Am I over-reacting?


Registered User
Jul 21, 2005
My husband is 68 and has been complaining about his failing memory for years. He had a scan ten years ago, which was normal. During the last six months he has experienced new symptoms which cause me to worry. On driving to an appointment ten miles away he missed the turn and drove on for another twenty miles before turning back. Soon after this we went on holiday with a small group. He asked me not to leave him on his own because he was afraid that someone would ask him a question which he didn't know that answer to (eg he could not manage to say where we lived before we moved to our present address). He couldn't convert the currency although the exchange rate wa 10:1. He frequently complains about losing his sense of direction and last week couldn't find his way in our local town because of a diversion. When he arrived at his destination he couldn't remember how to get home.

His ablility to do simple maths is greatly reduced and last week he couldn't subtract one figure from another. His mood swings are worse than usual although he has always had a tendency to these. We went through a very bad period where he was continually angry and I couldn't do anything right. This was before I began to think seriously that he had a real problem. I told him that I would have to go away for a couple of days to have some space. He immediately changed back to his old affectionate self - he cannot bear to be on his own for any length of time.

I have been unable to persuade him to see the doctor so I went to see my GP myself and told him my fears. He has written up the information I gave him in my husband's notes and said that the next doctor to see him would prompt him to talk ablout his memory problems. Yesterday he had to go to the surgery to get results of blood tests but no mention was made of memory. The GP probably didn't get an opening.

My husband has agreed to see a doctor each time there has been an incident of disorientation but has never gone through with it. He is probably frightened too.
He says now that he will go if he gets lost again....

What else can I do? Am I panicking unnecessarily? I would appreciate any help as I feel completely helpless. Jean2


Registered User
Sep 14, 2004
Hi Jean2,
You are definitely not over-reacting and we had exactly the same fight getting my Grandma to see a doctor and then getting the doctor to get to the important point!
People with much more experience of this will reply with some advice but I just wanted to reply. If you're feeling helpless, come and post here.


Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
HI JEAN ,i think you have some cause to be concerned ,when i needed to get my husband in to the doctor the first time ,(i had already spoken to the doc as you have)i made a double appointmen for the 2 of us ,so i could make sure the conversation went the way i wanted it to,he may need to go for more scans ,good luck ,ANGELA


Registered User
Jul 2, 2005
Definitely go with him to the doctor, and take with you a written note of some of the things that have happened. We all find our mind goes blank once in front of a medic, and if your husband is frightened of what might be discovered he may well become wonderfully adept at pooh poohing the problem, and making out that you are making a fuss about nothing.

The trouble with memory problems is the sufferer does not remember all the incidents, so you need to present the true picture.

Good luck

Nutty Nan

Registered User
Nov 2, 2003
Dear Jean,
You are in a tricky spot, but for everyone's sake and safety, you must 'nudge' this into the right direction!
In order to spare your husband unnecessary embarrassment, humiliation and frustration, you could write to your GP before the appointment: even if your husband is reasonably aware of his failing faculties, he would surely not appreciate having his nose rubbed in all the incidents (if you were to explain them to the GP in front of hubby).
Most GPs are diplomatic and tactful, and would welcome your presence at the appointment.
Best wishes!!


Registered User
Oct 23, 2003
West Sussex
Dear Jean, what a very trying time for you. I did the same as Nan suggests, I wrote to Mum's GP before the appointment, then accompanied her. It was not easy, the GP was very kind, but really you do need to know what is going on here don't you. Thinking of you, love She. XX


Registered User
Jun 7, 2005
South Carolina
Dear Jean, yours is a story that is repeated often. I had the same problem with my husband. I finally told him I would help him all I could but first he had to be willing to help himself. He then agreed to see the doctor. I wrote a long letter and gave it to the doctor beforehand. I knew my husband would not go into any detail about his problems. After he had seen the doctor, I went in to hear the results. The doctor had given him my letter to read! He was upset but it didn't last very long. I was very upset but came to realize that it was a good thing for the doctor to have done. It got everything out into the open. You might also explain to your husband that there are several drugs that can help him and early treatment is beneficial. Good luck.


Registered User
Jul 21, 2005
Many thanks to all of you who have replied to me. I can see the tremendous value which TP has and if my worst fears are realised I know that I will be using it again. I will write the letter to the doctor today, awaiting the opportunity to get my husband to the surgery. My husband seems to be going through a period of almost normal behaviour, apart from his inability to work out directions and I suppose I will have to wait for another incident before applying gentle pressure. Thanks again. Jean2

Linda Mc

Registered User
Jul 3, 2005
Nr Mold
Dear Jean

When I was in this situation I went to see the Dr on my own to explain things and then had a further appointment for us both and the Dr talked my husband through his symptoms and then arranged tests etc.

This made it much easier for me to deal with, but my husband is a very accepting soul and whatever the Dr said he went along with. I think the key has been sorting things out early so that he can be fully invoved in his care and feel he is making his own decisions ( even though half an hour later he has forgotten). :confused:

Hope you get things sorted soon.