Who are you?

ridgewood

Registered User
Mar 10, 2015
3
hello everyone
First time on the forum but iwould like to hear from other members how they cope when your loved one for the first time asks you the above question.
In my case it happened when i returned from the kitchen after only 5 minutes.
The question came from my wife of 58 years.
She was diagnosed with mixed dementia/Alzheimers six months ago.
She has gone to sleep now but I dread what she will say when she awakes.
:confused:
 
Last edited:

jaymor

Volunteer Moderator
Jul 14, 2006
12,671
England
Hello ridgewood and welcome to Talking Point.

My husband first asked me if we were married to which I replied yes. It was a gentle start but soon became evident that he did not recognise me as his wife. It has now been five years since he lost me as his wife and I became the nice lady ( his words) that looked after him while he waited for his wife to collect him to go home.

He is obviously comfortable in my company, trusts me so I am happy though sad to accept the new place I hold in his life.
 

Delphie

Registered User
Dec 14, 2011
1,269
The first time my mum wasn't sure about who I was was a long time ago, maybe as long as 5 years. She asked me if I'd ever married or had children, but there was more to it and it felt l like she was trying to figure out how she knew me. A few days later she thought I was her sister. This lasted for about 20 minutes and she then snapped out of it and got a bit upset.

Wind on about a year and we had a few incidents of her talking to me about her daughter (me) and I don't know who she thought I was...

But she still knows me after all this time. Most of the time. Half way through my last visit she thought I was her mum, but only for a few minutes.

It's sad. :( But these days I'm a little bit used to it and as long as she's happy I manage to go with it.
 

Shedrech

Volunteer Moderator
Dec 15, 2012
8,498
Yorkshire
Hi Ridgewood and welcome.
How heart-rending for you.
Your wife may well be back to knowing you when she wakes - these episodes are fleeting for my dad at the moment.
I suggest you don't rush in to say "Your husband obviously" as if she isn't placing you at that moment she may not be in a time when she had a husband - and best not force info on her that she's not ready for and may worry or frighten her.
Even though you'll be feeling in turmoil, be calm and reassuring and smile.
Say something neutral eg "You've just had a sleep and I'm here to make you a cuppa, would you like a biscuit too ( plus her name or an endearment you use)?" she may get a clue from what you say and key back in - if not go with the flow and join her in her moment until she says or does something that you can latch onto again. Your way with her will tell her that you are someone she trusts and is familiar and safe with - but has just lost the particular name or relationship for a while.
If she does realise that she forgot, play it down in some way - a bit of humour maybe. a distraction immediately onto something else - so she doesn't feel that this was a big deal and can move on. My dad seems to latch onto his mistakes and 'punishes' himself for them, which just makes the bad feeling stay with him - that's the bit I find hardest to cope with - so I take any approach I can to keep his emotional state positive/neutral so that he can forget he forgot!
Hard for you, but as Jaymoor says the emotional connection you have with your wife will be there, even when she's not quite sure you're her husband.
Apologies if I've not put this well.
 

Grey Lad

Registered User
Sep 12, 2014
5,736
North East Lincs
Hi Ridgewood and welcome.
How heart-rending for you.
Your wife may well be back to knowing you when she wakes - these episodes are fleeting for my dad at the moment.
I suggest you don't rush in to say "Your husband obviously" as if she isn't placing you at that moment she may not be in a time when she had a husband - and best not force info on her that she's not ready for and may worry or frighten her.
Even though you'll be feeling in turmoil, be calm and reassuring and smile.
Say something neutral eg "You've just had a sleep and I'm here to make you a cuppa, would you like a biscuit too ( plus her name or an endearment you use)?" she may get a clue from what you say and key back in - if not go with the flow and join her in her moment until she says or does something that you can latch onto again. Your way with her will tell her that you are someone she trusts and is familiar and safe with - but has just lost the particular name or relationship for a while.
If she does realise that she forgot, play it down in some way - a bit of humour maybe. a distraction immediately onto something else - so she doesn't feel that this was a big deal and can move on. My dad seems to latch onto his mistakes and 'punishes' himself for them, which just makes the bad feeling stay with him - that's the bit I find hardest to cope with - so I take any approach I can to keep his emotional state positive/neutral so that he can forget he forgot!
Hard for you, but as Jaymoor says the emotional connection you have with your wife will be there, even when she's not quite sure you're her husband.
Apologies if I've not put this well.

I think you have put this really well and it is very helpful to me. My OH has these spells when she is not sure who I am or where she is. I like your phrase of keying back in. Many thanks for your post. G L
 

Lilac Blossom

Registered User
Oct 6, 2014
545
Scotland
One day I made coffee and hubby thanked me profusely and said that I helped him a lot but as I seemed to be spending a lot of time helping him, maybe I should go home now. Well I went through to the kitchen, came back five minutes later and he was all smiles - Oh I'm pleased to see you, but who are you? My wife? Well I never, nobody told me.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
11,344
South coast
Ill never forget the first time mum looked at me and said "Im sorry I dont know who you are" :( I knew the time would come, but it was a bit of a jolt.
These days she seldom knows who I am and often thinks that I am her mother. I dont correct her, but if she asked who I am I just tell her my name. Im pretty sure that she knows that I am family - her face lights up when she sees me - but she cant quite work out the relationship. She still knows that she loves me though.
 

ridgewood

Registered User
Mar 10, 2015
3
Hi Ridgewood and welcome.
How heart-rending for you.
Your wife may well be back to knowing you when she wakes - these episodes are fleeting for my dad at the moment.
I suggest you don't rush in to say "Your husband obviously" as if she isn't placing you at that moment she may not be in a time when she had a husband - and best not force info on her that she's not ready for and may worry or frighten her.
Even though you'll be feeling in turmoil, be calm and reassuring and smile.
Say something neutral eg "You've just had a sleep and I'm here to make you a cuppa, would you like a biscuit too ( plus her name or an endearment you use)?" she may get a clue from what you say and key back in - if not go with the flow and join her in her moment until she says or does something that you can latch onto again. Your way with her will tell her that you are someone she trusts and is familiar and safe with - but has just lost the particular name or relationship for a while.
If she does realise that she forgot, play it down in some way - a bit of humour maybe. a distraction immediately onto something else - so she doesn't feel that this was a big deal and can move on. My dad seems to latch onto his mistakes and 'punishes' himself for them, which just makes the bad feeling stay with him - that's the bit I find hardest to cope with - so I take any approach I can to keep his emotional state positive/neutral so that he can forget he forgot!
Hard for you, but as Jaymoor says the emotional connection you have with your wife will be there, even when she's not quite sure you're her husband.
Apologies if I've not put this well.

Many thanks for your kind words together with advice which is much appreciated. My wife has just woken up from a short sleep.She was sitting by the side of me and her first words were 'I love you' and then a kiss. I have not as you suggested asked her if she knows who I am. That may come later. Our son always tells me when she says these things they are not from reality but part of the illness and she is still with us.
 

ronyork

Registered User
Apr 28, 2015
43
Hunts
Who are you.

When I try to explain that I am your husband Ron she comments I know but I am married to the other Ron, And you can go home now. I5 MINS AFTERWARDS ALL IS QUITE NORMAL.
 

pamann

Registered User
Oct 28, 2013
2,635
Kent
Hello ridgewood, my hubby hasn't know me for about 2yrs, l am always someone who comes and goes, he imagines that another person is here, but not me, sometimes l am his mother or sister, but never his wife, at least l am someone who is close to him, he is now taking Memantine, he knows me most of the time now, its like a miracle, although he has forgotten my name he knows l am his wife. ☺