About Us

My husband has Mild Cognitive Impairment.

Before he was diagnosed, I had never heard of MCI.

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.

Now he’s been diagnosed, and there is 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.

Every case of memory loss or dementia (or any irreversible illness) is different. I cannot speak for anyone else going through the early stages of memory loss with a spouse. But as Ralph and I begin our journey down the memory rabbit hole, I will use this blog to share our experience with others facing the ever-changing challenge of a marriage invaded by MCI.

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2 thoughts on “About Us

  1. Alice, I can’t tell you how helpful reading your posts has been. While I am sorry that you too are in the “club” to which my spouse Eric & I belong you writings about your journey with Ralph has been just what I needed tonight.

    My husband too has has MCI, diagnosed earlier this summer, stopped working as of Sept 1st. He’s just 62 this month though have to say I’ve been concerned something was wrong for about 4 years….subtle things, not cognitive initially…more irritable, a bit less interested in others, somewhat apathetic about pursuing hobbies etc….hard to tell if he was getting older or….anyway memory loss became apparent late May and we spent the summer getting him tested…..while he tells others “it’s just short term memory loss” I remember us both hearing that there were ” a number of domains” on the Neuropsych testing which were problematic–and scores did NOT correspond to what they believe was his “pre MCI abilities”.

    He stopped work as a Pediatrician Sept 1st….doing ok at home though have to say I really feel pulled to quit work myself now so that I can be with him, he won’t be alone, and we can perhaps have some “retirement adventures” together before he can’t travel…..I’m 59 & he worries about our finances yet clearly doesn’t understand the reality of our situation (ie from what I can tell we will be fine if I stop)…he’s perseverating about getting our second child, Evan through his last 1 1/2 years of college despite knowing that the money is there for him…it’s an odd time, we’ve always kept our money together & he’s paid the bills and taxes
    etc …..yet one of the ways I knew something was wrong was the fact that he never seemed to get around to doing our taxes last year…

    Sorry to ramble Alice…I guess I just want him to also have whatever quality of life he can in this earlier than expected retirement. I am coming to see too that it doesn’t take much to make him happy (never did to be truthful), yet he’s delighted when I make something happen-

    Anyway, thanks so for listening. I want to wish both you & Ralph peace tomorrow on the day of the Elections!
    Alice too (named after my favorite grandmother)

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    1. Oh Alice, I empathize so strongly with your situation. That sense of something being wrong before diagnosis and his reaction to the diagnosis. If he is still able to travel and enjoy activities without too much anxiety, I hope you do take time for some adventures together. But quitting your job is a big decision. Not only due to the income but because (assuming you like your job) you get satisfaction and a sense of identity from your work. I was going to say that eventually you will probably have to quit anyway. but the question is whether to be at home now when you can have quality time as a couple.Life has a different rhythm with MCI, that’s for sure. Thanks so much for writing and sharing.

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