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I’m always trying to analyze  information and problems in an attempt to understand and handle them better. As you know, my husband’s toddler behavior of whining, pouting, complaining, and angry outbursts are driving me to the brink of insanity. If he isn’t out of the “prison” of a house every single day engaged in some kind of activity with people, I am the target of the aforementioned incessant behavior.

I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to my husband’s pre – AD personality. He was a salesman for 40 years. He spent every day, often 12 hours of that day, interacting with a vast variety of people. He loved chatting with them, helping them find the right product, and since he was always in the management position, fixing their problems. He had no time for hobbies, after work “buddy” activities, or group socialization.

He was forced to leave work abruptly due to his memory and organization problems, which left him adrift. From day one, he desperately missed the daily interaction with people. When we moved to Florida, and he was still driving, he not only got out to do my shopping and errands, but he often picked up a friend to go to lunch or the movies. He had the freedom to get out and socialize whenever he wanted.

Although Alzheimer’s Disease changes personalities – we have all bemoaned that startling transformation - it does not mean that the basic underlying personality changes. Sid always has, and still does, crave daily social interaction. I am perfectly happy, and always have been, to absorb myself in solitary activities, such as writing and reading, which I now engage in as a means of supporting us. I enjoy socializing with our friends, but I do not need to do it every day. He thinks he does. Every single day.  Although I have offered to drive him anywhere he wants to go with whatever friend he chooses, while I am working at home, he is unwilling, perhaps unable, to make plans on his own.

The result is a wildly angry man, with diminished reasoning ability, and a childlike self-centeredness, who is desperate for constant socialization. Since I stopped his driving, therefore, his ability to go out when he wants, I am the cause of his misery, and the target of his rage.

There seems to be no way to make him understand that he does not have to go out EVERY SINGLE DAY. There is plenty that needs attention around the house. Mulching and garage cleaning come to mind.

So, does understanding how he feels and from where the rage is coming, help me cope? It helps me walk away when he starts ranting.

He is happy at this very moment- our friends picked him up for an all day outing. I made an appointment for today, because our outings are usually on Saturday. I was not aware it had been changed to Friday (He was supposed to tell me, but he forgot). I get to go to my appointment, and he gets to spend the entire day socializing. Maybe I will have peace tonight.

I was wondering – do those who were home “putterers” complain less about being home when AD strikes? Do mild mannered types remain mild mannered? There are probably as many answers as there are people with Alzheimer’s, given the adage – “You’ve seen one person with Alzheimer’s, you’ve seen one person with Alzheimer’s.” It’s just MY personality to wonder about things.

Do you feel that the Pre-AD personality has an effect on AD behavior? 

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