It seems to me that my husband's short term memory is a little worse. I noticed it about a week ago. Today I had to run an errand and I always tell him before I leave that I have just fed the dogs and took them out to potty. When I got home 2 hours later he had fed them again and took them out when I pulled up. This was not necessary as I had done that just before I left. I am concerned but I don't think it is necessary to call the doc. I am scared because this is just the beginning. Diagnosed July 28th last year. Once they lose a little more memory does it ever change for the good or have more brain cells died or does he need an increase of Aericept or Seroquel? I know you can't advise but what has your experience been with this sort of thing ? Thank you
This will help the MD track his progress.
In my experience Pam is spot on. There will be quite lucid days and there will be days when you think ...say whaaaaaaat? The trouble is it isn't always days it can be minutes later. So while you think everything is fine when you leave the house moments later it might well not be but you cannot tell and you cannot beat yourself up for that sort of thing. All you can do is minimise the issues as you encounter them. In the case of the dogs give them half a meal and then if he does give them a second one it won't be too drastic or don't feed them until you get back
I vent on here a lot when the bad days are present or when Social services are neither helpful, caring or providing a service.... I find it helpful if I can get out the frustration and irritability I find within me. It is absolutely normal to be frustrated, it is absolutely OK to be angry, it is perfectly OK to want to go and scream or be tearful - most of us have been there. Some are brilliant carers (past and present so you will benefit from their vast experience), some not so much - I am a not so much one for I whine and moan but others have it far worse than I, BUT I am here and I do care for my mother. On the good days I try to help others on here who are going through the same thing.
This is a fabulous site and while we might not tell you what you want to hear be assured we mean well - we just don't sugar coat stuff that is really important.
Exactly 15 months ago (she had had problems already for a few years), my mom was furious with me constantly because I hadn't visited "in five days." The truth was that I had been there EVERY DAY. But she didn't remember. This had been going on for about two years and was making me very weary.
Then something happened--her memory slipped just that little bit more that she no longer remembered anything of the recent past at all--not even my imagined absence. This has been wonderful for me. My mom is happy to see me every time I arrive and she doesn't know when she saw me the last time. Am I coming from the ladies room or Louisiana? She doesn't know or seem to care.
This has given her peace of mind and me freedom.
She was on Aricept, after visit to neurologist, and eventually on Namenda also. It was the longest, most devastating time in years watching her decline so slowly. But my advice is...please dont wait. Go to neurologist now. Dont be ashamed to deal with it...it is slow progressing, but start meds now. They help a lot, but please...face the possibility. That's the best you can do for both of you. My heart is with you.
When things got worse she turned violent and had to go into a nursing home. She's passed on. Now my Dad is getting more Dementia of some kind. But heck, he's 97 now.
But as to leaving signs or notes for your husband, please be aware that might work for a time, but not forever. Every day, we changed the date on the large whiteboard, which had a note that Mom had died on a specific date....Dad never read those, and if he did, he thought it meant SOME OTHER person, and not his wife. We put signs on the front doors that he should not drive (he would not give up his car keys because there was "nothing wrong with him and he will KNOW when it's time to stop driving!) or leave the house, but he just went out right past them, even moving small chairs we had put in place to slow him down so he WOULD notice and read them. Alzheimers and other dementia patients lose the ability to read as their disease progresses. Dad was almost 92 when he died. His abilities and memories had been declining for about 4 years, but were really bad only the last 17 months. We did trick him into a memory care center the last few months of his life by telling him it was for therapy, both to get him to eat better, and to exercise so he would be stronger and not fall again. Not a lie, but I would never have let him come home. Living at his home was, of course, what he wanted, but eventually he didn't recognize it, and would wander the streets looking for my mother or asking folks how he could get to his home. It was a sad time, but you may not face this...maybe your husband's lapses are just normal, but do be aware of what you might face. We are all here to help each other. Get thee (and him) to a doctor!
There were days that I thought, he is not sick. But boy the bad days are really hard--so enjoy the good days.
Sending hugs your way for you both. There is a very good book you can get on Amazon--it is called the 36 hour day. You will find it very helpful, I have!
My DH could not take the Aericept---7 days on it and he was like a zombie, so the only thing he is on is Depression meds and supplements.
As others have said, if the memory loss takes away anxiety and old anger, that's a blessing. My husband has gotten to be more affectionate, which is nice.
Try to be "interested" in the progression, like a scientist. It's fascinating to see which things go first, and which things last longer. This won't lessen the grief, but it gives you something else to focus on sometimes.
Isn't Seroquel given to control aggression? It's not specific for dementia, but to manage problem behaviors or insomnia, I think. It sounds to me that his meds are doing just what is needed. The memory does go, and nothing (yet) can
change that. Best wishes and hugs to you.
I try to count my blessings, because he is sweeter, and just a tad less stubborn than he was. I have no help except from my daughter. The blessing is that I don't have to fight with family over how I treat him. It's a blessing that I don't actively dislike him. It's a blessing that he sleeps and eats well. It's a blessing that he can still go for walks alone.
Feel free to come here and vent all you want. Most of us have been there and don't judge. There's a lot to learn here, about the disease, bathing and continence, legal and financial issues, dealing with family and more. Do look up Deepa Snow videos to watch. She has figured out a lot about how to make caregiving more effective and less painful.
Dad is on Aricept and Namenda, highest dose. It helps a lot. Try not to be afraid. Just focus on who your husband really is. If you know the Lord, rely on Him and he will see you through it.