Saturday, February 26, 2011

Communication with Husband

My dear husband feels in control when we go to a restaurant and he pays with his debit card. I help him with the procedure when the waiter is not at our table. If I didn't he might leave an inappropriate tip as the cartoon shows Herman with his $200 tip.

I am so into multitasking that I drive myself crazy. Not so with hubby. One thought and one activity at a time or he lets me know I am not making sense. However he seems to be ready for adventures, like running around doing errands. "Where next, Carol?" he will ask.

He misses driving, still has his license and he is still insured. Several weeks ago he seemed to recant his decision at the time of the crash to not drive again. He couldn't remember that decision. I was more comfortable with his driving the popup camper, especially with backing it up. So he will suggest he drives to an event and seems to like me to drive home. However I do most of the driving because he doesn't know where places are.

Researchers use the Montessori Method with AD Patients and speak in the moment and try to think of the meaning behind the words. Are they asking the same thing over and over? When my husband was obsessing about repairs on our camper, rather than dismiss what I knew was being  taken care of, we went to the JAYCO dealer again. That stopped his obsessing. The old-fashioned husband that he is still needs to feel in control. And you cannot argue with a person who has Alzheimer's.

Recently DH said he wanted to go to the shooting range. Rather than argue about this I reminded him calmly that we are into camping now and that our friend has his guns to sell. He was satisfied. Alzheimer's patients can get angry at Sundown or when life doesn't make sense to them. Why have any weapon around for future anger!

He has memories that don't make sense to me and I just calmly say nothing or say that must have been a previous time before we were married. He says we came within inches of running into a huge utility pole at the time of the crash. No huge pole existed at the crash scene. I don't correct him. However he would not be a credible witness in a trial!

He thinks his daughter broke her elbow months ago and I have to calmly inform him it was earlier this month. I am posting monthly pictures on his Facebook profile to show him recent events. He at times looks at these pictures, but has little interest in his computer any longer. He just enjoys his movies!

All of these strategies help with our "new normal" life, part of the cross I take up. From this morning's devotions from the end of Mark 8:
If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?


  1. Carol,
    I know the loneliness you feel. It is there for me whenever I visit my mom. She is there physically but not mentally. It is so sad. I go to see her but it is heartwrenching. She doesn't make conversation any longer and when I try to engage her, she gives me a bewildered look. We moved her from one apartment at the end of the hall up to the front of the hall away from the exterior door yesterday. The door stays locked from the outside but can be exited from the inside. After hours an alarm will sound, but we worry that she'll go outside and wander before someone can get down the hall to check the alarm. She's been leaving her apartment during the night and has been found in the halls by the night staff. Just another sign of the rapid progression of the disease.

  2. Terri, you are such a precious daughter to your mother. I have read that just being there may be important for our Alzheimer's loved ones. It's our "new normal".

    Can you sing hymns or songs to your mom? In a workshop I have heard that works because it engages their long-term memory. I play songs on my iPod in the car when we are driving and DH taps to the music. Sometimes we sing together songs we like such as "Side by Side".

    Fortunately I still have adequate, but different communication with DH. At this point I do not feel lonely. He tells me he loves me often and asks what I want to do or what would be fun for me. I think he recognizes that I do a lot for us. I give him some "honey-do" requests when he asks and do not nag him when he doesn't ask.

  3. You're being such a good and faithful support system for your sweet husband. You'll know, as time goes along, what to continue or discontinue..... meantime enjoy every good time you have together.

    You're doing a good job!!!
    One day at a time!
    Hugs, prayers and love to you!