My husband has Alzheimer’s
Before he was diagnosed we teased each other about our failing memories. Yes, he might be forgetting more facts but I was bad at names (speaking of which I have changed ours to Alice and Ralph at the request of my husband, a private man with a sense of humor, a fondness for “the Honeymooners,” and a not infrequent desire to send me to the moon). But gradually the jokes dried up.
Before he was diagnosed, I was scared and embarrassed for him, but more often than anything angry at him.
Then he was diagnosed with MCI, and there was a name for the still subtle but profound changes in Ralph’s mental process affecting his behavior and our relationship: MCI verging on Early Alzheimers—a condition waiting to slip into a disease that will affect more and more couples in the next decades.
When Rallph and I began our journey down the memory rabbit hole, I began this blog to share our experience with others facing the ever-changing challenge of a marriage invaded by dementia. As the years have gone by, Ralph’s MCI has turned into Alzheimer’s, and our lives have changed in more ways than I could have imagined, both as a couple and for each of us as individuals.
Every case of memory loss or dementia (or any irreversible illness) is different. I cannot speak for anyone else going through the stages of memory loss with a spouse. But I hope by sharing our process as honestly as possible, I create a dialogue with others in a similar situation and shine a clearer light on a life change many fear.