In Retrospect– The Beginning of Ralph’s Memory Loss

While no two cases are the same, the stories we caregivers share about how cognitive impairment crept into our lives are often similar.

Ralph’s memory started to get noticeably worse about three years ago. For the first year and half or so, we joked, haha it must be  Alzheimer’s, whenever he forgot the conversation we had just had. My daughter told me we shouldn’t joke because he was probably worried about losing his memory. But frankly joking and teasing made it feel less serious to Ralph as well as to me.

Gradually his behavior changed. Never the most observant husband, now he didn’t seem to be paying attention at all. He never seemed to listen. He would ask me a question and then ask it again ten minutes later, or five minutes or two minutes.

“I just told you,” I’d sputter. “Well tell me again,” he’d shout.  It wasn’t pretty.

At night as soon as dinner was over he went into the bedroom and watched tv. Often he fell asleep by 8 pm. He pooh-poohed my suggestion to see a doctor.

At the small business we ran together, he did less and less while I worked harder and harder. Yet he would get angry if I questioned him. I began to go around him to get work done.

Not the recipe for a happy working relationship, let alone marriage.

And then the situation became worse.

….to be continued

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