard at first but at some point you will be able to laugh at some of things he's done or will do, not to mean but because we love them and want to remember something good. As I said before, stay on this site, write to us and you will have our support and all the information that we have learned. You might want to join a support group or look into a daycare center for him. Stay with him the first few times so he will get use to it or bring someone in to stay so you can get out and not just to get groceries. We support you and have your back. Good Luck and God Bless

Oh, one more thing......on another page we have been talking about coconut oil and the benefits for alz. You might try it to see if there is any change in your husband. Start small so there is no upset stomach. No taste and melts fast or there are pills.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

LuvRLabs2 - It sounds like you are suffering from ambiguous loss - and are grieving. That is a real problem when he is present in body but not in mind. I found it very helpful having a psychologist to help me shrink my problem down to a size I can handle and a support group to listen and give me emotional support as my husband goes through each stage of his disease. Just learning about ambiguous loss lessened my feelings of despair and guilt.

Salisbury: I am the one not hearing very well. Found an ad for a "personal amplifying device" for about $20 and decided to try it. Hangs over the ear with a bud that directs sound into the ear. It has an on-off switch and a volume control. With the cost of hearing aids in the thousands I thought it was worth the try. Big help - best with the volume control at or near lowest level. High volumes can distract and even hurt. Combined with short clearly spoken sentences spoken in a normal voice or at a pitch a little lower than normal the device could leave your husband only having to deal with the slower processing.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Thanks everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I also need to remember to "keep it simple." When it is simple and we communicate, I can see that he is really happy. When it gets too complicated, he is depressed, I am frustrated ,and we both feel bad.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Thank you to Loretta Mae. You have expressed exactly how I feel. I am losing my husband who was my protector and now I have to be the strong one all the time. We were equals and enjoyed our lives as such. Now I just am having such a hard time because he is a child. He wants me to do everything for him. I get so tired and I don't like to complain because I have a good life. Even so, nothing prepared me for this. It is totally different from watching my dad die of Alzheimer's. It is much sadder and harder to deal with.
Helpful Answer (4)
Report

Wow, suslovecats,

I am so sorry! So young! So sad for both of you.

I was just going to take the opportunity to complain that everything with my husband takes so long. A half hour to go into the grocery store and buy butter.

But you have stopped me cold. My husband is 82 and can buy butter in the grocery store. I am grateful and sending you, all of you, a hug.
Helpful Answer (3)
Report

See All Answers
This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions