My Struggles Living with Alzheimer's Disease
This disease is not only physical, but the mental struggles can make it so hard for me to find clarity/focus.
Seeking peace over chaos
Some days, I do little tasks, other days, I only feel like reading. I am 62yo, I was always busy as a retiree, I beat stage 3 colon cancer (6yos in remission), walked 5 miles a day on the beach, and maintained an active social life. Now I prefer to stay at home, for me it is so peaceful, especially when my mind goes into chaos. I spend most of my time outside on my deck.
Slowly letting go of things
I really don’t know what stage I am in, but for the last 4 years I have felt myself slowly getting worse to the point that family were all noticing. I have let go of all financial and driving responsibilities, I rely on loved ones. My best advice is to not stubbornly hold on to these things once you realize an issue.
- I sometimes can’t understand what people are saying (especially if they talk fast or there are other background noises); this irritates me. I also feel that the TV, AC Unit, and other noises, are frustratingly loud (my focus is disrupted).
- I struggle to sleep (been given some medication that helps with that).
- My balance is affected; walking around can be a challenge at times.
- I have turned my ringer off on my phone because that noise bothers me, I prefer texting over talking because concentrating on a phone conversation is stressful (I have been hacked in my checking account 3 times this past year. I can’t tell the difference between true calls and scam calls.
Family matters most
I really want to spend some time with my children and grandchildren while I still know them; I am already struggling with remembering my grandchildren’s names. My kids live a few hours away. Only my youngest child has visited since my diagnosis. I have begged them to come see me.
My husband does all the cooking and most of the chores, plus works. I am so grateful to him, but I get so aggravated I say mean things to him sometimes. I love him, and I honestly wish he would just put me in a care facility; he says he won’t, but I believe that would be what’s best for my husband. I am so frustrated, knowing I am losing it and causing him all this extra work!
I absolutely can’t stand the aggravation of riding in a car. I become so anxious and paranoid, mostly when we get into traffic (my nearest doctor is at least an hour away in Houston). I know I am my meanest when riding. I have decided I need to ride in the back seat and read while my husband drives (I grabbed the wheel in fear the last time I rode to Houston last week).
People, friends and strangers alike, cause me anxiety because conversations are hard to follow or understand. I get lost listening, my thought processes can’t keep up.
Then there is this issue of seeing, I just went to the eye doctor this Spring and got new glasses, but I still get blurred vision and can’t see clearly at times, or translate what I’ve seen.
Clarity from the patient side
This story is meant for all you caregivers and doctors. My hope is to give some clarity from the patient’s side.
This is our story.
Which, if any, of the following most often trigger agitation in your loved one living with Alzheimer's disease?