When my husband was diagnosed with dementia, probable Alzheimers, in 2012, I sprung into action. I took an early retirement, with reduced benefit, from my high level professional job and devoted myself to trying to “fix” the problem. I had already downsized my job 2 years previous, as I saw the little strokes, changes in personality, and constant forgetfulness and knew in my heart that we had a serious problem. I was confident I would figure out how to “fix” him.
As you may have guessed, I failed at this, despite my research, my course taking in Dementia Studies, and my persistence. But we have had quite a few good years. And we did not follow the rather typical medical advice to basically “go home, put your affairs in order, and wait to die”. Instead, we did what we had promised each other we would do if one of us ever had a terminal illness: We went out to play!!! Now our playing is almost over, but we have no regrets. I’ll tell you all about it in a later post.
Additionally, I find it very helpful to read of other’s experiences with dementia, and as the spouse of the dementia patient. And after this difficult year in isolation due to the Pandemic, I found that I desperately needed an outlet for all I have bottled up inside. And I thought that perhaps my story might help someone else struggling with this dreaded disease.
I will tell you that I have changed the names and the locations so as to protect my husband’s dignity, and that of his family. This allows me to truthfully write about the good, the bad, and the ugly without fear of hurting others. Thank you for your understanding. And thank you for reading!