1. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Hi all, it's been some time since I put anything on here. I have been undergoing cancer treatment which has resulted in my husband going down 3 points on his last mms test. I have noticed a big change in him since I came out of hospital.

    I don't know if it's me that is a bit stressed out but I don't seem to have as much patience as I did have and I feel so guilty afterwards.

    While I was out shopping today I came home cold and tired to find the safety catch on the door so I couldn't get in. I walked round to the back gate which he keeps locked as I knew he would be in the shed, he had a loud machine on so couldn't hear me shouting, I tried ringing his mobile but he didn't have it with him. After what seemed to be an age he heard me, this isn't the first time he has put the catch on the door and locked me out.

    Anyway, I have just found out that he has left the electric heater on in the shed so his 'tools don't get too cold', he has
    gone off in a huff because I said we can't afford to do this. Sometimes I feel unreasonable, I hate all the dissagreements, but at the same time I feel lately that I don't know how I am going to cope with him, everything lately is a battle. Should I just keep quiet?

    Sorry for sounding off,

  2. Lynne

    Lynne Registered User

    Jun 3, 2005
    My dear Dee,

    I think you are being eminently reasonable, given the circumstances, worry & stress(es) with which you are coping. Your husband's points-score on the mms test ISN'T because you have been having necessary cancer treatment, it is because he has his own medical condition of dementia.

    Wow, excuse the hollow laughter from me and - I suspect - many others here. If I had a pound for every time I have snapped at my Mum (& my long-suffering friends) in the last 2 or 3 years, I wouldn't need to win the lottery! And that doesn't include the times I've shut myself in the garage & had a good yell (or weep) at the spiders.

    I have had to remove the safety chain & bolts from Mum's front door, as she forgets I may need to get in that way.
    (This is as a result of my well-intentioned lecturing on home security over the previous 20 years or so - hoist on my own petard! :eek:)
    The front door lock will still deadlock with the key, so security is not compromised too much. Perhaps you could get some advice on suitable replacement locks? (I find Age Concern very helpful)
    Sadly, I think you might as well. He may not remember what you ask of him anyway, although it may cause friction between you at the time. He will forget the disagreement, but you will not = more stress & upset for you.

    I realise that, with the recent personal medical history you gave, you will have had a basinful of medics recently, but have you talked with your GP about your state of mind (ie depression) lately? It's not an admission of failure to get it addressed or treated.

    Finally (not being short of opinions) can I just say that you are a wonderful person; caring, courageous, loving & sensitive; also dog-tired, exhausted by the ordeal YOU have been through & the hospital treatment, worried sick, stressed out and in need of help. Are you in touch with your local Alzheimer's Society branch, or your district nurse? Do you have any practical help or respite from anyone else? I think you need to consider it before you experience carer burn-out. This might be a 'good time' to get your husband to accept it, since you are obviously still weak from your own illness. Worth a try? Yes.

    Please Dee, look for some back-up, for your own sake AND that of your husband. After all, if you have a breakdown what happens to him then?

    Best wishes
  3. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Dee,

    I imagine the majority of people who have had cancer treatment, have someone at home to care for them, help them throught the side effects of the treatment and give them a little TLC.

    If they are unfortunate to be alone, at least they can be ill in peace.

    I doubt many are carers.

    I`m not surprised you are being tested to the limit. You are asking too much of yourself and too much is being asked of you.

    Is it at all possible for you to get some help. I believe as far as your husband is concerned you should keep quiet, I don`t think you`ll gain anything by having a confrontation with him or appealing to his better nature. He is far too unreliable for that.

    But I do feel you should see what help your medical advisers can direct you towards. It is too much for you to cope with your cancer and your husband`s Alzheimers alone.

    In situations like yours, you get nothing for stoicism. Please ask for help from somewhere.

    Love xx
  4. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Thank you so much for your replies, Dave came back in from the shed last night without a mention of our conversation. I'm sure the heater is still on but as he has the only key and it is on a chain fastened to him I can do nothing about it. So what if we get a huge electric bill, it's only money!!
    I don't think getting help is an option at the moment, Dave is quite able to appear 'normal' to most people. He refuses to even talk about day centres or anything to do with AD and help.
    As for me, I have to go to the hospital tomorrow as I'm a bit paranoid and think I can feel another lump in my neck, I'm sure this has a lot to do with my stress levels, hopefully I'll come home feeling confident again.
    As I only have my lovely daughter who understands her step-dad's odd ways, it is calming to know I can put down my low feelings on TP and there are others out there who know exactly how I feel. Must say I feel much stronger today. Thank you once again.
    Love Dee
  5. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    near London
    Hello Dee

    I agree with what has already been posted here.

    Just want to say a couple of things.

    Firstly, there may not have been a sudden change in his condition.

    When we care for someone who is declining in health, and we are with them day after day, we tend not to notice the small steps in the decline, they just sort of merge into each other.

    It may simply be that with your having been in hospital that on your return you can now see the change.

    I remember my Jan going through a stage of locking me out in the early part of her illness. Once I returned from several days business abroad pulling a large suitcase, on a baking hot day, to find the front door chained. Jan was talking to a neighbour 400 feet down the garden with no way to contact her - or even of knowing she was there. The worry about where she was plus the frustration and tiredness.....! This was before we really knew she had a problem, but looking back I recognise it as a first sign.

    Take care,
  6. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Dee, I do know how you are fixed as far as your husband is concerned, but if there is no acceptable help for him, couldn`t you ask tomorrow if there is any help available for you.

    You should not have to go through cancer treatment and be a 24/7 carer as well. I accept your husband`s attitude to his condition, but if a carer could be organized on the pretext of giving you some support in the home, would he accept that?

    Please ask when you go tomorrow. You never know, the help may be there for you.

    Love xx
  7. cariad

    cariad Registered User

    Sep 29, 2007
    Sylvia, what a marvellous idea! Dee, I wish you all the best. You really need a break of some sorts. If your husband could get used to a carer (who is coming in to check on you), he won't think it's strange. Hopefully he will fall for it. As for the electricity in the shed, is there any way you can turn off the outside electricity only? You know, just one fuse on the box?
  8. jenniferpa

    jenniferpa Volunteer Moderator

    Jun 27, 2006
    Dee, I've been thinking about your "heating the shed" problem. I know it's only money, but I'm really concerned that you could end up with a truly massive bill over this, and I don't think you need this type of worry. Is there any possiblity he might respond to you raising it as a safety issue? After all he wouldn't want his shed (and his tools) lost to a fire. I know we tend to say let the small stuff slide, but this could turn out to be big stuff, if you see what I mean. I like the fuse idea if it's possible.
  9. TinaT

    TinaT Registered User

    Sep 27, 2006
    I'm now on my laptop as the keyboard has gone kaput on the desktop!

    Could you ask a good male friend or male neighbour to help you on the heater in the shed problem. Perhaps they could suggest to him that he gets rid of the heater. I found that when my husband was at the stage I think your husband may be at, he took much more notice of his male friends than me.

    I had many incidents like you before my husband was diagnosed with dementia. They were very upsetting at the time and I used to think he was punishing me for something. It took me a long time and many such incidents as you describe before I realised something was very, very wrong.

    I too remember my husband locking me out of a room. Unfortunately it was at a hotel where our eldest son was getting married. I ran all over the hotel trying to find him thinking he had left the room and was looking for me. He hadn't and was still in the room. By the time I got back to the room after looking everywhere for him and persuaded him to open the door, I had about 10 minutes to get a shower, change and be ready for our son's wedding.

    I also remember when he was supposed to pick me up from the airport. I had no money to get home and he wasn't at our meeting point. Thankfully I had my mobile phone with me and spent five hours phoning home and his mobile before he answered. Despite my phoning him earlier in the day to confirm the time he should have been at the airport, he had muddled it all up.

    He always had 'good excuses' for these lapses and as I say it took me a very long time to put two and two together. If you have had a diagnosis then you should be able to ask a social worker for some help. It sounds as though you may be reaching the stage where it is best if he is not left alone. Crossroads are an excellent organisation who can send in someone to look after your husband whilst you go out shopping etc. It is so hard for you battling against cancer and having to support and care for a very sick man. My love to you xx TinaT
  10. DMWalker

    DMWalker Registered User

    Aug 14, 2006
    West Yorkshire
    Thanks for all your suggestions, I have mentioned the safety problem but of course he says there is no problems as it is an oil filled radiator, actually this is the second heater he bought in a week, a bigger and better one!! But, thanks to you I have realised that I can switch the electric off from my kitchen, great, I will just have to be on the ball and remember to switch it back on.

    I find it interesting to hear your experiences on the early signs of dementia, We found out very early on that Dave had AD due to a spell in hospital two years ago which left him totally confused and delerious for over two weeks, I know if this incident hadn't happened I would have only recently started to worry about his behaviour.

    Do any of you remember the problems about his driving! Dave had to have another driving assessment in November and wouldn't let me write anything on the form about his memory problems, I couldn't get to see anyone on my own when I took him there but after an hour and just before the driving part of the assessment the man came to see me and said he couldn't see parts of the number plates for the eye-sight test and so had failed. I mentioned his memory problems and he said not to worry, he had picked up on everything and that he had deteriorated from the previous test. They would have to contact the DVLA. A visit to the optician confirmed his field vision had many 'blank spots' and therefore he was not allowed to drive. Dave offered to surrender his licence and has been fine about it. Phew! that is another battle we have overcome.
    Love Dee
  11. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    Dear Dee
    It shows how much easier it is to accept failing eyesight rather than failing capability.
    Love xx

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