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CloveroftheDale
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 12:11 PM
Joined: 12/12/2018
Posts: 10


I’d like to tell my story and meet others with similar circumstances. 

I’m a lesbian married for 23 years, legally since 2004 in Canada. My wife began having memory issues about 6 years ago and while she’’s very good at faking it she’’s had significant cognitive decline for at least 3 years. She’s young for this diagnosis--just turned 60--and until very recently has vehemently resisted the facts. She’s turned it on me, of course. I understand this is typical. 

I had the mini-assessment and later the full 6 hour neuro-psych evaluation which I passed with flying colors. I hold down a full-time, technical job in book publishing. The most challenging aspect I face is her denial and mood swings, her independence [to her a caregiver is someone who changes your diaper, LOL] and her accusations that I’m the one with the problem. 

Yes, I have a problem and I do have some typical age-related short-term memory gaps, but. I am fully compos mentis, just severely depressed and maximally stressed. And grieving the loss of my partner in crime. It’s hard to write this, tears begin. Thanks for listening. Annie/Clover

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Jo C.
Posted: Thursday, December 13, 2018 2:33 PM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 9971


Hello Annie/Clover and a very warm welcome is extended to you.   I can well understand the profound level of grief, concern and stress this is bringing to you, and I am truly so very sorry.

You will find that you will be fully understood on this Message Board because most all of us have similar situations with Loved Ones (LOs) who have dementia of one form or another.  We get it.

Your wife's denial of her diagnosis is not that unusual.  There is a term; anosognosia, which you may want to Google and do some reading about.  In such a situation, the person is totally not able to process or understand that they are indeed compromised; it is not their reality and they are unable to process our real world.  Sometimes, when anosognosia is present, it can be best not to mention dementia or Alzheimer's Disease as that can cause distancing and resistance to the person doing the care; and of course that is where the "blame" is placed, on the person doing the most to help and care for them.

The Alzheimer's Assn. has a Helpline that can be reached at (800) 272-3900.  There are no fees for their services.  If you call, please ask to be transferred to a Care Consultant.  Consultants are highly educated Social Workers who specialize in dementia and family dynamics.  They are wonderfully supportive, have much information and can help us with our problem solving and are a good  and safe place to let our feelings out.

While this particular Forum is listed as being for the LGBT Community; it is not at all a very busy place so there is not a lot of input.  We are all free to Post on any of the Forums.   The ones best attended that I would recommend for you for getting more support and input would be the Spousal/Partner Forum or even the Caregivers Forum.  We have some other Members on those Forums who are LGBT, and I can tell you that all are welcomed with open arms by one and all and you will be too.  It is best to get as much information and input as you can, and those Forums are more likely to be able to offer that.

We are all here in support of one another, and that also includes you too, Annie/Clover.   Please do continue to write, to share and let us know how you are and how things are going; we really and truly do care.  Hope to see you soon on one of the more populated Forums.

J.


CloveroftheDale
Posted: Friday, December 14, 2018 2:46 PM
Joined: 12/12/2018
Posts: 10


Wow! I extend my thanks and heart-felt gratitude to you for your prompt and kind reply. I see that you are a peer volunteer and you're a long-time member of this website. I give you top marks for your skills! You've me offered some much needed guidance and direction. When I read there was an LGBT forum, my despair lifted. Then I read your words about the acceptance on the other forums, my hopes began to percolate with recognition of real support. Again, all I can say is Wow!

I am familiar with the term anosognosia, but I haven't read beyond the definition. Your suggestion to read more is welcome.I'm also interested to learn of the Alzheimer's Association Helpline and the Care Consultant availability. Obviously, I could use a sympathetic ear and a shoulder to cry on.

And now with your encouragement, I will look over at the Spouse and the Caregiver Forums where I will take the next step in my crazy confusing journey.

Many, many thanks and my deepest gratitude for your letter.

Sincerely, Annie


houstoncaregiver
Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 1:53 PM
Joined: 1/1/2019
Posts: 3


Oh my goodness, I can only imagine what torture that must be for you both. If you ever want to chat or talk, I am more than willing.

I am a lesbian not married to my partner of 11 years. I live in Houston and care for a 68 y/o lady with full blown Alzheimers. She is fully aware she has it and tells her story to many. 

I did not plan this... I saw an ad placed by a local artists I knew and just called to see how I could help. A month later she's living here with me and my partner full time and we plan on keeping her here until we can't take care of her anymore. She was being terribly abused and I just could not stand the thought of leaving her there (at her sisters). I am the full time care giver and my partner helps out where she feels comfortable. Cooking, laundry and an occasional trip to the memory and movement yoga class. 

I won't say it's easy but having her aware and accepting of this horrible disease is a much better scenario than you described.

I am also an online teacher for small business owners and would be happy to video chat with you on my zoom account. 

I am also on Facebook as marian lasalle.


Mimi S.
Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2019 8:22 PM
Joined: 11/29/2011
Posts: 7036


Hi Marian,

Too much personal information given. I hope you can delete your name ad phone number.

I do appreciate the rest of the information. It helped me understand how you got involved.


Jo C.
Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2019 7:50 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 9971


Hello Marian and a warm welcome is extended.  I have responded to you on your Thread on the Caregiver's Forum.

I do however have concern for you in this Post.  You have included your personal telephone number, your full name and other information which could compromise your safety and cause other negative outcomes.  This is a public Message Board and most folks here are awesome and supportive; but there are the criminal element in this country and from other countries that do skulk about looking for opportunities, so you may want to think about editing out and deleting your personal information.

Just a suggestion for your safety.

J.