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An_190734 posted:
I know I have a lot to know about this terrible disease because it is just beginning for us. Care givers are victims too of the problems to be faced. My husband has recently been diagnosed and I need to know if the follow symptoms are related. He will go anywhere from 2 to 5 weeks without showering and wears the same clothes over and over, 24 hrs a day. He has been giving tools away from the garage. I took a photo of the stack of magazines he orders and can't get 'around' to reading...seriously they are 5 feet high. Books, and books and books and puts them on his charge card. Gives donations wildly often when received by mail and political donations and gave his charge card over the phone to a candidate out of state!!! How can I stop some of this. I've cancelled books and catch the mailman and throw away donation requests. This is a dear sweet man and still is one so far. I want to handle these problems with the least amount of nerve strain. By the way, he has had 3 major heart surgeries and 3 major back surgeries and the doctors can't do anymore surgeries. Thank you ahead of time for any help or suggestions you can give me.
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff responded:
Dear Anon_38762,

Remember that you don't have to go through this alone. Reach out to senior centers, county/state programs, and local caregiver/Alzheimer's support groups. Don't forget family, friends, and groups, such as religious ones or fraternal organizations which are often helpful.

Have you talked to your husband's doctor about what to expect? About any medication or therapies that might help? You may also need to speak to a lawyer about control of money, driver's license, and health care decisions.

Here are some articles that may help you get started:

Alzheimer's FAQ

Alzheimer's Treatments

Other Treatments for Alzheimer's

Insights for Caregivers

The Emotional Toll of Alzheimer's

Best wishes, and write back with an update if you'd like to share,

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
TY so very much for your reply Byroney!! We just returned from an appointment with a neurologist and he ordered a CT scan and blood test on Monday. The preliminary diagnosis is 'memory disturbance' until the tests come back. His family doctor diagnosed him with Alzheimers and recommended the neurologist for verification. Some people that meet him say they can't see anything wrong with him but I live with him and I certainly do. I got to doubting myself until now thinking it was just a part of aging. I will contact the sources you gave me to prepare for the coming problems. You have been a great help and assurance is invaluable. Bless you my friend!!
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear prachergal,

I'm so glad that your doctor is having you follow through with a neurologist. Because many things can cause memory loss, it's important to make sure the right cause is being treated.

I know what you mean about other people may not even notice during a brief interaction that there are problems. My grandmother would be talking with me one minute, and the next she'd start talking about a dog lost as a child and I would have morphed into her sister. Or my mother-in-law who also had Alzheimer's would hide loaves of bread under her bed and put money in the microwave. These day-to-day happenings can be confusing, frustrating, and sometimes even frightening.

If you have the time, write back and let us know how you both are doing!

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Okay Byroney....here's a good one for you to help me deal with or answer!!
My hubby, for the last few years, and getting worse, shares his food with our pet cat, on the same plate!!! Also, if he has cereal for breakfast, he eats a few bites and then passes the bowl to the cat to drink the milk, and then returns to continue eating the cereal. It freaks me out because I take cleanliness in food preparation seriously. The plate then has cat hairs on it and I need to clean it before putting it in the sink. I think I can deal with it better if I know it's the memory problem but right now, I have to leave the room to finish my meal. I am waiting to get the results of the CTscan to go on with the process that you suggested. Also, he carries the cat like you would a child, and hear him talking to it about things on the TV news and noone else is in the room. Take care and thanks again.
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear preachergal,

Until you get all of the results back, the cat issue has to wait. Once you have a diagnosis, this is something you can talk to his doctor about.

Until then, I would suggest making sure that the cat is as healthy as possible. Make sure he/she has an annual exam, vaccines, deworming, and teeth cleaning! That way, you can feel that you've done your best with the situation until the matter is more clearly defined with a diagnosis and treatment plan.

I'll be gone the next few days, but I'll be back next week. Hoping you get those results and a diagnosis soon,

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
CT scan shows that there is deterioration of the brain and eliminated the possibilty of tumor, stroke or aneurism which means that it leaves Alzheimers. Another serious problem has arisen. Back surgery done several years ago placed a metal brace to the spine, the spine is deteriorating and the metal screws are loosening. Tests now ongoing to see if he would withstand a fifth surgery to attempt to correct it. He had a mild heart attack on the operating table the last back surgery which led to 3 heart surgeries and heart valve implant. Bless his heart he still keeps his sense of humor through all of this. He is questioning the Alzheimers diagnosis and is in denial on many things about it but will leave it to the doctors to convince him and then that may not do it. I just try to accept what I cannot change. I will proceed with the legal issues before they are needed, thanks to your advice.
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear Prachergal,

A fifth back surgery? Goodness, that would be very difficult on you both. However, I hope if it's the best option his heart is strong enough to have it.

I'm glad to hear he's keeping his sense of humor. As for the denial, I can imagine how difficult a diagnosis that would be to cope with. If you also feel the diagnosis is in question, then don't be shy about getting a second ot third opinion.

Make sure to take care of yourself!

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
About 2 years ago, a doctor at the pain center brought the subject up about his memory, a familly doctor suspected Alzheimers and put him on Aricept, the second family doctor suggested a neurologist, the neurologist ordered a CT scan and blood test and tested his memory in the office. The tough part is after all these diagnosis and with hubby questioning them...I begin to feel guilty about being wrong. The pressure of his denial makes me feel that it would be terrible if I was wrong. Down deep I know what I am experiencing from his feed back is correct...it's caring about him so much and don't want to be right for his sake.
Gosh, didn't know I felt this way until I started writing this to you in this email. Talk about a revelation, wow.
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear preachergal,

I can see what a tremendously difficult conflict that must be for you. Since my grandmother and mother-in-law were the ones I have had experience with in dealing with Alzheimer's, it's a whole different situation if it's your husband or wife.

I'd want the diagnosis to be wrong, too. I noticed from your screen name that you might have options within your church for some counseling. Perhaps finding support there, or with a counselor or therapist who is familiar with Azlheimer's might be helpful?

Now that you've found these feelings, working through them with a professional might be helpful for you.

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thank you Byroney. The name I use is a CB name my Dad gave me in the 70's. He was known as the Preacher from Granite City, Ill. I always liked it because most people on the internet will give a person respect. I think that's why he gave me that name. I do pray a lot though and it gets me through a lot, especially now. My husband's daughters told me that they will 'back up' any decisions I would make and they also suggested that I see an 'elder lawyer' to protect my husband and myself. I am very thankful to have great step daughters and my own children. Too bad they don't live closer to physically help me but am thankful for the moral support!!!
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear Preachergal,

What a great story behind your name. My dad used to be completely into CB radio, too. It brings back many fun memories for me.

I am so glad your step-daughters are supportive and feel comfortable making suggestions to you. I've seen many instances where families fracture and argue instead of pulling together when a loved one has Alzheimer's.

That's definitely something to be proud about, and it will help you in the long run.

Write back when you get a chance,

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
I made a special appointment today for hubby. He was complaining about his eyes and couldn't describe the problem in words, except to say his vision is changing and that they just aren't right. He has had glaucoma and today the pressure reading in his left eye was 29 and 17 in the right eye. Normal is 10 and up to 20 is concerning. He has eye drops for it and will return in 2 weeks.
Another, I believe symptom is that he was vocally loud, joking with everyone and wanting the attention of all in the waiting room. He has always been upbeat but for someone in severe back pain and eye discomfort, it was out of character for such problems. Is that another symptom? Most people aren't jovial when they are in that much pain. I need to know if this is a symptom for my acceptance of it and to deal with it.
 
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Byroney_WebMD_Staff replied to preachergal's response:
Dear Preachergal,

I am so glad you discovered what was going on with his eyes. I sure hope the drops do the trick in lowering the pressure.

I do remember occasions when my grandmother was ill, but she would mis-identify what was going on with her. For instance, she had pneumonia, but was fixated on her hand and finding a lost watch. She never once complained about the chest pain or breathing difficulties.

It makes sense to me that the brain issues don't just cause a loss of understanding and comprehension of the person's outer environment, but their inner one as well. I don't know if the loudness was for attention, if he might have a hearing problem, or if it was part of the progression. You could run it by your husband's doctor next time you see him to get an expert response.

Thanks for the update!

Byroney
 
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preachergal replied to Byroney_WebMD_Staff's response:
Dear Byroney,
Actually I am the one with the hearing problem and wear 2 hearing aids and the TV still has to be turned up for me. So, when I say loud, I mean LOUD. I think I need an ear horn at times. LOL
Any ideas about how to deal with total taking over of the credit cards and check book. So far I've used the excuse that I know he doesn't feel well with his back problem. I'm waiting to really deal with it after we get the final word from the spine surgeon next week. If he asks about the check book or cards, then, I will make it a real discussion but don't think this is the right time to do it. We are both emotionally drained with the physical issues and decisions. All is a bit overwhelming but I know I will get through it because I have to for both our sakes and will take it one step and day at a time. Oprah said that love doesn't hurt but sometimes it does but in a different way than she meant. When you love someone, you hurt when they hurt. I am thankful for my support group, family, friends and you.


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