My hubby is having memory problems

Discussion in 'Welcome and how to use Dementia Talking Point' started by Nellsgal, Feb 14, 2016.

  1. Nellsgal

    Nellsgal Registered User

    Feb 14, 2016
    1
    Hi. First post from a newbie.

    My husband is a very young 71, but is having problems with his memory. He has just had an MRI, and we see the specialist for results in a couple of weeks.

    He gets very obsessed about little things, and is also getting very anxious. I am trying to be encouraging, patient and mindful. He is also a musician, and is making mistakes with chords and lyrics on songs he has been playing for years, week in week out, which he is finding very difficult.

    Does anyone have any advice/ideas on how to help? He is aware of his changes, and both of us, along with our children and friends, discuss things openly with him.

    Thanks in advance.

    Nellsgal :)
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,890
    Female
    Scotland
    The early stages can be the most upsetting while you come to terms with the changes. I thought that's the way it would always be but in fact I've found that every year is different in some way.

    I would try to fill your life with as many pleasures as you both can manage whether that is going to concerts, theatre, meeting friends, going for short breaks to other places - whatever. He's otherwise fit and healthy just now so just build up some good experiences while you can. This stage could go on for a long time.

    At this stage I also began to go with my husband to various Alzheimer groups like singing, football memories, allotment and walking groups. This was to become a huge support for me as time went by and it made him used to being around others with the same problem so that when the time came for day care he took it in his stride and enjoys it. Good wishes and welcome.
     
  3. LoisJean

    LoisJean Registered User

    Hello, Nellsgal...

    I am 68 years old and, I am new to the diagnosis of vascular dementia, although the symptoms have been with me longer than I can recall. I perceived them as, 'getting older', glitches. As they worsened, I said nothing-(fear and denial?) It was only when memory lapses; confusion; terrible swings between contentment, deep frustration and raging anger; and a deep, pervasive sense of apathy for all that I loved sent me to my doctor. (Lately, episodes of paranoia have joined the group).

    Gratefully, the vascular surgeon who sees me on a regular basis for an arterial blockage, looked over the brain scan my gp had ordered. Given my symptoms, He had no qualms diagnosing vascular dementia. (something my gp would not do). Understandably, he prefers a neurologist provide treatment and made a referral for me. That was several weeks ago. I'm waiting to hear from the neurologist.

    My husband and I are physically separated. I have given him all I could find on dementia and printed out for him the resources I've found on this forum for caregivers. Still, only he can decide how involved he wants to become. I find myself living with what seems to me a brain that is becoming more and more like a ball of worms crammed into a Chinese take-out box. My husband finds himself often blindsided by my constant mood swings. The hard part for me is that I know when it's happening and I seem powerless to stop it at times--which increases the frustration and anxiety for both of us. Communication breakdowns are frequent. The harder I try to adjust my thinking or catch the paranoid thoughts before they come out of my mouth, the more confused I become. Access to a support group is difficult due to distance. My son lives in Germany and my daughter in another State. They have joined TP and so have a better idea of what's happening and an understanding of how to better communicate with me. This is truly a blessing.

    I was a professional nurse for over 40 years until retirement. During my life I developed a love for a certain part of history and enjoyed researching it- often now enthusiasm for the search is quickly overwhelmed by apathy. In retirement I volunteered as a teacher's helper in a special education classroom. I loved working with those kids--it was my daily joy. As time went on I experienced some difficulty in coordinating myself to my scheduled routine... often fighting for the desire to even get out of bed on a school day. ( Not unusual for a teenager- quite unlike me, though.) I used to be able to speak in full sentences, and had excellent language and writing skills. Now I find words stick in my brain and refuse to drop down into my mouth as I speak or they slip through my fingers as I write. It has taken me almost 3 hours to type my expressions here...(good thing I've got time! Often when I'm talking I lose the next word and stop speaking in mid-sentence. This happens more and more now when sharing in group discussions.

    I find great hope in mariong's response to you: "The early stages can be the most upsetting while you come to terms with the changes." I find a promise in the word, 'while'. I'm not certain what stage of this I am in..I'd like to know. I believe this will help me in accepting the changes I'm experiencing. Today I am taking supplements that help a small bit, but I know prescribed medication is necessary.

    I have found Talking Point to be a very real help for me and I visit it daily. I know I can express myself here and that I'm understood. I read all of the posts from those with all types of dementia and those who are carers. I take lots of notes. Memories from the years of care I gave to my patients with dementia come back to me.. often care given before we knew much about any of this. Still, I forget how to write out my own medications. Good people have come a very long way in changing the perceptions and prejudices of what dementia is. I am so grateful.

    Please continue with us, Nellsgal. I'm looking forward to your posts. I apologize now for the length of this. Sometimes my mind is like a dog with a bone :rolleyes:.

    Peace be with you and your husband. Lois Jean
     
  4. BillBRNC

    BillBRNC Registered User

    Jan 26, 2016
    40
    USA NC
    I have Alz, but still reasonable functional, but lots of problems in the mild to moderate zones. Anyway, I a Yank from the mountains of North Carolina, where mountain and traditional music is at the top for most musicians. I play open back banjo in the old time way with different groups of folks ever week. I've been having problems for over a year now with remembering tunes, or forgetting what I'm playing in the middle of a tune, or making my fingers do what I want them to do, keeping time, and most of all just being generally uncomfortable doing what used to be one of my favorite things. I've cut back two weekly jam sessions, with only one now weekly at a local restaurant and bar. Great group of people, but they know there is something going on wrong with me, but they are too nice to mention it. My plan is to try to keep at it for as long as I can, regardless how bad I might get at playing and singing. Good luck.
     

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