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    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    Things had been going so much better since I switched to nonalcolic beer. I was so relaxed I was even thinking of some fun day trips to keep us both entertained.

    Then it was After he went to bed I went around collecting things and put the bins out at the street.

    DH has always been a morning person but now I have to get up to open the house for him. Then he takes Xena (warrior princess - doberman) out front and he picks up the paper while I take care of all the other things he used to do in the morning.

    So he comes in without the paper. OK, I go out to look and the trash bins are back inside the yard! Yes, I have had all the classes about never asking why, etc. But I was already annoyed. Said something like You brought the trash back in? Why would you do that? Blank stare of course. So I go putting them back out there muttering all the way. Find the paper and, not too gently, toss it to him saying Here's the paper you came out to get. Yes, I know, stupid! So, of course he starts cursing up a storm. (Remember we were both military and speak fluent flightline)

    I took a few minutes to try to calm down. Why do I get so upset about having to redo things? He can't help it that he doesn't remember about trash day or that he used to do all these jobs. Back inside he is still pouting and glaring at me. For some reason he got up and pushed me against the front window. He never did anything like that when he was sober before. I didn't get hurt and didn't get baited into another fight. But I spent all day in another room. I delivered food to him and changed the tv channel. Nothing more.

    People keep.saying maybe it is time for respite care, placement or to medicate him. His doctor says a low dose of Haldol can control the aggression. But that's an antipsychotic medication. It seems to me less dangerous for me to somehow learn to NOT express annoyance or criticize him EVER!

    Placement also seems stupid at this point. He is healthy as a horse. Still mobile, still strong. He is only 73. He could live for twenty more years! I am going to find some respite care options either near me or his sister. Will make some appointments today.

    I am experimenting with thinking of this as if he has hired me to be a caregiver and I could be sued if I lose my temper. I might even start a separate savings account and pay myself. Need to find an acting 101 book to learn how to act smiling when I am fuming inside.

    WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THIS ANGER??? Perhaps get back to walking on the treadmill or around the neighborhood. Get back into golf - at least on the driving range.

    Anyone found a way to stop yourself from expressing annoyance or appearing to criticize when they do something wrong? I try to just correct things when he is not in the room. If that's not possible I try to correct it calmly without saying anything. Why didn't I do that with the trash?

    I guess I have my answer. I am not perfect. I will try to learn from mistakes.
    bhv, Ah yes the anger. I remember that so well. One thing I have learned about anger is that underneath the anger is sadness and fear. We express the anger because it is easier than admitting how fearful and sad we are of the whole situation. It sounds to me like you need some outside help. How about getting a caretaker in once or twice a week so you can get out or have the caretaker take him out. I did that and it helped a whole lot--also respite is for sure a good option. I was told that if you do respite to put him in for 5-7 days and not just overnight because it will give you time to really unwind. When I was engaged in this nightmare, I was unaware of the toll it was taking on me. I was only aware of my constant anger, temper, and lack of patience. It was only after the fact that I was able to look back and realize the tremendous stress I was under on a daily basis. As for stopping yourself from expressing annoyance and being critical, please do not beat yourself up. You are absolutely doing the very best you can and no one expects more. When I criticized him, I knew intellectually that he could not help himself but on an emotional level, my anger, rage, fear and sadness were too much to overcome and so I continued even tho I knew it was not in his best interest. One thing I did do the entire time he was sick was exercise. I either went to the Y, swam or took long walks. That is the one thing that I think helped me to survive without becoming disabled myself. If you are not in an exercise program, please do that for yourself. Find someone to stay with him if he cannot stay alone and go. It will help clear your mind and will help you get through another day. My heart goes out to you. Please know you will survive this. I too thought this nightmare would never did but it did and I survived and so will you. You must take care of yourself. As I have said before, you cannot save him but you can save yourself and that is where your focus needs to be. Suggestions again are caretaker help, respite, exercise. God bless.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017 edited
    My husband did the exact same thing with the trash and also exhibited other bizarre behaviors that undid my running of the household. Anyone would become exasperated when constantly having to deal with this, so don't beat yourself up. However, for your own sake, try to get a handle on your reactions. My thoughts are:

    -- When something like this happens, try to picture your husband as an adult-sized special needs child. (This is Joan G's description of our spouses.) I used to picture my husband like this and it changed the whole dynamic.
    -- Examine your own behavior from a cost-benefit point of view. Your harsh words may be a self-indulgence you can't afford. Our spouses are often psychologically devastated by their mistakes, causing them to respond defensively, either through anger or other negative behaviors.
    -- I agree with C02 about help, maybe day care or an aide to be a companion for him (perhaps disguised as a helper for you). Your husband is a veteran so he is eligible for VA benefits, which include Home and Community Based benefits. Go to I used the day care benefit and also had some aides.
    -- I would not reject medication if the problem is that your husband is angry or aggressive. But if the problem is that he does everything wrong, medicating him is not going to help that.
    bhv, You said you would look at this as if you were hired. If you were hired, you would not be working 24/7 at the job. It would be 40 hours a week. That is all. And if he did try to hurt you the agency that put you there would pull you and any other caregiver out. No agency would put their employees in harms way. Also if they can give something to calm him why would you not give it to him. His brain is slowly shutting down, it if can help him in his day to day life why would you not want it for him.

    I just remember my DH becoming enraged because I gave him a spoon and not a fork. You never know what will set them off. And what if he hurts himself and not you? Don't discount any help that may be out there. Placement can be for his safety and well being, as well as yours.

    I hope this does not sound harsh, not what I want. I just wish you well. My DH passed 3 years ago. Still feeling the health effects, this is a very stressful job. You need to put you first.
    He may still be mobile and strong, but his brain isn't. And I am worried about the physical aggression. What is going to happen to him if something happens to you? You must stay safe, and whatever needs to be done to control his behaviors--probably medication--should be looked at. It bothers me that his physical aggression is being tolerated--it shouldn't be--Alzheimers or not.
    My DH had a long period when he was angry and aggressive. Looking back I can see that it was probably because his world was going out of control. At the time it just made me angry or I would cry. (my world was going out of control too.) I hired a caregiver to come in one morning a week and told him she was there to help me. The first Friday we cleaned windows. The second week we cleaned the kitchen, top to bottom but then I said I had to run to the store. By the 3rd Friday he was used to her and never questioned her being there. A few months later I hired a second person on Tuesday mornings. I used these times to go to exercise class and do my shopping. If I didn't have anything else I needed to do I would go to the café and sit with a cup of coffee. Getting out on a regular basis saved my sanity. And he never got nasty with these caregivers. He saved that for my daughter and me.
    And these ladies did help me, They did his tons of laundry, dusted and cleaned floors and anything else they could see that needed doing. I still miss them.
    • CommentAuthorxox
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    Bhp, you are correct that our behavior and the environment of our homes are very important to their behavior. But we are only human and acting calm can take a toll on us.

    Placement isn't about when he is ready, it is about when you are ready. And you might not be ready, but his physical health should not be the determining factor.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeJan 4th 2017
    Good point, blue*. I once saw the contract for a woman who had a live-in caregiver and it called for 1½ days off a week as well as 2 hours off each afternoon. An aide came in at those times.
    • CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2017
    Look into the VA for respite help since you both are veterans. I am approved for 30 - 6 hours of respite a year. Plus they pay for his day care. He doesn't seem to mind the day care too much. Some people he tells he goes cause I need a break and others he tells he has a good time. He is a social person and that is where he can get some socialization which he can't get at home.

    As for loosing it - we all do or have. I know without the little bit of anti-depressant I loose it more. Time also has made it easier but I still loose it. Thankfully my husband has not shown any violence - so far. He has yelled at me a couple times which he never did in 45 years. It caught me off guard triggering childhood memories. If he did get violent I would do whatever I could to get him out of the house.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2017
    I can't believe this. I wrote a personalized thank you to you all for your help with this. Apparently took to long and it just disappeared!
    CO2 I was really feeling awful when I wrote this. Your comments immediately helped me get better perspective. I have been struggling with defining what is behind the rage. We've been married 34 years and this is new and unexpected. Several of you have given me a better way to think about it. I think Myrtle is right that he does this when he made a mistake or got too confused Or feels like I criticized him.
    I am not tolerating the aggression. I am trying to find ways to prevent it. I think I owe it to both of us to try. Not sure medication is the answer. I believe I have made a lot of progress. But will ask for the medication if the changes I am making are not enough.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2017 edited
    Thank you especially MaryinPA. I have been trying to figure out a way to introduce caregivers. I think your method will work when the time comes. Right now I can leave him alone for awhile. He doesn't wander. He doesn't try to cook. I am going to go out on my own and meet my girlfriends for lunch more often. And hire caregivers when he has to have someone here all the time.
    And Blue* thank you too. Not harsh. I get it.
    bhv and others, I totally agree that the anger and aggression is triggered by things that upset his routine. Yesterday, we were going to the garage to complete an easy task. I was putting my snow boots on in the livingroom. The TV was very loud, which is how DH likes it. (It drives me nuts.) I looked for the TV controller where it usually was and it wasn't there. I asked DH if he knew where the TV controller was, so I could turn it down. Big mistake. I added confusion to his routine, which set off a rant.

    When this happens, I have learned that he needs to isolate himself for a while to calm down. What is so very hard for me is to ignore/deal with the harsh words and manic behavior that he "dishes out" just before he removes himself. It usually takes an hour or two and then he returns to the livingroom and everything is all better.

    This will also happen if he does something stupid (his word), or forgets something that he should remember. He feels so foolish. Once I understood that this reaction was to himself rather than to me, it was much easier for me to deal with. It still isn't very fun and sometimes I do react. A person just can't help but to react sometimes. However, reacting usually prolongs the behavior.

    HD probably has FTD and is undiagnosed. I noticed changes probably 20 years ago. Most recently, DH can't remember what day it is. He asks me many times a day. He also guesses and, when he guesses right, he is so proud of himself. Can be very childlike at times.

    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 5th 2017
    Mary in Montana,
    Exactly. For my DH it usually takes about 15 minutes. Then it is a brand new day. I don't get over it that quickly. Understanding that his reaction is to himself and not me is the crux of the matter. Doubly difficult since he is cursing directly at Me in very personal terms. Takes practice to ignore that.
    • CommentAuthorbhv*
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2017
    Another trash day. Again he brought the full bin back in the yard. But this time I was able to calmly put it back out on the street explaining what I was doing. No blow up ths time.
    After lunch I tried getting him to brush and floss. Dentist tomorrow and I realized that he has not been brushing or flossing for awhile. Inam going to have to be more assertive about getting that done.
    Well on the first try he out toothpaste on his finger and smeared that on his chin. He thought we were going to shave. He got upset and cursed a lot as I tried getting that cleaned up. Amazingly I was able to keep calm and just followed him upstairs. We did a shave, brushed teeth and got the flossing done!
    I am super proud of myself for finding a way to keep this from escalating.
    • CommentAuthorcassie*
    • CommentTimeJan 9th 2017
    And you should be proud of yourself, bhv but oh dear, it is so difficult to be good and kind all the time and in return, receive nothing.
    • CommentAuthorFiona68
    • CommentTimeJan 11th 2017
    huge pats on the back for you bhv I remember how difficult it was to calm my breathing and summon the patience to deal with him on every single thing throughout the entire day. It takes monumental self control not to erupt. Great job.