Future Ready? Not Quite Where Alzheimer’s Is Concerned.

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I have not posted much recently because I’ve been caught up in a flurry of moving preparations (although the move is months away), arranging repairs and renovation at the new house, starting the process of getting rid of stuff at the old. And in that flurry I have probably not been paying as much detailed attention to Ralph as usual. But we just spent half an hour together in my car after dropping his car to be serviced. In that time we had this exact same conversation close to ten times, approximately every two to three minutes:

What else do we have to do today?

Dr. Ling at 1.

What time will the car ready for us to pick up?

They’ll call us when it’s ready.

Should I leave the dogs locked up?

Yes, because we have a doctor appointment.

 

I’m used to the repetition of course. But it seems to have become more intense lately. I casually asked him whether he’d noticed any changes in his memory.

No. Have you?

Yes, I said then caught myself so added to soften the blow,

But then again my memory is worse too.

In fact, it is worse and I worry frequently about a factoid I read early on—that Alzheimer’s caregivers are statistically more prone to develop Alzheimer’s than the general population.  Every time I lose my keys, cell phone, or someone’s first name I do panic a little. And to my dismay, those occasions are increasing.

But Ralph loved my answer.

Well, that’s not going to be good, he laughed. We’re going to be rambling around the house saying “Who Are You?” to each other.

Yep. I forced my own laugh, thinking of the changes I am making in our new house to make it both wheelchair accessible and generally easier for caregiving down the road. Ralph is not ready to think about that possibility in a real way, but I have to. Just writing that makes me realize why my anxiety level has been high and why I have been avoiding posting here—the act of moving brings our future into stark, unavoidable relief.

10 thoughts on “Future Ready? Not Quite Where Alzheimer’s Is Concerned.

  1. Thank you for posting. I have to admit that I was checking daily. I at times feel overwhelmed just trying to get our house in shape for the future (and feeling like I’m doing it alone many times). I can’t imagine all that you have to do in your situation. No wonder you occasionally lose your keys-you are thinking for two!
    I hope you are able to get some time to yourself occasionally. I find that I feel so much better when I do. It kind of reminds me of how it felt when my children were young. A mental health break from the “24/7” of it all…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for writing. I do give myself lots of time to myself! Since posting I took a mental break from the move for a few days. Stopped looking at my renovation notes, stopped worrying about repairs etc. And now I feel a bit refreshed.

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  2. Thank you for sharing. I think about you two every day and how life is going for you. When I am having a pity party for myself. I go back and read your stories.You are my inspiration.Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I am so touched by your words. And pity parties are fine to have. At least that’s what I have decided to believe. Despite the real support from friends and readers like you, I still need to withdraw periodically and face my darker feelings. Thanks so much for writing.

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  3. Well, I did smile at Ralph’s reply and the image of you rambling round the house asking, ‘Who are you?’ Good there are still flashes of humour amongst all the worry. I know care giving to a spouse must be very different from my experiences with dad and I do find myself wondering which of us will be the first to show definite signs of dementia and how we’ll cope. So many times lately I’ve heard myself saying, ‘But I already told you that….’ On the other hand I’m the one who forgets names with increasing frequency. I take comfort from the fact almost all my peer group are in the same position – and we can’t all be heading for Alzheimers – can we? Good luck with all your moving preparations over the next few months.

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  4. I wrote to a support group friend just a bit ago, saying that I resented having to go to the grocery store when I didn’t really want to, but my husband would never offer to go for me — plus, he doesn’t really drive anymore (he has mild stage Alzheimer’s related dementia). I told my friend that ‘it’ was always there–it never goes away–and sometimes it just seems to be too much to bear. Be well… take care of YOU, for we caregivers are no good to others if we’re not good to ourselves first.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, you touch on something so real but hard to express. The resentment Alzheimer’s inevitably stirs up in the spouse caregiver. Friends and even family member s can’t quite get the non-stop element involved at his stage when to all outward appearances the spouse is relatively ok except can’t do for him/herself in most ways. Thanks so much for writing and sharing.

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  5. As a care giver, I hate to think that my life will never be ok again. Though I am healthy now and glad I am able to care for my wife, the thought that this is all there is depresses me. I want to live some of my life too. I don’t want my wife to be gone but I don’t care to do this to the bitter end either. If I ever need care, she would not be good at it, if she were able to at all. Can one understand the term “worse” and appreciate how bad it can get when we take the oath?

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