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She can't read
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:17 PM
Joined: 11/18/2018
Posts: 173

I keep thinking I've got it together, at least mostly, and then things like this happen.  She picked up a newspaper a few days ago when I visited her at Memory Care and told me she was having trouble with her glasses and needed bigger print, so, I bought her a book on line designed for seniors with AD -- big print, simple story.  She was excited, picked it up and could not read it.  Was able to get a few words, but could not put them together.  I came home, sat in our office/library, and looked at the hundreds of books she loved and cried.  Every step like this is agony.
Seasons In The Sun
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 1:58 PM
Joined: 5/21/2018
Posts: 235

I feel you pain. it's tough watching the changes. Every time they slip a little further it takes a piece of us too. best wishes to you. stay strong.
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 2:12 PM
Joined: 3/28/2018
Posts: 307

I get it sounds like books were very much a part of your wife's life.  You are mourning another loss of her personality. It seems that we go through a period mourning again and again for each loss. A very cruel disease.  The same thing happened to us today. My husband was going to teach our grandson how to use his slide rule which was very much a part of his college years and early career as an engineer...but he couldn't remember how it worked.
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 2:35 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 2736

When I read that about her not being able to read, I immediately thought of my wife. She too was a bookworm. So far, she seems to be able to put it together while reading (as far as I know), although she does not read nearly as much as she did, and often has problems with speech.  I feel your pain. Just another piece gone.
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 2:38 PM
Joined: 6/21/2019
Posts: 684

I can empathize with you. My wife had an impressive library on any topic one could name. She lost her memory of those books and the ability to read nearly four years ago. Last year, I just got so depressed looking at her library I gave it all to charity. 
I came home, sat in our office/library, and looked at the hundreds of books she loved and cried.  Every step like this is agony.

Rescue mom
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 3:39 PM
Joined: 10/12/2018
Posts: 1475

I cried today trying to downsize our 2-story wall of books, many of which involve my DHs old profession. He was a voracious reader. One of the first things I noticed was when he got books at Christmas—books he’d asked for, and known interest—and he’d ick them up,for a minute. Then put away. He finally said he could not remember long enough to make sense out of it. He’d still flip through magazines and newspapers, but could not tell you what he’d just “read.” I’ve already donated 400-plus books, and you can’t tell any are gone. He does not miss them, though. But it’s so hard. As said, another piece gone. At least *he* doesn’t seem to know.
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 3:48 PM
Joined: 11/2/2014
Posts: 61

LizzieC wrote:
It seems that we go through a period mourning again and again for each loss. A very cruel disease.
How true. Each loss hurts. DW used to read aloud our daily horoscopes from the newspaper and we would chuckle about them. Then she began reading them over and over, forgetting that she had already read them. I would force a chuckle after each rereading. Then she quit reading entirely. I keep her magazine subscriptions up because she enjoys the pictures (especially babies) and likes to rub her hands over the smooth surfaces of the covers.

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 4:56 PM
Joined: 2/2/2019
Posts: 156

I share your grief and sorrow. My DH and I both loved to read and over the years we collected an impressive number of books. We enjoyed reading a novel, talking about it and purchasing favourite authors as gifts for each other. DH lost the ability to read novels in 2015. In 2016 he could no longer read a newspaper but continued to buy them as it was part of his daily routine. Now we only subscribe to our local community newspaper. DH does not read the paper but likes to feel them, fold them and put them in his back pocket. I eventually cancelled his Hockey News subscription but have kept many magazines for him to feel, roll up and put in his pocket. It’s heartbreaking to even think about these losses. Simple pleasures lost.
Keep It 100
Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:05 PM
Joined: 2/26/2017
Posts: 564

I know the pain, too. Ray loved The NY Times but I noticed about a year ago he was just basically pretending to read the paper, eyes darting around, but not really reading or comprehending. A few years ago now he was already having trouble with books, and was using pens to underline passages, write all over the margins, trying desperately to hold on to some sense of comprehension. 

What just hit me today: He is an avid seafood lover, especially shellfish; grew up here around the Chesapeake enjoying oysters, crab...and also loves lobster (taking him to New England next week for more of that!)...I treat him to it routinely. I took him today to a great place out on the James River, and this guy who could expertly clean out crab legs and lobsters, etc and ravage a plate of raw oysters, today had no clue what to do with any of it. It was a first, and like I said we do this routinely, and has been something he loves since childhood. Almost let the waiter clear his plate that still had 1/2 a lobster tail (giant chunk of meat!), that he never would have let go. Had no clue how to deal with his plate of oysters...

We see the losses in so many unexpected places and if we allow it, it can be soul crushing. 

Posted: Sunday, August 18, 2019 5:05 PM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 75

My DW too was a bookworm that ended two years ago. She was well known at work for always reading a book on her breaks and lunch. It was her main source of entertainment. We had over 200 books (mostly paperbacks) until last spring which I decided to sell most at a garage sale but I had to keep some of her favorite hardbacks and a few paperbacks as I just can't get rid of all that was so dear to her. It still breaks my heart to think that she lost what was so important to her! I feel your pain!
Posted: Monday, August 19, 2019 12:46 AM
Joined: 5/7/2018
Posts: 423

I can so relate. Both my DH and I were English instructors. We actually met in a college creative writing class in 1971. Books and discussing books were such a part of our life. I noticed a few years ago that he keep renewing a library book that he never seemed to get through. When I asked him what it was about, he really couldn't tell me. It was a case of not remembering what he read the time before, but at that point, he was in denial. He kept reading The New Yorker for a while, but now it just piles up, and I put it in the recycle bin. He used to read books to our granddaughter, but I  noticed he did not even try last time they visited. It is just heart breaking for a man who loved and taught literature to not even be able to want to read anything. It was one of his hobbies, and now there is so little for him to do with himself.