Moments of Clarity

Last updated: August 2023

My husband was diagnosed several years ago with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. He has been slowly digressing over the years. Just recently, he shocked me with a moment of clarity. He seemed to have awakened. He is still physically well, but his memory has faded to a point of maybe or maybe not remembering people.

Who are you?

During the late evening, he awoke and found that I was playing music while making meals. He quickly engaged with the music remembering the words of some songs, and sang along. This in itself was not unusual. What did happen is that he asked me what sort of things I was interested in, what I do in my spare time. I was shocked at the question, so I asked him if he knew who I was. He responded with my name. I asked who am I to you. He stated you are a "good friend."

At that moment, I realized this conversation was going in a different direction than years of others. I told him I was his wife, and we'd been married for 35 years. The perplexed look on his face startled me. Then I pointed out our wedding pictures on the wall. He then started to apologize for him not being here for me. He stated there is such a big gap and he thought for some reason we must have been separated. I calmly informed him we have never been apart, I have always been here with him. He was visibly confused and kept saying he was sorry to have missed time with me. He even said I was very pretty.

Living in the moment

I realized he was having a coherent moment. My mind was racing as to what to say. I thought about telling him about his illness and what was happening to him. My thoughts froze as to whether saying anything would cause him to become depressed or something. So I just spoke in the moments of his memory. He seemed to be flirting and enjoying the music as though we were on a date or something. I even got him to eat a meal by asking him to taste the food and let me know if it was good. He ate the entire plate full which made me happy, since getting him to eat is a challenge.

I am still wrestling with whether I should of told him what was happening to him. He finally asked the same question he asked at the beginning of all this, I finally realized that the moment was gone. I was very emotional, from happy to sad and wished he was there a little longer.

I'm looking for answers as to whether to tell him about his disease if that moment should arise again.

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