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    • CommentAuthoryankee
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2017
     
    I don't even know how to address the issues that I am dealing with..my husband lashes out at me. He calls me awful names, yells at me. I can hardly believe he is the same man I married. His hygiene isn't the best, but if I push him to take a shower, he will lie and say he "just had one". Today I simply told him I wouldn't go anywhere with him and he finally took a shower. He is diagnosed as mild to moderate and takes two meds...Most days he seems pretty good, but the anger and frustration frightens me. When I tell him this, he says he is sorry and "won't do it again". He asked me to clean out his closet and when I began to do so, he denied ever having said so. I try to remain calm, but there are times I just lose my temper. Not proud of it, but can't say I am a saint, either. If he is getting his way, or doing what he wants, he seems to be fine. There almost seems to be a manipulative component at work to all of this, somehow. When we go out, and he says something weird, everyone just kind of lets it slide, so he is quite happy. At home, he might get frustrated that something isn't working the way he thinks it should or he has forgotten how to make something work and he gets angry, and then all hell can break loose. We have no family in the area, and so it is just us. We are fortunate to have good friends but can only ask so much of them. We see our physician this week. I usually answer to people's inquiries that everything is "fine", as I am a very private person. Seems to me that AD is going to be stripping the veneer right off...
    • CommentAuthorLindylou
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2017
     
    Oh, Yankee. You are having a tough row to hoe. Not sure I know too much about you because just as you were joining us my wife died. I want to say that all of us do lose our temper at times, even when we know doing so is futile and not helpful at all. We are human after all. And the load we bear is near to impossible at times. Do you get any respite from caring for your husband? Have you looked into the possibility of daycare. At the point when your spouse starts ranting and lashing out it is best if you can find time to get away from it for a while. As I said I don't know too much about your situation. Maybe you can tell us. How long have you known your husband was ill.


    Two things I want to add.

    First this is a safe place to vent. Lord knows I have vented my share here. Other people here may have ideas for you. And at least you know we understand and care, as few others can.

    The second thing is that a very short while ago we were discussing the book called "Creating Moments of Joy" by Joyce Brackey. It is primarily a book about approaches we can use to our spouses with dementia. And it suggests writing down the approaches that work so you can use them again. I was impressed with your approach about the shower with your husband. It worked.

    Since you are from Massachusetts I feel you are a former neighbor. I live in Worcester. Carrying you in my thoughts and prayers.
    • CommentAuthorbhv
    • CommentTimeNov 12th 2017 edited
     
    Hi yankee. Your situation sounds a lot like mine. I have been writing a summary for his doctor when I take hb in. I have told his doctor about being lashed out at, pushed around and even punched a couole of times. I have a.safe room I can lock. I have a go bag in my car trunk. Hs doctor says all I need to do is say the word and he will call in a.prescription to deal with the violence. I wanted to.try to handle it without meds. Now he has progressed and is happier and less likely to lash out.
    For about a year I wrote in a journal.to get a lot of my anger outand to documemt some of the things so no one could say it was my imagination. I have worked a lot on learning to lie and on keepong my voice calm. I give directions one teeny tiny step.at a.time. I try to NEVER even slightly imply.a.criticism of him. Ha ha ha. I Never reach the goal of Never doing that! But I am getting better. If he can't follow my direction I just shrug my shoulders again. I do things two and three times because he is so counterproductive sometimes. I used to have temper tantrums. Not so much any more. I learned somewhere that if you concentrate.and open your eyes really wide sometimes you can stop the tears from coming.
    I am fortunate that I am tall. At this point he has shrunk so I am taller than he is, although he is still.stronger. I do know some judo.and can defend myself. Used to.date.cops and find myself in cop mode a lot. Never a door behnd my back, I don't let myself get backed into a.corner - that's when he landed the punches that one day. In a normal life I woild have left him on the spot. I stayed cause he is better off with me as his advocate and if we divorced the courts would have to appoint a stranger.
    I am much better at controlling my temper and not criticizing him so he doesn't lash out as often. But I have lost a lot of me. He likes to cuddle and hug and I pretty much can't bear to be touched any more. He doesn't understand anything I say so I don't talk much any more. There are a lot of things I just don't care about any more.

    I agree there seems to be a manipulative component to it. That is the hardest thing to swallow. They say don't take things personally cause it is not him it is the disease. Well this stuff is as personal.as it can get. He gets a free pass for all kinds of bad behavior. We could be sent to jail for not taking "good enough" care of him.

    I am trying to find ways to find a life for myself. I visited some day care places. Charlotte's hb goes to one of those. I can't see mine doing that. And am afraid he might get violent there too. I have been able to leave him alone for a.few hours, but I want to take some longer trips so am thinking of setting up some in home care. I looked into respite but so..far there are no spots and you have to have some forms from his doctor and a TB test and who knows what else. So it can't be done spur of the moment.

    Hygiene is ridiculous. I.did the same thing for.awhile. He lost the ability to wash his hair and kept getting soap in his eyes. I started washing his hair in the kitchen sink. Found a tray so he can lean back and it send the water into the sink. Now he needs help one tiny step at a time when.he takes a shower. That led to lots of lashing out,but heis beginning to get used to having me around. I have to keep my voice very matter of fact and pretend we have always done it this way and, of course, he will cooperate. He shouldnt be able to learn new things, but some behaavior modification techniques actually work.

    Big sticking point lately is hand washing. When he has diarrhea and gets it all over his hands I have had to grab his hands and forcefully put some soap and wash the disgusting things for him. I still lose my temper with that one.
    • CommentAuthorWolf
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2017 edited
     
    These are all aspects of the hardships on us which the disease brings.

    It's a horrible double blow that (in men especially) the disease takes random bits away from them progressively which takes bits of our spouse away from us, and that some of them become abusive or aggressive in ways which were never their normal personality.

    There is a manipulative component as bhv said. That is in all the patients. When the reliability of reason or sensory input or our own sense of self are shredding away before our eyes, manipulation of what is happening inside is all the patient has.

    It's common to interpret that, despite all evidence to the contrary, 'they' are still in there capable of being their own selves. That really is manipulation of the evidence. Plaque buildup couldn't care less what we want to use the synapses for - it builds up plaque wherever it does and when we can see how much that is effecting them - it's impossible to support the idea that they are pretending all this so they can indulge in unacceptable behaviour.

    It's just as easy to understand our experience. As has also been said, in normal circumstances their behaviour would absolutely be grounds for a complete reassessment of the relationship. What's happening though has nothing to do with any of that.

    I'm sorry, but, we're watching their wheels slowly coming off which isn't likely news to any of us - it is instead the reality of the nightmare this disease becomes.

    Understand, but don't dwell on, the fact that as we get worn down the complexity and extent of demand on us also increases. The reason it's building gradually is because you really are getting worn down by the extent of what you have to face which includes all kinds of things like isolation and ignoring your own needs and not getting any consideration while the demand to give never stops - and secondly, the situation really is deteriorating over time, so it really is getting worse. Some consideration for the person who's shoulder's all this is falling on would be nice - even from our own selves - not so easy to do while the foundations of our lives are caving in.

    I'm sorry you're going through what I went through and I would urge everyone to talk more here not less. Talking to people who walk in your shoes is some sanity and some sanctuary. This is a tough road to walk, and when I walked it, this board helped me at times just by being here.
  1.  
    Yankee, I can't say it any better than Wolf, Lindylou, and bhv just did. I'm just one more person on this forum who went through the whole nine yards, just like they have described.

    One tiny suggestion: I switched to Johnson's Baby Shampoo (you know, the stuff that doesn't sting) when he started always getting shampoo in his eyes.
  2.  
    Yankee, I was becoming frustrated with the shower issue, as well, although my husband would actually go in to take a shower. I am embarrassed to say that it took my adult daughter to realize that once he got in the bathroom he could not remember or know what to do. Sometimes the deficits just smack you in the face and for me, this was one of those times.

    I got busy and read old threads on this site and figured out how to help him get cleaned up. There are some very helpful suggestions from what kind of clothing to buy to how to change a Depends without totally removing the pants.

    And, like bhv, I learned to handle the frustration as best I could, which ran the gamut of saint to sinner. No one can fathom what we go through who hasn't gone through it. Absolutely no one.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2017
     
    Hi Yankee, Alzheimer's patients are notoriously averse to bathing and showers. (I've never heard an explanation for this.) At one point, I realized that my husband could not organize the task, so I would go into the bathroom with him, lay out his clean clothes, wait until he took off the clothes he was wearing. Just before I left the room I would turn on the water for him. (He would not allow me to help him.) Afterwards, I would feel the bar of soap to see if it was wet. Sometimes it wasn't.

    Your husband is not necessarily lying to you when he says he has done something which he has not done. He may not remember. In any case, manipulative and passive-aggressive behavior are strategies used by people who don't have the power or authority to act directly. When our spouses start to lose their intellects, they try to compensate by manipulating or getting angry. Sometimes they are trying to save face. It's so sad and is so hard and exhausting for us. I am so sorry you are going through this.
    • CommentAuthormyrtle*
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2017 edited
     
    Hi Yankee, Alzheimer's patients are notoriously averse to bathing and showers. (I've never heard an explanation for this.) At one point, I realized that my husband could not organize the task, so I would go into the bathroom with him, lay out his clean clothes, wait until he took off the clothes he was wearing. Just before I left the room I would turn on the water for him. (He would not allow me to help him.) Afterwards, I would feel the bar of soap to see if it was wet. Sometimes it wasn't.

    Your husband is not necessarily lying to you when he says he has done something which he has not done. He may not remember. In any case, manipulative and passive-aggressive behavior are strategies used by people who don't have the power or authority to act directly. When our spouses start to lose their intellects, they try to compensate by manipulating or getting angry. Sometimes they are trying to save face. It's so sad and is so hard and exhausting for us. I am so sorry you are going through this.

    P.S. I'm sorry I posted twice. I'm on a tablet and don't quite know what I'm doing.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeNov 13th 2017
     
    For some reason they get a fear of water. My hb use to always love swimming and the water. Always took a shower every morning no matter what. When we would go camping, if there was a stream near us no matter how cold, he would take a dip in the morning. The kids always got a laugh out of it cause sometimes the creek would have just a little hole for him to sit in.

    Now he won't go near the pool even when I ask him to come sit in one of the lounge chairs. The hot tub is open during the winter but the cover is too heavy for me to pull off so I have tried to get him to come help but he won't. Many have had success with handheld showers so it keeps the water off their face. That is all we have and so far it works - except now he only showers once a week. Of course I need to tell him it is shower day.