Well things at our house as of late have gone from bad to worse.
Yep, there, I said it bad to worse….so be prepared this is going to be a discouraging, depressing kind of post. It had to happen, there had to be a kink in our armor of life, and I think I finally found it.
It’s called Alzheimer’s anger and it ain’t pretty! I have seen glimpses of it for a few months now, but I could always reason my way out of Curt’s insulting demise. But this time it was to no avail. It is amazing the assault this disease has on the brain! It slowly steals away your logic and higher order reasoning skills. The worst part is it leaves you thinking you are still the same logical, wise adult you once were!
This past Friday was the start of this unexpected anger assault. By Sat. morning it was rising with a furry. I made the mistake of trying to reason with Curt, which only led to greater frustration on my part and more anger on his part. But somewhere in the midst of my trying to reason this through, he said he was going to call the police on me for assaulting him. It was a sad, yet revealing statement, because it was at that point I realized he had really lost the ability to reason and I needed to change my approach from here on out.
I also realized that Curt will ALWAYS be the WISE, insightful man I married, and the man that was spewing anger, and irrational words at me was the disease speaking to me NOT the man I married!
Things got worse as the weekend went on, and even continued into the school week. I ended up being late for school the one morning because he woke up and was so upset with me about not telling him that there were seven stages to Alzheimer’s and was worried the kids would play their music too loud at the computer despite the fact that we now have headphones for them. He was confused and mad.
But this disease is so unpredictable, we had some great moments in between and things seemed so normal……well as normal as normal can be. 🙂
We have tried to make things a bit calmer at our house, which isn’t always easy if you know our goofy, loud, humorous family….but we are trying. I am praying that will bring a calmer spirit to Curt. But I see this as another step on this dismal journey….I can assure you we are not enjoying it, but I can also assure you that as God does allow such difficult moments, He is there with us through out it. I read somewhere that if God sends us over rocky paths, He will provide us with sturdy shoes.
Well I can assure you I now have some pretty sturdy shoes! 🙂
(Actually they are Tyler’s stinkin, huge, size 14 boots!!)
Thanks for the prayers, emails, and texts this past week friends!
Oh, Sandy…I can certainly relate to the lack of reasoning and logical thinking. I’m sorry you are receiving the anger along with it. I know how frustrating it is to be in the midst of a “discussion” where you are the only one who can understand what is happening. As the disease takes over, it’s more and more difficult to see that man you married, but your love for him never wanes. Keep those sturdy boots on, and enjoy the smoother paths when you can. Kathy
Sandy give us a shout. Love you guys and we are praying for God’s Grace in this time.
Caregiving for dementia requires an entire closet of different types of footwear.
Steel toe boots, hiking, skates, slippers, ballet, running, etc The ups and downs on this journey are physically and emotionally tiresome , aren’t they?
Yes our Mighty God knows our journey and He will make sure our footwear holds out no matter how long the trip takes.
Lots of times I wear skis because God has to pull me along 😉
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
Praying for you dear one! Can’t begin to imagine what you are going through. Keep looking to Him! You are an amazing woman! Caring, thinking, and praying for you . . .
Sandy, from the comments above it looks like you have a great support system. I”m assuming these are people close to you. I only know you thru FB and your wonderful, encouraging blog but your family has captured my heart. You ARE being prayed for by the Got Teens small group of women I lead. Please know that I love you in the love of the Lord and that I am lifting you and your family up. It is a difficult disease….and i can only imagine the realm of physical and emotional turmoil you are going through. I love the fact that you are close to our Savior and are relying on the Lord…..that is a HUGE testimony and example for others. Hugs to you……
You are on a journey that none of your readers envy. Praying that God remains real and ever close to you and that you can always hold on to that very important fact…”I also realized that Curt will ALWAYS be the WISE, insightful man I married, and the man that was spewing anger, and irrational words at me was the disease speaking to me NOT the man I married!”.
Of that I am sure.
I don’t know you in real life…but I care just the same. So glad you have such wonderful support.
Know that I am available should you need another ear or a hug.
I can definitely relate to what you are experiencing. It’s hard to muster compassion in the midst of my husband’s rages; I’m too busy being overwhelmed by fear and frustration. I have realized it really is a matter for ME to address, as my husband is incapable of coping, and of controlling his own behavior. I’ve adjusted my expectations; I no longer expect him to respond as he once did and I am prepared to do whatever is necessary to calm him when he gets agitated (fib, distract). If your husband brings up the seven stages again, tell him not everyone experiences all seven stages (not untrue, since some people do die first), and then tell him that he needs to stay off the internet because there is too much misinformation out there.
Try to keep in mind what this must be like for him – how dreadful it must it be to have once been the competent male head of household and now be unable to perform the simplest tasks without checking to make sure he is doing it right. Imagine his fear and frustration.
You should definitely consult with your doctor, so that if your husband’s situation continues to deteriorate you are prepared with medication. I’ll be praying that it doesn’t come to that. So sorry that you, and especially your children, are having to experience this. I have one teen still at home and that is the worst – not being able to protect him from all of this…
I am praying for you and your family.
Oh sweet Sandy! What a terrible disease this is!! I remember talking to a friend whose wife had Alzheimer’s and he was crying as he told me of her accusations of him. It’s one thing to know that it’s the disease talking. It’s another thing to live with those angry outbursts and not feel the stress. You’re in a battle, dear one. A battle with the disease, a battle with your own tiredness and sadness, a battle with Satan who will steal your joy and give you ugly thoughts about God. Keep your combat boots on! Remember all of us who pray for you. And also know you can “talk” to us at any time! Hugs to you and your children.
Sandy, Praying for all of you….as I was reading your post , this verse came to my mind to share with you.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
AMEN and AMEN!!!!
Hey. Well, no wonder you have been so heavy on my heart lately. Our bible study is doing Beth Moore’s James study and the first few opening sentences make me laugh out loud at times…”consider it pure joy…whenever you face trials of many kinds…”
“Pure joy…” not so much, I think. I can spew all of the regular stuff we say in times like these…but you know them already.
Keeping you and your entire family in my prayers. Try to sneak away to your quiet place and let God wrap His warm and healing arms around YOU…regularly! You need the time and the break to regroup, heal a bit and re-energize.
Praying and thinking about you…
I remember my mom getting so angry with us when we were taking turns staying with her at her house. She would yell at us that we were treating her like a baby, that she didn’t need any of us there. She eventually would tell my brother that she wished he would go the Tennessee River bridge and jump off. NOTHING at all like my “real” mom. It was the disease for sure.
I will pray you will continue to be able to separate the disease from the man you love. At the same time, do protect yourself too.
Love you and praying for you, Sandy. Keep the faith.
Hey Sam, I want to come and see you sometime or meet somewhere and hang out. I know you are busy but let me know if you have any free time. You have recieved so many encouraging responses. So sorry that things have gotten worse. Stay close to God- he sees things clearer than we do and gives us more grace. I love you and will be praying more for you guys.
Hi, Sam. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately, but tonight is the first time I’ve gotten to see your blog in a long time. I echo EVERYTHING that Ann said. Would love to see you any time you could escape for some girl time. Praying for you ALL. Hugs – Amy
Great big hugs! And lots of prayers tonight, too.
I am here as a result of LisaNotes. I am sooooo sorry for the struggle, fear, frustration, and hurt you all are going through. I cannot relate, but I can and will pray for God’s peace and wisdom.
I am so sorry for the new-found difficulty your are facing with Curt in this horrible, progressive disease. Surely, the Lord is walking with you, His grace comes through in your writing. Curt and your children are incredibly blessed to have you. I admire your strength. I am praying for you. May the Lord give you patience wisdom and grace beyond measure in each moment of your day. Oh, and all the coffee and chocolate you would like too 😉 xo
Sandy,as your mother-in-law, ,I have watched your life these 22 years that you have been married to Curt and you have been such a blessing, and SO CREATIVE, in faising your family.
As you have now accepted
the REALITY of this terrible disease, your load will be lighter as you let GOD `s grace carry you through.My love goes out to you and the children.
I can’t imagine what you’re going through. You & your family are in my prayers.
I can relate to so much of this post…we need to arrange a sit down/talk the next time you are visiting the Hendricks–I so want to meet you in person! This post made my heart sad…thank you for being real and raw and for your fight for faith and joy in this trial.
Respect you so much!
I have been pretty busy (aren’t we all? ) …but tonight I decided to visit your blog to see how you’re doing and how I can pray for you …. I am familiar with Alzheimer – it run in my mom’s side of the family… I am praying for you and your family…
So many times during so many days I think of you and say a silent prayer…..My prayers and my heart go out to you and your family. Matthew 11:28 …….Judith
As always, you have hit the nail on the head, sweet friend. My heart aches for you as you deal with this on a continual basis. I absolutely could not manage living with and caring for my sister. The complete frustration of trying to deal with them when they think they are completely rational. I tell people that with a disease such as cancer (which I’m not minimizing; it is a dreadful disease too) you have the ability to cope with it. But Alzheimer’s robs you of the ability to understand and deal with the very disease you need to understand and deal with!
Is Curt still able to be home alone during the day while you are at work?
Hugs to you. Thanks for sharing so authentically. ❤
Sam’ola ..it’s Bren. I had you on my heart tonight and I see now why the Lord placed you there. I will continue to pray for your strength and wisdom for handling these uncharted waters. Here is a Valentine Hug! You are precious. Remember Isaiah 45:2-3…He will go before you and level the mountains…I don’t know what that will look like for you but I do know that God is faithful to His Word
I’m still here praying for you. Your names are still in my prayer journal. My Dad hasn’t had anger issues, but he cries a lot. I saw him cry twice in my life before this disease. Now he cries every day. I am still blogging at my regular blog site, but I also started another blog that is sort of a “private” journal about my journey with Mom and Dad. I don’t have comments on that blog, but you might want to take a peek from time to time. You can follow if you’d like too. The address is http://www.findingthefamiliar.blogspot.com. I must admit I don’t post there as often as I should. It is difficult to write about the things I experience with Dad, but I know someday I will be glad I did. Let God be your sustenance.