Thursday, December 29, 2011


Lest anyone think I'm revealing family secrets in this blog, I can assure you I have ex-husband Alan's full permission to do this blog.

The day we got the diagnosis, we sat in the car outside the clinic. I told him what was wrong with him. I told him, "The only way we can get through this is to keep a sense of humor and laugh our way through it as much as we can." He agreed and that's exactly what we do. By the time he got diagnosed, he was way past early-onset. How did I miss what was happening!

One day I came home from work. During dinner I asked Alan what he had done that day. "I painted the garage door," he bragged. Oh crap, I thought. Jumping up I headed for the newly painted door and threw it open.

Now just imagine what a painted door would look like if a 4-year-old got hold of a can of paint and a dripping paint brush. Bright bordello pink!

"ARGHHHHHHH!", I screamed in a voice that probably rattled the neighbor's windows. "What the hell were you thinking!" I snarled. He just stood and grinned at me. "You paint that door back white by tomorrow." And he did. Well, to be more accurate he painted over the pink.

When I came home the next day the door was bright peach. I came unglued again. He just stood and grinned at me. The third day the door was turquoise. Finally the fourth day the door returned to white. Each time I blew a cork, he would just stand and grin. I didn't realize that was just a reflexive grin. He was not mocking me like I thought he was.

He was attempting to apply for a job but I finally realize he was going to the same places every day. When I told him this, he became angry, because he had no knowledge of applying there before. I couldn't convince him.

I told him he could be more help to me if he stayed home, took care of the house, and let me work. He would do the dishes and that was a huge  help. The big problem was I never could find anything when I cooked dinner. It was a frustrating exercise every night to find my pans, my spoons, etc. Utensils, pans, and bowls would disappear never to be seen again. Bowls would be found where the pans went, a pan would appear in the cabinet with bowls or in the food pantry. Alan had always been forgetful but this was over the top even for him. He had also always been passive aggressive so I thought he was doing this deliberately.

My blood pressure suffered. I had a lead ball in my stomach. Headaches became normal. The doctor doubled my anti-depressant. Then added another so I was now taking two different anti-depressants. This is what happens to caretakers. We lose our minds.

All the while, Alan thought I was lying to him and nothing was wrong. He just didn't believe anything was wrong. He felt normal.

At this point I took Alan to a doctor. A fairly new doctor I should add. He did some basic tests, asking questions. He then assured me Alan did NOT have alzheimer's. A month later I got a second opinion. That doctor sent us to the memory clinic. Lest you think this all happened a few years ago, oh no. We only received the diagnosis a little over 2 months ago. Frontal temporal lobe complicated alzheimers. Translation, our world, as we knew it, was getting ready to take a nose dive.

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