Do I tell?

saljak

Registered User
Mar 2, 2015
7
Hi, My husband has been having tests for the past 2 years, at first it was thought that he'd had a series of strokes, (which have been proven by M.R.I.'s), however it's now also been discovered that he's also suffering from Alzheimer's.
The problem is, that although he's having difficulty accepting the stroke diagnosis, he definately couldn't/wouldn't accept the diagnosis of Alzheimers. Do patients eventually accept this diagnosis or is it better to let him believe that he's "only" had a series of strokes? Most times I feel that it would be kinder to let him believe in the original diagnosis but then at other times I think that perhaps I should tell him the truth. Please help! I'm struggling but I don't want my needs to affect his.
 

jenniferpa

Registered User
Jun 27, 2006
39,448
I really think there is absolutely no point in trying to get him to accept any diagnosis. It won't make a difference to the outcome or the treatment and even if he does accept it now, he's likely to forget. You are making a rod for your own back and/or worrying unnecessarily. I understand that the habits of a lifetime can be hard to overcome (telling the truth) for example, but when it comes to dementia, you will probably have to get used to telling what is sometimes called on the forum "love lies": untruths that are necessary to allow you to jog along. For example, say he forgets his parents are dead. Do you tell him, over and over and over again that they are dead and allow him to feel the grief and distress over and over and over again, or do you say something like "Oh much the same as always"?
 

lin1

Registered User
Jan 14, 2010
9,320
East Kent
Hi Saljak.
As it seems your husband may not accept the diagnosis , I feel it would be kinder not to try and force the issue .
Instead blame the strokes if/when he notices something is wrong , or if applicable his age .
When my mum was in the later stages and having a moment of clarity, she sometimes asked me what was wrong with her, I just said, things like, your memory has got bad and the DR is giving you medicine to help . Mum was happy with that explanation
 

Kevinl

Registered User
Aug 24, 2013
4,774
Salford
Another vote for no, if he accepts it and that's a big IF how many times a day might you need to remind him? I started of trying to have a discussion about it with my wife once and she went into total meltdown like you wouldn't believe then a few hours later had forgotten all about it. The only time she gets reminded these days is when a "healthcare professional" sometime casually thrown it in the conversation a move they sometimes regret, you would think they'd know better.
I do understand you want to be honest with him but being honest when it only causes pain might be the least kind thing to do, so it's a call between kindness and honesty for me and I chose what I believe is the kindest option.
If I got asked "Does my bum look big in this?" would I be honest or kind:D you decide.
K
 

pamann

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
2,635
Kent
Hello saljak welcome to talking point, if l were you l wouldn't tell your hubby he has Alzheimers, if it upsets him its not worth it, my hubby has no idea what it is, l just say you have memory loss he accepts that. Keep posting ☺
 

truth24

Registered User
Oct 13, 2013
5,725
North Somerset
Agree. There is no point in upsetting him. He probably knows deep down as my OH did and is too terrified to acknowledge it.

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1954

Registered User
Jan 3, 2013
3,835
Sidcup
Agree, unfortunately I spent hours over weeks trying to 'discuss' with mil why she was with us and full explanations of scans etc! Of course it caused her great distress and she absolutely never believes it so now I only ever mention her condition to professionals when there is a need but her face has an evil look about it. She forgets in seconds thankfully

It's easy to look back and wish I had done it differently but this wretched condition takes a lot of learning about and thankfully we have talking point to learn a lot and share, of course the information/insight from those who have some form of dementia is an absolute God send to me
 

Sammyjo1

Registered User
Jul 8, 2014
194
I just wanted to put forward the other view in that my OH knows he has Alzheimers but I am lucky in that he isn't in denial and can talk about it and all the issues around it. It helps him to be able to talk about his fears and worries and it helps me to sometimes be able to joke with him rather than feeling irritated.

I think it very much depends on the character of the people involved and each individual will react differently. So in a lot of cases keeping silent is probably the right thing, but there are times when it is easier for it to be talked about.

As with dementia, there's probably never a right or a wrong answer - it's very much trial and error.

I do hope things get easier for you.
 

chick1962

Registered User
Apr 3, 2014
11,282
near Folkestone
I just wanted to put forward the other view in that my OH knows he has Alzheimers but I am lucky in that he isn't in denial and can talk about it and all the issues around it. It helps him to be able to talk about his fears and worries and it helps me to sometimes be able to joke with him rather than feeling irritated.

I think it very much depends on the character of the people involved and each individual will react differently. So in a lot of cases keeping silent is probably the right thing, but there are times when it is easier for it to be talked about.

As with dementia, there's probably never a right or a wrong answer - it's very much trial and error.

I do hope things get easier for you.
I agree with you sammyjo, my husband also knows he has AD and Vascular dementia! We do talk things through and joke as well! It's helps us to adjust . Sometimes I do wish he wasn't that aware as he can get frustrated at times but he would hate not knowing or me keeping things away from him . Like you said everyone is different and in the future that might have to change


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tomgee3425

Registered User
Feb 3, 2014
33
Negombo Sri Lanka
Hi, My husband has been having tests for the past 2 years, at first it was thought that he'd had a series of strokes, (which have been proven by M.R.I.'s), however it's now also been discovered that he's also suffering from Alzheimer's.
The problem is, that although he's having difficulty accepting the stroke diagnosis, he definately couldn't/wouldn't accept the diagnosis of Alzheimers. Do patients eventually accept this diagnosis or is it better to let him believe that he's "only" had a series of strokes? Most times I feel that it would be kinder to let him believe in the original diagnosis but then at other times I think that perhaps I should tell him the truth. Please help! I'm struggling but I don't want my needs to affect his.
I tried to tell my wife but she became very agitated and gave me the evil eye. I now try to steer clear of the subject. For peace of mind (what am I saying, who gets peace with this wretched disease?) a little white lie or avoidance of the subject helps me.
 

Trisha4

Registered User
Jan 16, 2014
2,440
Yorkshire
I'm coming in on the side of telling and discussing BUT totally agree it depends on the person. I can't imagine husband not knowing about his illness. We talk about it, not all the time, and we face it together. He doesn't want to think about the future but then neither do I really. Except for me, there is some planning ahead. Husband is open with family, friends and even people we meet about his illness. As we always say, everyone is different.


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