Husband might have early cognitive disorder!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by CAmom, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    I am SO scared! He's only 60 years old! At first, I thought he was simply a bit depressed related to our son's issues over the past couple of years.

    But, most of those have resolved, yet he's remained very quiet and somewhat distant. He also seems to be having trouble, not with memory so much, but communicating. And, his judgement seems to be a bit shaky sometimes.

    We have an appointment with a neurologist as he admits that he might have "a little problem."

    Does anyone have experience with this problem with somoeone who seems to be WAY too young to have early Alzheimer's?
  2. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I am trying to broach this subject with my husband. It will be very
    difficult to get him to respond to my concern. I think I know
    a bit about what you are feeling. Fear. Anxiety.

    I'll say a prayer for you and your family that it is somthing simple. DDD
  3. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Looking back my mom was showing signs of early onset Alzheimers in her 60s but then she also had some sort of mental disorder that was never diagnosed too. Which was which can never be teased out there.

    My mom was in full blown Alzheimers when I got her at age 73. She went down hill so quickly that the doctors say she had to have had it for years. She died 4 years later at age 77. Most people live years and years after the diagnosis.

    This subject scares the heck out of me because I just know Im next in My grandma died with dementia, then my mom...I am scared!
  4. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Thank you, DDD. Yes, fear, anxiety...that's just the start!

    And, if it's of any help, I've been asking my husband, in a joking manner, for months now if he's "losing it?" He laughs and says, "Maybe a little."

    I simply told him that I was concerned about him...this was after an incident when I had asked him to order 15 California rolls as one of the appetizers for a party we were having and discussed the fact that 15 rolls cut up into 6 pieces a roll would equal 90 pieces, enough for the 30 or so people we had invited.

    Apparently, he zoned in on the "90" and came home with 90 California rolls, 540 pieces, at a price of $350.00! OMG!!! For 30 people, when we had platters and platters of other appetizers!

    His explanation was that he wasn't very good at math (wrong...he built an addition onto our home from the foundation up...) and "probably should have asked the sushi maker to stop." Duh!

    At that point, I asked him if I could make him an appointment. He's gone along with it, more I think in the spirit of humoring me rather than any deep concern of his own.

    Maybe your husband will respond the same way?
  5. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Janet, that IS have such a positive family history! I'd be doing those mental exercises they talk about at warp speed!

    I've heard of Alzheimer's in the 60's, but my husband JUST turned 61 which seems so young...

    Well, nothing's been diagnosed yet, but something is definitely going on.
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    My grandmother died in the 1970's after many years of what was then called "senile dementia". I suppose that now it would be called "early onset Alzheimer's", but in reality, Alzheimer's can only be diagnosed after death, and there can be many other things that cause these symptoms.

    I don't know that I would consider 60 years old to be too young for early onset Alzheimers. Whatever it was that grandma had, it was very apparent by her late 40's. There have been many advances since that time. A neurologist is the right place to start. Back in the day, there was only psychotherapy, and they just doped grandma up. Your husband could be very treatable and on the road to recovery quite soon.

    If you haven't seen it already, the Alzheimer's Association has a web site that you might find helpful. We'll hope that this is not what is affecting your husband.

    Alzheimer's Assoc.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    My husband is not "a communicator". He truly is a terrific man
    but since he didn't have a traditional background he is very comfortable "doing his own thing..quietly". The children could not have a more stedfast parent/grandparent nor could I have a more loyal spouse.

    As a result of his personality it is not rare for him to forget
    silly stuff like picking up a loaf of bread etc. But...lately...
    there is a "blankness" that shows up periodically combined with
    some more obvious memory loss/confusion. I keep thinking that it
    may just be the terrible strain we have lived under with easy child/difficult children
    brain damage etc. etc. on the other hand, I get the impression that he is
    hiding deficits. My gut says that he is stifling the same thoughts that I have.

    Unless something bizarre happens, I know husband won't volunteer to
    be tested. Meanwhile I am changing the business again so that I
    can run it without him, if need be. DDD
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    CA Mom,

    Hi - I don't know your situation, but I do know mine. Living with a difficult child has caused me to have such high levels of stress I nearly died. (literally) Normal body functions like remembering where I lived - were a chore until difficult child was moved to a group home. My kid was off the rail stressful. I had a stroke this past Summer and then the caseworkers with DF's urging said "NO MORE."

    So don't think it's Alzheimers - it could just be a chemical imbalance or high coritsol levels. They will all get checked out through blood work and urine tests.

    Keep positive -
  9. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    DDD, I guess my husband has never been a great communicator either. He's more of a do-er than a talker.

    But, like your husband, I sense a withdrawal at times that goes beyond not feeling the need to chat.

    We certainly haven't been under the serious stresses you've been under with your boy, the fall, brain damage, etc., but, relative to our lives before our son's teen years set in, things were pretty grim around here for a prolonged period of time. So, like you, I thought this was just a result of that stress.

    However, although our son is home, and the worst seems to be over, my husband is still showing the same signs that are worrying me.

    Smart of you to reorganize your business so that you can manage alone. In our situation, my husband is the major breadwinner and I'm afraid whatever this is is beginning to impact his work, so I may have a financial crisis on my hands at some point.
  10. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Thanks, Star. OMG!, a stroke!

    Well, high levels of stress can certainly cause a lot of problems, and our son, like yours, has, by his behavior, created a lot of stress in our lives over the past couple of years.

    I know my blood pressure is higher than it should be when it was perfect two or three years ago, and that it is no doubt stress related.

    I know a lot of my husband's personality changes began to become apparent when my son began to act out because of marijuana and probably other drug use. We both felt so out of control and helpless to stop the train wreck our son was at that time.

    But, after a 10-month stint in a therapeutic group home, our son has returned home and we are actually enjoying having him around. There is still the concern about what he's going to do with his life from this point on as he's been home for four months and has yet to seek a job or application for college. But, again, we're enjoying having him around for the moment, so I would think that, if stress was the reason for my husband's behavioral changes, he would be somewhat back to normal by now...whatever that means...
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Just get the tests done then you will know where you stand.

    My husband had a mild stroke in May and he is still showing some minor personality changes from that. He has a few memory problems and his mood isnt quite as stable as it used to be.

    Jamie swears he has to get financially set as fast as possible because he will be taking care of us
  12. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    I was thinking mini-strokes also. My uncle had a few and they didn't know it. The positive thing is that he realizes something's not right and isn't resistent to going to a doctor. It could be something minor and treatable.

    It could just be depression, too.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    after an incident when I had asked him to order 15 California rolls as one of the appetizers for a party we were having and discussed the fact that 15 rolls cut up into 6 pieces a roll would equal 90 pieces, enough for the 30 or so people we had invited.

    Apparently, he zoned in on the "90" and came home with 90 California rolls, 540 pieces, at a price of $350.00! OMG!!! For 30 people, when we had platters and platters of other appetizers

    That is a bit strange.
    I would have eaten most of them, though. :smile:

    Best of luck with-your son. It seems to have taken a toll on you both. But I'm glad he's doing better.
  14. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Terry, I used to LOVE California rolls until I saw 540 of them! I couldn't even eat them the night of the party, couldn't eat any of them a couple of days later, and may NEVER eat them again!

    I'm convinced now that that's the way to diet--set out massive quantities of every food you love in front of you all at once with the expectation that you'll eat every bit.

    We ended up thinking about doing a raffle to get rid of them but ended up giving most of them away.
  15. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    Janet and Lothlorien, I thought about mini-strokes, but his blood pressure is disgustingly low for a 61-year-old--at the level one would expect for a healthy 20-year-old. He has had only one headache in our thirty-something years of marriage. He has no visual problems, weakness, or shakiness anywhere.

    Well, hopefully we'll know more after his appointment.
  16. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    CAmom, be sure and update on this. I have reason to be a little
    bit optimistic about easy child/difficult child coming home this week and, of course,
    my focus will be on his issues. Your info on your husband will be of
    real importance to me though and I don't want to have it fall through the multiple cracks that seem to comprise my brain! DDD
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure you need high blood pressure to have a stroke. I'm not NOT sure either, but that's what I thought of first. I think a CT scan is a really good idea. (((Hugs))) and glad your son is at least not currently causing grief.