The beginning of our journey with Alzheimer’s disease

In the fall of 2009, my partner J had an otherwise unremarkable day as a fourth grade teacher. She took her class to the roof of the school building for recess, just like she did any other weekday.  One of the children was a little difficult, again, an unremarkable occurrence.  But J told one of her colleagues about it.  Then she told the same colleague the same story a few minutes later.  And again a few minutes after that.  The colleague told J about these repetitions.  J came home and told me.  And so our journey began.

It was not as though our kids and I had not already noticed some issues.  Increasingly, when I reminded J of plans we had made, she accused me of never having told her about them before.  She found the job she had previously loved almost unbearably stressful.  She had started to avoid activities she used to enjoy.  Our family already had pressured J into getting a neurological evaluation.  The results, however, were that any changes she was experiencing were consistent with a normal 59-year-old brain.

After the school incident, we went to a different neurologist and, in January 2010, J was diagnosed with early onset of Alzheimer’s disease.  Since the diagnosis, we have known great joy, such as when we were finally able to legally marry in July 2013.  And we have known loss and sadness as J’s formerly sharp and often hilarious verbal skills have declined.

I’ve thought about starting this blog for a long time now – partly for my own therapy and partly to help others who are dealing with this and similar degenerative diseases.  Sadly, there are few resources for caregiver spouses.  I hope some of you find this blog and that it helps.

#alz # alzheimer’s #endalz #dementia

5 thoughts on “The beginning of our journey with Alzheimer’s disease”

  1. Thank you for every post. Truly. Some day I hope to meet you both. My husband was recently diagnosed with early onset alzheimer’s. Have some of the same stories, just in earlier easier versions. Like when instead of making the copy of our taxes in the copier, he ran the pages through the shredder. We cried. Then we laughed and laughed!
    Debby (friend of Sue L-E and also of Pat R. Both told me of your blog the same week!)

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      1. Thinking of you. Just caught up on the last few blog posts. Peter is also having increased problems, though not at J’s stage yet. We had a first talk with elder care lawyer in mid-summer, and can’t find time to get back with her but after reading your post I’m going to get to it this week. Right now, trying to decide if Peter should get an anti-depressant. And if time for me to go to a support group. Hugs and hope to meet some day.

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  2. Thanks for this Blog, and for posting it on the Alz message Board. (that’s how I found it). My wife (as of Aug 2013; partners since July 20003) has EOAD only she doesn’t know it or refuses to acknowledge it. Our Dr. and I have suspected for over 3 years. We attempted an intervention to no avail; only anger, resentment and feelings of betrayal. My journey has a different path and yet the scenery is familiar.

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