Not signed in (Sign In)

Vanilla 1.1.2 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Are other people here suffering with depression? I'm having a hard time accepting the diagnosis of early onset AD, which my husband received a little over a year ago. I'm a nurse and know what Alzheimers is and am so overwhelmed by it. Working with patients with AD is a job that I enjoy and do well, but living with it.... I can't see us / me coping with it, i just don't see me handling the future , I just don't want to. Since three months I'm taking an antidepressant. It gives me more energy and i function fine, but mentally it doesn't seem to loosen my blockade. I want out.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Depression can come with it. I want out too. This month starts 10th year since diagnosis - can't believe it has been that long and no end in sight. I have been on a low dose antidepressant for the last 3 years. I have tried coming off but missing just one day and I will cry very easily. The only way I can function at all is to make sure future needs are in order and then not think of the future but only today.

    Money I got a call from the nurse from the VA pallative care. I spoke with the guy at length on Wednesday and their social worker is calling this morning to hopefully let me know what is available down the road as to home care and when he will be eligible for placement. For me I can't wait. I also have an appointment today with my case manager at Aging and Long Term Care for my yearly assessment. With this it is hard to not think of the future but once I get the info I can go back more to just one day at a time.

    Where you are with other victims of AD at work, you are more aware than those who have never been around it. That adds to the gloomy future of your husband and you.

    Also, because it is your spouse it is way different emotionally than when it is other family members which is why Joan started this site.

    If you need to vent find a counselor and/or come here. We understand.
    • CommentAuthorOnewife
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Count me in for wanting Out. I have what I call dread, dread so deep I feel it in the pit of my stomach. I wake up somedays and for a minute I feel normal. I realize my situation and dread the day ahead of us. I feel like I'm frozen on a railroad track and can hear and see the train coming. I don't feel this way everyday, somedays I can handle better than others. I just want this to end. Charlotte how you keep going for 10 yrs is amazing. I guess we just have to keep going until the day it's over and we can be happy again.
    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    thanks for sharing. I'm usually an optimistic person and can cope with problems. But with the AD my emotions are like a rollercoaster. I have good friends, hobbies and work and am very busy. When I'm with other people and they ask how it's going I usually just say "fine" to skip the topic. When the AD progresses and everything gets to be more restrictive I don't think I can keep going. It just seems so futile and hopeless. Sorry that I'm ranting here.
  1.  
    Like Charlotte said, the only way to handle it is one day at a time. You have to do the work of care planning and all that--figure out how to preserve your finances, when you will place them, or how you will manage at home if you don't place them--all that stuff. But for yourself, personally, as the Alzheimer spouse, the only way you are going to get through it is to take it one day at a time. You have to create nurturing moments for yourself.

    I think that depression, lethargy, apathy, etc. just goes along with being an Alzheimer spouse the way peanut butter goes with jelly. Boooo.

    The good thing about this website is that the people "get it", much more than the regular, not-dealing-with-Alzheimers "civilian" friends do. There is a lot of support here that you probably won't get--at least not so consistently--anywhere else.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Hi Heidi, I started suffering from depression as soon as my husband was diagnosed and it lasted for 10 years. I think that I am coming out of it now that he has died. I never wanted out, though, because I could not bear the thought of being separated from my husband. If your depression is caused by the situation, I don't know what you can do about it other than keeping one foot in the non-Alz world, taking antidepressants, and talking to a counselor. Many times none of that works, though. I agree with the others that working with Alz patients at the same time your spouse has Alz is too much. Is there a possibility of being transferred to another area of nursing?
    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    One day at a time, maybe I'll get better at it with time... I only work 6 nights a month in a retirement home and it's not a problem. I don't want to work in a hospital anymore, my son spent the better part of two years there, with terrible pain issues and about 25 operations, so for the moment work is okay. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
  2.  
    The key is to not think too much about what might be.

    Yes, the reality is staring us in the face and we can read all about the horrors. I did, but I also learned that it was best to just take everything one day at a time. Every case is different.

    Heidi, don't let this take you down too. If I can survive it, you can, too. There are little daily joys even in Alzheimerland. Maybe it is ice cream, or a kind word from someone. The neurologist once took two minutes at the end of an appointment to tell me that I was doing a wonderful job, and I replayed that in my head a million times to help get me through. I think I am a far different person than I was when this all began, and I like to hope that it is mostly for the best. I would go outside and watch the International Space Station fly by and for some strange reason, it gave me hope and strength. Don't let giving up be an option - get some counseling, if only for a chance to vent. It is amazing how helpful it is to have a sympathetic ear.

    Look at it this way: your husband has a terrible terminal disease but that doesn't mean that your life is futile and hopeless. It is different now and very hard, but not over for you. Instead of thinking about how awful it may become, think about how you can streamline your life. It will make so many things easier. Get rid of stuff. Don't do things that require too much planning or energy. Purge dramatic friends. Make your wardrobe comfortable and easy to care for. Get a new haircut. Listen to music (the 40's station got me through the trips to and from ALF). Listen to books on tape - try to discipline your mind to concentrate on the story. I found that by walking and listening, I could be transported into the story - and don't listen to sad, scary, and awful stories.

    I don't mean to sound like a Pollyanna. This is not fun, or fair. It is frankly horrible. . . but. . .don't let it claim you, too.

    Finally, when you are feeling hopeless - come here. We know. We care. And a number of us have survived and are still around to offer solace and encouragement.
    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Thank you
    • CommentAuthorSass
    • CommentTimeMar 17th 2017
     
    Heidi, I also have depression as a result of dealing with this disease. I never used to have a problem with it and was able to handle all the stresses that life throws at you until my husband was diagnosed 4 1/2 years ago. In the beginning I was still able to handle things but in 2015, there was just an unbearable amount of stress in my life not only with my husband but my son had to undergo major surgery and one of my best friends died. All of that was a breaking point for me and I knew I was getting really depressed and had no energy to do anything. That wasn't possible because I still had to care for my husband, I was working full time (and still am) and had a son still in high school. That was the year I started my anti-depressant and I'm still on it. It has helped but I still get depressed by my situation. As marche says, you take one day at a time. I am not the one who is sick and am determined that I will not become a casualty of this disease. I do things just for me. My husband is in an ALF now but when he was still home I still managed to do some things every now and then for me. Work was an escape of sorts but not something that was stress free. But a nice glass of wine at night, getting in a walk around the neighborhood, getting a pedicure were all things that I did to maintain some sanity. Life is still hard with him in an ALF, but a different kind of hard than when he was home. As the others have said, there are different phases and you have to take one day at a time. Do the best you can, don't beat your self up for not doing "everything" and be kind to yourself. We are all here to support you, listen to you and be your source for encouragement. I know you can do this. You will learn things about yourself and how strong you are when you least expect it and despite the fact that you think you can't do it. You can and you will... one day at a time. ((hugs))
    • CommentAuthorjulied
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Heidi, my husband was diagnosed 5 months ago with EOAD. I've always been a happy, upbeat person, but I'm experiencing depression. He lost his job and our insurance. His bad financial decisions he made without my knowledge before he was diagnosed depleted our retirement savings. I was a stay at home mom but I now work to try to support us along with the SSDI I was able to get for him. He will receive Medicare soon but that won't cover long term care if and when he needs to be placed. My husband was kind, patient, and funny. But now the minute I get home from working all day, he snaps at me. I walk on eggshells. I'm exhausted and worried about the future. I can't deal with one day at a time. I have to take it one hour at a time. Somehow, we just have find a way for this horrific illness not to take us too. You are not alone.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Julied, and sometimes just the next five minutes.
  3.  
    Heidi I really feel for you particularly as a fellow RN. In my career, I was around dementia/Alzheimers for over four decades and thought I knew something about the impact on individuals and family. Truly, I had no idea. As you say until one lives it.

    I hope my comments about my experiences don't alarm you and I offer them as a hope you can take action to not fall as far as I did.

    I got terribly depressed and basically lost myself for over 9 years to my husband's disease. I gained 30 lbs, stopped exercising which I had done all my life, lost my closest friends (which can go with the territory of this disease as you will see on the threads), and basically just survived. The last two years my husband was at home my whole focus was to keep him and me safe. His delusions, paranoia, and aggression were through the roof. He held it together for brief periods in public and no one believed me he was ill. Then when he went to care my role changed to one of advocate. He ended up in three facilities due to aggression with lots of acute care hospital admissions sprinkled in there. Looking back I wonder how I managed. I said to my counsellor more than once, "the best way out of this is to just die."

    When my husband died, I managed to get all the post death work done. The morning after the last lawyer's app't I woke with severe body pain. I couldn't believe the level of exhaustion after all those years of mental and emotional anguish and suffering. The body pain lasted for over 9 months and I truly thought for a bit I was headed for a wheelchair.

    If I had to do it all over again I would work harder on my own health. And surrender more.

    I struggled too with looking into the future. As our wonderful friends here wrote, sometimes it is only the next five minutes or just the day.

    And this site has been a complete life-line for me all the way through and now. We are here for you. Take good care.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Don't forget we are not the only ones that may need an antidepressant. My husband is on a very low does of sertraline. When he would miss taking his pills for a day I would notice a difference in his attitude. He would get antsy, thankfully not violent. So a low dose medication may help with our loved ones mood too.
    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Thanks for sharing, it is humbling and unbelievable what so many of you have gone through. I'm more or less at the beginning of this unwanted journey. If I could quit thinking of the future maybe I'd get through the present easier. I just wish I could stop my thoughts.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Be easy on yourself and give it time.

    I think all of us can say at the beginning we could not stop the future thinking 24/7. For me it took 2 years of sitting around waiting for him to die (someone here had made that comment about what they were doing) and gaining 40 pounds, then I kicked myself and got going living for the present.
    • CommentAuthorHeidi
    • CommentTimeMar 18th 2017
     
    Ive lost about 20 pounds and feel a lot fitter, at least one benefit from this.
    • CommentAuthorFiona68
    • CommentTimeMar 19th 2017
     
    katherinecs: I'm going to try to surrender more.

    I'm aware that I have depressive moods but have not taken antidepressants yet. I do, however, take sleeping pills (5mg Ativan) because without them I cannot sleep, which makes my moods much worse. Thankfully, I do not suffer any side effects of Ativan.