Early Onset Alzheimer's at Age 48

0

Early Onset Alzheimer's at Age 48

0
(Editor's Note: We welcome Andrea to our blogging team today. You can connect with Andrea on her profile page: @mimiluv44.)

puzzle-75659_640This is my first blog entry ever.

I am 47 years old. My husband is 50 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease at age 48. It took three years for a correct diagnosis and two trips to Mayo clinic, each one year apart.

We met when I was 17 and have three children, ages 27, 19, and 17. We also have a wonderful son-in-law and three beautiful grandchildren. Our two younger children live at home with us. I work from home (thank you God) and my husband is unable to function well enough to be employed. I assist him with personal care/grooming, make his meals, change the tv channels for him, help him dress, and take care of all things necessary in daily life.

The competent intelligent self-sacrificing person that he once was has slowly disappeared. He has trouble communicating verbally (cannot say more than two or three words at a time). He reminds me of a small child/toddler in an adult body.

The other day he attempted to refill his styrofoam cup with water from the refrigerator door, but couldn't figure out why the water would not go into the cup (the cup has a clear plastic lid with a straw). He was putting the cup with the lid on it under the stream of water, so of course it ran off the cup onto the floor. A week or two ago, he was able to remember to take the lid off.

New things, like this example, happen every so often. Each time some new indicator of the progression of the disease happens, I am surprised and disturbed. As I adjust to new circumstances and then think "Okay, I can get the hang of this and make this part of the new normal" some little new strangeness pops up and says, "Don't get too comfortable, there's more to come and it will only get more difficult".

I do not spend time dwelling on what could have been or what we have lost. I think I would not be functional or pleasant and I need to do my job, take care of my husband, take care of my two children who live with us, and be a good grandma (Mimi, in my case) and daughter to my own parents. Too many roles to fill, but my faith and lots of prayer keeps me strong.

I was living an oblivious life before Jeff's diagnosis. The things I heard about on TV or read about on the internet happened to other families. I was interested in the stories, but had no idea of what it felt like yet to experience the true fragility of life. I feel like I am rambling a bit here. Like I said, I haven't done this before. But, I can't afford therapy right now, and I need to vent (even if it is in writing).

Thanks for reading. May God bless each of you and your circumstances.

Like this article? Share on social

6 Comments

Sign in to comment

bootsie

Welcome Andrea. I like the way you write. My husband and I both journal during tough times. It is good therapy. My caree is my Mom who now resides in a nursing home. I can relate to your comment about faith and prayer. My pastor asked us all to take a moment this morning and tell someone sitting near us \"what has God done in your life?\" I told the 2 ladies sitting near me that he has given me strength to deal with illness in my family and to care for my Mom. I was teary eyed not from sadness but from gratitude. You can do this. Thanks for sharing!

JimB

Andrea, welcome, and, perhaps most importantly, know that you're not alone. I began caring for my wife, also an EOA patient at age 55, almost two years ago and we still have a son in college. Complete life change would be an understatement, but as you well know, we get through it one day at a time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. My journal has become a friend and confidant who brings calm and sense to my ever-changing world.

LilMagill

Welcome, Andrea! I can only imagine how hard it would be to lose my spouse in this way. You have a hard job, but I'm glad you're blogging here and can hopefully find some support and sympathy and encouragement.

Andrea

Thanks for the encouraging comments_mysql. In response to Denise, No, he was fired from his job in December 2009 when he lost his temper with a client. (early signs of the alzheimers that I thought was stress). He wasn't diagnosed until July 2013, after several visits to our wonderful family doctor, 1 visit to a local neurologist, 2 annual visits to Mayo Clinic, and numerous visits to both a licensed mental health counselor and psychiatrist. Hopefully in the near future they will have better diagnostic tools for early diagnosis. We were totally wiped out financially by the time of this diagnosis and my retired parents had been supplementing my income from two full time jobs (He had been the primary wage earner). It's strange to say, but I was actually both devastated and relieved by the diagnosis. At least we had a name for what was happening.

Hansolosgirl

@mimiluv44Good blog! I did my first on here today also.....it was such a relief to vent wasn't it? Caring for my sister in law with heptactic ENSEPOLPATHY, which can mimic the symptoms of alz. It makes it harder when they are young doesn't it? Exactly like a toddler in a grown up body...couldn't agree more. I too try and roll with it and just think to myself it's the new normal. I'm a student as are my kids who still live at home while attending college. Im loving this site, I was on another, but this is so much more positive!

See more comments