My wife is about stage 5 and appears normal to outsiders. She toilets herself, showers, dresses and gets around house with no assistance. She can’t cook, turn the TV on and the microwave confuses her. I do all of the cooking, cleaning and shopping in addition to now running my business from home. I do have to go out to bank, go to post office and attend meetings. She will call me every 5 minutes while I’m away. Bringing her along becomes disruptive as she talks constantly. That said, it’s not a viable option. Even if I have someone stay in the house with her when I’m gone, she still calls me. If I don’t answer she keeps calling. If I do answer, she will still call again and again and again. Taking her phone away is not an option as she carries it everywhere and it seems to be her safety net. I have a well established business and working from home is hard. However, hiring someone to stay with her has not been successful. She is very threatened by anyone being in the house. She gets annoyed with them too easily. When possible, my daughters will stay with her if I have to go out of town. She enjoys them but still calls me to the point where I feel like I am losing it. I’m doing it all and she wants more. I have a few health issues myself and so I need a little peace of mind to deal with them. She is only happy when I am with her or she is at, or going to a doctors appointment. We never had a marriage made in Heaven. She was not the best wife or mother. I stayed because we had children. After that I stayed because there was no point in leaving, there was no place special I wanted to go. She was happy as long as she had the comforts of life. I just accepted the way she was and the way it was.
For the past 4 years I’ve stayed because it is my responsibility to be there for her. If I were to leave, it would all fall on my adult children and they have a difficult time dealing with her as it is (and do so reluctantly). I don’t think she is at a point where she needs memory care. Also, to be honest, I doubt I could afford a nice facility. She won’t be eligible for Medicaid as her name is still in deed to our home. I don’t allow anyone to see what is happening to me, but I’m unraveling and don’t know where to turn. I know I can’t leave her. I have to see this through and act as affectionately as I can. However, I am alive and don’t have a life or any hope of one at this time. Her disease has progressed slowly and I know I’m in for a long haul. Don’t get me wrong. I want the best for her. She did give me two children I love dearly. I don’t want her to have a harder time than she has to. The problem is I don’t know where to go from here. Everyone sees me as a pillar of strength. I’m not. I’m crumbling inside.