Disclaimer

This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Friday, December 4, 2009

For Better or Worse, in Sickness and in Health

Bobby and I have been married for 28 yrs.

We have a large age difference. He is 26 yrs older than I am.

At age 16 his parents signed for him to join the US Navy where he learned to be a gunners mate during the Korean War. Sadly that experience took it's toll on his mind and he has suffered with the effects of PTSD(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) for very many years. I focused mainly on his anger issues although he had other problems too.

As a result emotional problems have been a regular part of his life. These problems have have taken their toll on many relationships he has had, relationships with spouses (I'm wife #4) children whom have a very detached with him, friends who are actually only acquaintances, jobs he couldn't keep working for others and then he found his nitch in life. CARS. A man with the gift for gab, an endearing personality and charm. He found that he was good, very good at selling used cars. He opened his own business and did this for many many years until his emotional problems caused him to be unable to continue. He closed his business. Such a sad sad day for him.

During our marriage he had been seen by a neuro about a shaking disorder. Nobody ever said definitely what it was.First they thought Parkinsons, then decided it was just an essential tremor then they weren't sure. So he lived with the shaking.

As I said we have dealt with his emotional problems our entire married life but over the last few years things started to take a turn for the worse. He separated from me Sept, 2005. 

 After our separation I had heard these very odd and out of character comments about him. He was thought to have started drinking (he doesn't drink) He was thought to have gotten into a fight due to his bruised and cut face and arms and broken glasses. (with his anger issue anyway it was possible)

After 17 mos we reconciled and he returned home March of 2007.

When we reunited and he returned 2 yrs ago we had such plans to honeymoon and travel. I quit the job
I had and it was going to be our time. The kids were all gone so with no ties we
were free. Oh I was so happy with the prospect of our lives together!

Then just a couple short months later, Lewy obviously crashed down like a hailstorm and there was no where for us to seek shelter.

I had noticed that he shaking was worse and he was having trouble walking and stumbling quite a bit. His speech and train of thought were 'off'. Substituting words, slow response. (Perhaps why he was thought to have been drinking).

He wrecked his truck twice, both times in our own yard.

We saw a neurologist in mid April and started on CARBIDOPA-LEVODOPA. It made him so sick he couldn't even get out of bed some days. He said would rather live with the shaking and I agreed.


Things didn't get better, if anything they got worse. He was "beating me up" at night (Dreaming and acting out) more than usual when he finally did sleep.  He started falling down for no reason. Around that time I took over the driving anytime we went someplace together.

A late Neurology appt  brought a different med for the shaking, CLONAZAPAM.

It was at this exact time my mother was diagnosed with Cancer and died less than 2 weeks later. Everything happened so fast. We had a house full of people coming and going and my attention was totally directed to my mother at that time so sadly I cast Bobby to the wayside. He appeared stable and stayed in his room all the time so that was to my advantage taking care of my mother.

Because of all the hurried activity I didn't tune in to Bobby. Always asking about the people in the house and when they were leaving. What day it was, what time it was etc etc

But after it was over and done and everybody and everything was gone within a few days it got crazy. Falling, forgetting, confused, time and space had no meaning, walking about 'lost', looking for people that weren't there...
I called the neuro and said HELP!

We weaned him off the Clonazepam and saw the Neurologist in August. The Dr said he was thinking one of 2 things. Multi System Atrophy OR Lewy body. At the appointment they did a resting /standing BP check and it was normal. After my research and taking that test into consideration I believed they would say LB.

They started him on GALANTAMINE to help with his confusion and thinking.
I was SOOO happy with this med I could kiss the makers. What a difference it made in his cognition at the time.

Then in Oct 2007 they gave him a diagnosis, Probable Diffuse Lewy Body.
I knew in my heart that would be what they said and yet it was like
someone stole all the breath from me when they did.

I don't know how he felt he has a stone face and he doesn't like to
talk about things. But it must be terrifying.

It felt like the end of the world as we knew it.

WAKE UP!! I think you fell asleep ;-)

2 comments:

  1. Kathy,
    My husband also has Lewy Body, diagnosed in June 2012. Like you and your hubby, we have a large age difference: I am 47 and he is 82; we've been married for 22 years.

    I have just started a blog, mostly as a way to help me cope with all the ups and downs of caregiving.

    I want to read all your posts as I have time.

    Best wishes,
    Cherie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Cherie,

    I'm glad you found me.
    If you have questions please ask, I may not know the answers but I could try to point you in the right direction.

    Kathy

    ReplyDelete

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