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  1.  
    My husband is pre-alzheimic (my word). My memory is not the best either. But, his is becoming more and more noticeable. When he tells his "stories", there is a slightly different element to them (which is not important, really) but it's part of an increasing trend.

    Today, we went through another incident with medical appts on the calendar. He is "THE PERSON" who marks the calendar. I caught something not right, verified it with the doc's office, made correction on calendar. And dreaded showing him this change, and then he insists the original notations are correct.

    I have the proof, and my patience is wearing thin. He is a guy who thinks he is always right, and I'm the dumb one.

    I bite through so many blasted nails I could build a house. It's been 35 yrs of marriage, and It will get worse.
  2.  
    I've been tested for memory loss, which has been attributed to depression. Yet, I feel this is a "copout" dx. These local docs are something else here. I know people who have had to go out of town, to the bigger university settings, and got the correct dx and thereby assisting them with momentous decisions.

    But, my spouse! He often remarks how his memory is worth nothing.....but dealing with this on a continuing daily basis has me so ANGRY. It's his attitude.....
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2019
     
    Sorry you are going through this. Stress and depression can affect memory, so don't discount it as a contributing factor.

    I was fortunate my husband never fought the diagnosis, but many others here sadly have.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 1st 2019
     
    I am sorry about your husband not recognizing the problems. The part of his brain that would allow him to see his deficiencies is probably damaged.

    When it comes to dementia it isn't unusual to need to see a neurologist who is a dementia expert at a university based hospital.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2019
     
    Hi Paul, and Aprilfool48, I often wonder what the value of the neurologist is in dementia? To determine the type? or maybe if there is another source? I guess there are some that need an official medical diagnosis to qualify for some type of benefits, maybe veterans? DH joined the Marines at 17, but because of a broken nose he had to have it repaired before he could qualify for active duty. Then when he was drafted the draft board deemed him essential personnel on the PD so was deferred. Still irritates him today, LOL.

    My husband met with a Neuropsychologist about 18 months ago, took the initial testing and met with the Dr. He said highly intelligent people scored high on the first set and low on the other and vice versa. As expected DR said dh scored high on the first. He said there was obviously dementia,..of the AZ type. Dh was scheduled to go in the next week for an all day testing session. He refused to go and I had to cancel the appt - the minute he heard the word Alzheimers, he was through. It did result in a prescription for Aricept - and later Namenda (which he had to stop). I honestly can't see any difference with or without medication.

    Now he is scheduled to see a Neuropsychiatrist next month. This Dr is highly qualified in every form of Neuro (fill in the blank :) I assume anything to do with the brain. He really doesn't want to go - and I too wonder if it's worth it. You know nothing can be done in a 15 min visit, so it would mean going back & more testing. At 82, he may be right. What is the use of continuing to see specialists? Short of brain scans etc - what more can they do - or why? Psychically, he's very healthy and at this point I don't see the value of trying to qualify it - or explain to me what the problem is - or how far advanced he is. One day he's ranting and raving but an hour later he's forgotten it.

    Yes he drives me crazy and the stress is awful -- but is it anymore than the stress and worry Charlotte has dealing with proper care for Art? I'm not sure there are any real answers to this AZ question/problem, it's just getting through every day. All the studies show caregivers are more at risk than the person they're caring for -- is that news to anyone?

    Our middle son and wife will be here Father's Day, from Oregon. But this is the son who wouldn't go to the hospital when they thought he might not make it because he didn't want to remember him that way. So I don't really expect any words of wisdom nor offers of help from him.

    I think there is a line in the Bible about enduring to the end. Oh, there is some good news. He has completely forgotten the tractor incident and I'm scheduling to have the floors put in about the 18th of May - if they can get it in in time and if the final cost doesn't exceed my budget. the sun is shining, it's a beautiful spring day, and -----as soon as this program is over----LOL, he going to go outside and weed the flowers. At least he's happy and in a good mood this morning.
    •  
      CommentAuthormary75*
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2019 edited
     
    Are these the lines ?

    2 Timothy 4:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

    7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

    8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

    King James Version (KJV)
    Public Domain
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2019
     
    You are right about a neurologist. You live with him 24/7 so know more than a short visit would tell you. If the anger is different than his before then maybe there is some FTD. But the outcome is still the same. I remember how Sid, Joan's husband scored high on the MMSE test until near the end even though his memory was shot. It all depends on what area of the brain is affected.

    If you can fined a good primary who is knowledgeable in treating them and you trust them, then in my opinion there is no need for a neurologist. Some want to put their loved one through all the test probably hoping for a wrong diagnosis or a miracle.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2019
     
    I'm not really sure Mary, I suspect it's a combination of verses - so many passages appear similar in different books. Just a line I've heard forever. The first time was when a very elderly woman was dying - but kept living. Her husband and even some kids were long gone, when someone asked her what she thought, she said she just had to endure to the end.

    The race is not given to the swift nor the strong but he who endures until the end.

    I do like verse 7: I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

    Occasionally someone will say something has earned you a star in your crown in Heaven, but I sometimes wonder if it isn't the job - but in how we approach it that earns us a star.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2019
     
    I forgot to mention that 60 Minutes is showing a segment on FTD right now on the US East Coast. It will be available on the 60 Minutes web site later. Of course a golf game delayed it but they will still show the FTD segment.

    One of my FB friends was interviewed for it.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2019
     
    Venting is where I belong today. Finally a week with no rain, the hay is baled but the grass around the house is high again and stays wet. Not only is it a pain to keep the little dogs dry but a breeding ground for mosquitos. We have (had) a new rear wheel mower to do the areas that are too small for the riding mower to get in around the house and courtyard, but dh forgot it had to have oil. I assume the engine has seized. I'd like to have it checked before we spend another $400 but the small shops around here have closed, and the big ones don't do this type of work. To buy another we have to go to town but he never wants to go. Cancelled his diabetic eye appt for this week as he simply didn't want to go. Unless there is a real problem, I just don't care anymore.

    I'd like it to be one way - either he simply stays in his chair and does nothing - or gets out and does what he can do. As it is he doesn't want to to anything and doesn't want me to either. It's hard to know if he can't understand what to do, can't do it or just doesn't want to do it. I got some breakfast scrambles for him, just add an egg, stir it up and microwave for a minute. Fixed one for him yesterday and this morning showed him how to do it - but he wants me to do it. I don't know where this obsession comes from, wanting me to cook everything, very much like a little kid. Wants me to be smiling all the time - I mean all the time. Even sitting reading or watching tv he'll get angry if I'm not smiling. That alone makes me want to scream, not smile :) I suspect some of this may be coming from the fact he has lost much of his strength and feels useless. We had to move some furniture, we have the lifter and sliders, I can do it. He insisted he do it but wasn't strong enough to apply enough pressure and chipped several places on my piano because he insisted I let him do it.

    I have beautiful lilies blooming now, but the weeds are 3' high again. All this rain and heat is like a greenhouse. I wanted to get more vegetables in because they are so expensive to buy - but again you have to leave the house to go do anything and he never wants to go but also doesn't want me to go. Wait till tomorrow - wait wait wait. I know zero about mowers but guess I'll have to go and buy one. I buy a lot online but this isn't one I want to mess with. It isn't that he can't stay alone - he just doesn't want me to leave. Maybe he thinks I won't come back. Told you I needed to vent, LOL. I tried to get him to take a short trip to the ocean, which he loves, but not even that tempted him.
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      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2019
     
    You hit it - they are like children - can't do anything, afraid to have us out of their site. Wanting you to smile all the time seems like it is some type of security thing - wants to make sure you aren't mad at him. It is very draining.

    My husband forgot how to use the microwave long ago. I found it is easier to fix meals myself. When he was home I was even making his PB/Jelly sandwiches because he was uncertain how to anymore since when in placement they make all the food for them. When I take him out for lunch I have to get his fountain drink cause he is not sure how to do it.

    I forget - are you in the situation where you have too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to self pay? For your own health something needs to change. As for the lawnmower, how large is the area? Will a push mower, nothing fancy, work for the around the house?

    Thanks for venting. Do it whenever you need to. (((hugs))) for you and the great job you are doing.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJun 8th 2019
     
    I was just looking at the manual push mowers online, they are cheaper than the regular ones but not cheap.

    When I took my shower I noticed my jaw was hurting, I think I've been clenching my back teeth to keep everything in. The kids will be here Sat am, the downstairs looks pretty with the new floors and the upstairs bedroom is ready -- the in-between........didn't get near as much done as I hoped.

    Dh can use the microwave. Our big fancy built-in caught fire a few months ago so I bought a smaller, simpler one which he can handle fine. But suddenly he wants me to do it for him.

    Will be interesting to see our sons reaction to his Dad, if he notices the big difference since we last saw him 2 yrs ago. I'm glad they are coming and glad they are only staying a few days, as much as I love them they are difficult guests. Youngest son and dil will be here the 1st of July so will get out a lot with them. They always shop for antiques so it's a lot of fun. Plus they took care of her parents for 13 years - Dad with AZ - so are more familiar with how to handle things.

    I can remember my Dad saying he raised 4 girls in the same house, the same way, with the same parents -- so how could they turn out so different from each other? I know how he felt, LOL.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2019
     
    This is the push mower I have. https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best-reel-mower/

    While we might think we treated all children the same, did we really. And is that best, different children have different needs.

    Over time my wife made the change in her ALF from wanting to do stuff herself, even if she couldn’t, to needing others to do stuff for her. The nurses suggest she make her own bed when she complains that no one made hers, she will accept that suggestion but not initiate it herself.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 9th 2019
     
    I remember those old push mowers with fond and painful memories. As a child we had a big lawn. You would get going then hit a clump of grass, stick, etc then suddenly stop causing the handle to hit my chest. At one time we even bought one (used since new ones were hard to find and expensive) when we had a real small yard. Of course, you can buy them new now about everywhere. The rest of the time we always had a gas push mower vs a riding lawnmower - never had a yard big enough to warrant the cost. When we had our RV parked at my sister's, she had a riding lawnmower cause she had a lot of grass. Art loved riding around on it, but at least once a season it had to go in for repairs. Not worth the cost - in my opinion.
    • CommentAuthorpaulc
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2019
     
    The advantage of rotary mowers is that they are better for the grass. They cut the grass blade like a sissors and not like a flying knife. This is why golf corses use manual mowers. However, they use a small tractor to drag 5 or 6 manual mowers at a time. The trick is buying the right manual mower, many aren't that good.

    There are situations where manual mowers are bad. Steep grades. Large yards. Tall grass. I ended up buying grass sissors to cut the grass blades that are too long or at the edge and can't be reached by the mower.
    • CommentAuthoroakridge
    • CommentTimeJun 10th 2019
     
    Thanks Paul, I read the entire article and makes me think maybe the reel mower isn't for us. To keep it under 3" we would have to mow every day - and while this little area isn't too rough, neither is it entirely level. I may ask our neighbor to take a look and maybe he can tell if the motor is seized. I read that sometimes, the oil spills and things get dirty and it will seem bad but will work by cleaning and putting new stuff in. We do have electric hedge cutters we used at the other house so I may see if they will work for right here in front. The grass between the stepping stones has to be hand cut anyway.

    Dh is up and needs help with his pills. No venting this morning, a perfect chamber of commerce day here today - but storms predicted for the weekend.
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2019
     
    I was suppose to have a meeting with the social worker for the facility and manager at 11am. I showed up at 10:45. I really did not want to see hb today since because our son was in town I saw him 4 times last week. I wanted to put more space between the visits. Well, the social worker had been there earlier, had meeting with manager, then left. I phoned her. She blamed the manager for not letting me know about the meeting. I told her she let me know, I still had the message. Claims she never phoned me, which was about 3 weeks ago. I told her I would let the manager listen to verify. She kept denying she ever called me.

    Let's just say I was not very nice to her. Told her I visited him numerous times last week because our son was in town but did not want to visit today. That he needs a break or he gets upset. I told her if she were manager of this place I would pull my husband out immediately. That she is a professional and this was definitely not professional behavior. Said something like 'this old lady is not going to be treated this way'.

    Art was sleeping when I arrived. If I had known there would not be a meeting I would not have woke him up. I only woke him up cause I was going to let him watch the dog during the meeting. I guess he refused to get up for breakfast, refused to eat lunch no matter how much we all tried. All he did was cry - no idea why. Finally Jill, the manager, said she would distract him while I left out the back door telling him I was taking the dog out to pee. Just phoned her - they got him to eat and he is fine now.

    The social worker called while I was driving home. In her message she apologized telling me how bad she felt. That she looked back over her records and she did in deed phone me. Then she started in giving excuses about something going on with her 5 year old daughter and other things. The she went back to apologizing, telling me how she wants to do a good job for us, etc. - sounded like she was almost in tears. I was a bit turned off when she started making all the excuses. But I sure I am the first one that has laid into her to like I did. I could tell she really did not know how to respond.

    Now I will wait until Friday or Saturday to see him. I think he would feel better if him and his roommate did not stay up half the night goofing off!!!
  3.  
    The social worker's behavior was very unprofessional. Anybody can make a mistake, but instead of all her shenanigans, she should have politely said she did not recall the meeting but would check her phone documentation...and then after she checked it and found that she was in the wrong, she should have politely made a sincere apology to you without all the histrionics. (And what about the manager? Did she realize you were supposed to be at the meeting? If so, why did she not call you either?) So frustrating and annoying.
    • CommentAuthorJan K
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2019
     
    It seems like "venting" might be the best place to post this.

    In going through some old articles and things I've kept on caregiving and dementia, I found one article by a doctor who said that if a caregiver can't take care of medical issues and educate themselves to make wise decisions for the patient, they should find someone else to do it.

    Well, after the smoke cleared from around my head, I thought about all the times I've had to do hours of research on many medical issues that DH was having. I also thought about all the times that the doctors had missed obvious symptoms and bad results on lab tests, and I had to point the problems out to them. And then there were times when I asked the doctor what a good decision would be, and they couldn't tell me.

    But mostly I wondered who in the world that doctor thought we had available to pass over decision-making to. Seriously. A lot of us have family members who can't even be bothered to visit or phone. The idea of those people making major medical decisions for DH makes my blood run cold.

    So, to that doctor, I'd like to say: We're doing the best we can, with the resources we have. Yes, we make mistakes. But so do you. And you miss things--sometimes important things. If you have problems with medical decisions that caregivers are making, maybe you ought to add another minute to your three-minute office visit to provide that caregiver with more information on the issue.

    Okay, that's my rant for the day. So far!
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2019
     
    What a horrible statement to make regarding caregivers. I like this better:

    "by a doctor who said that if a DOCTOR can't take care of medical issues and educate themselves to make wise decisions for the patient, they should find someone else to do it."
    •  
      CommentAuthorCharlotte
    • CommentTimeJun 23rd 2019
     
    I won't post the long letter, but today I finally vented to the VA regarding the physician assistant my husband had as his primary for the last 5 years. I sent it to the Patient Advocate vs sending to Hansen, but I know he will see it. Now on to google to vent my anger towards Eagle Springs.