Small (but obvious) changes in hubby's behaviour

Discussion in 'Younger people with dementia and their carers' started by LynneMcV, May 4, 2013.

  1. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    I think hubby is starting to exhibit another stage of this illness - but only in a small way.

    He seems to be getting a bit possessive over things. When I have done the shopping he seems to get mildy worried that other people in the family will eat things before he gets a chance (I don't think that is possible, as he is forever foraging through the fridge and cupboards :) )

    On a Friday night we all like to sit down as a family and have a couple of drinks and watch a film - but I have noticed him looking a bit agitated by the fact that others are drinking his favourite drink too. It isn't his drink, it is for all of us, but he seems to think of it as his.

    Last week, we had a meal out as a family. On the rare occasions that we eat out, my husband and I normally share a bottle of wine with our meal. Neither of our children (both young adults) tend to drink much - but on this occasion my son accepted the offer of a glass of wine. My husband seemed mildly annoyed that he might not get his usual three glasses from a bottle!

    It's not just food and drink though. Today my husband said he had dropped a £20 note down side of the bedside cabinet in the bedroom but he could not see it. I went to help and found he had pulled all the drawers out of the cabinet on his side of the bed and emptied them on to the bed in his search. I found the £20 note quite quickly and gave it to hubby and started putting the contents back into the drawer.

    Amongst them was a cup with loose change in it. I thought nothing of it and went to put it in the drawer but hubby said "That was my secret emergency money you weren't supposed to know about."

    I thought he was joking and just laughed - but then I saw his face and he looked genuinely worried/annoyed. I looked at the cup again and it was half full with £2 coins. Not a vast fortune - probably about £30, but it seemed to be a bit of a concern to him that I knew it was there.

    He then put his £20 note into the cup and the whole lot back into the drawer. He said he'd have to find a new place to hide it, and I made light of it and said if he did that, he might forget where it was. He saw the funny side and we both laughed it off - but I still sensed a bit of an underlying disquiet.

    I mentioned it to my son when hubby was out this afternoon and son said that during the week his dad often goes into our bedroom and he can hear money being counted and rattled. I started to visualise a Scrooge-come-Fagin character secretly counting his hoard and we both had a bit of a giggle. :D

    Laughter aside though, it is out of character for my husband. He has always been generous and easy-going - the type of person to go without, or to give his last penny to another - so seeing these little steps towards not wanting to share and wanting to hide/hoard things away is setting off a few alarm bells.

    I've already forewarned son and daughter about this kind of behaviour and to play it down as much as possible. I suspect it won't be long before he says money has gone missing etc, and I know that is all part and parcel of the behaviour too. I'm trying not to pre-empt what will happen.

    I am aware of the changes but it is not a big deal at the moment and I don't want to make a a huge issue of it. I just think it is important for me to log it for my own records though. I find it helps to have something to look back on in the future which will help pin-point when different behaviours start to occur.

    In himself hubby is happy, that's the main thing. He has been out bowling this afternoon and having a good time. The more he is out socialising and enjoying life, the less time he will have to brood or be bored and let these kind of worries/irritations surface (I think) :)
  2. garnuft

    garnuft Registered User

    Sep 7, 2012
    I know how disconcerting it is Lynne, my Mam has always been the most generous and sharing of people but she became (and has remained) proprietary over money and drinks.
    I have to make extra gravy on a Sunday because even with 2 half pint jugs she will have to have more if anyone else has any. She would have soup if let her. She wants all the gravy.

    It worried and saddened me a lot because it showed how much of her was being taken away by the illness she has.

    We have adjusted to it, to an extent.

    But strangely she bears no grudge of sharing to my disabled son, she remembers his traumatic membership of our family, her great-grandchildren she treats like Interlopers.

    She would never be like this were she able to choose.

    It must be very hard for you, I think it's much harder if it's your partner not a parent.

    Big hugs for you and your lovely sounding son and daughter, they are what your Man was about, not a bowl of £2 coins. XXX
  3. LynneMcV

    LynneMcV Volunteer Moderator

    May 9, 2012
    south-east London
    Thanks for your kind words garnuft - and the hugs - always appreciated :D

    Yes, it is all a bit disconcerting. Fortunately it isn't dictating hubby's entire approach towards sharing and thinking of others yet - there are just little glitches emerging along the way.

    Today he has been his usual considerate and helpful self. He asked me if I needed anything from the shops when he went to get the papers, made sure he did the washing up after I made the Sunday roast, made me several cups of tea - and rushed to help me take in the washing when I noticed the sky was coming over ominously dark at one point.

    This is the husband I know - caring, helpful and thinking of others - and the husband I hope will be around for a long time to come :)
  4. Keely

    Keely Registered User

    Aug 6, 2007
    Oh its not easy is it. I found my mum did exhibit some behaviors that were more self centered and dis-inhibited. She began not wanting to share things for example she visited my sister who is disabled, my sisters carers put a large plate of cream cakes down near her and when they came back in the room my Mum had gobbled them all. We all had to be careful what we did - so long as you and the family/friends understand its not him but his illness and try to see the funny side of it When I clocked small changes in my mum I tended to begin to formulate coping strategies not always consciously but being aware does give us a chance to prepare. It is sad when we identify changes even is just little ones - its a further reminder of the illness but for what its worth I think you are right to make a mental or written note of them. There are no easy answers we just had to be sensitive and caring. We had to distract mum as trying to reason was just hopeless sometimes we were able to call on her sense of humor to prevent her almost snatching food out the hands of babes!! Think of you x

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