My wife forgetting: Diagnosed with MCI

Posted by jimmars51 @jimmars51, Nov 29, 2020

She has been diagnosed with M C I for 18 months. More and more lately she will ask if we ate anything today. She very rarely cooks now and if i don’t schedule and make meals she goes without. I am trying best to stay up with everything, but its getting tough. Just need to “unload” and ask for ideas to be able to keep up. Lots more going on also.

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When my mom says she has never been to a place before I learned not to correct. I also learned not to say do you remember. What I say now is that I recall….and she then will say yes I remember or I think so…it’s easier on her. When she asks about her parents or my dad…I learned not to say they died…I distract by saying tell me something about them….I learned that from this group…it works.
My mantra: Patience, compassion and love.

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Hi all, I thought you might appreciate this blog post by Dr. Chandler
– Who Else Besides Family Should I Tell About My MCI? https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/living-with-mild-cognitive-impairment-mci/newsfeed-post/who-else-besides-family-should-i-tell-about-my-mci/

I like some of the questions she asks in the post, but reframe them here for the caregiver:
– What if the shoe was on the other foot? Would you welcome knowing about it if your friend or neighbor or their partner had a diagnosis of MCI?
– Will they look at your partner differently? Treat them differently? Will they still want to be around you?

I also like the practical advice "Teach them how to act around your partner. Tell them what is ok and not ok to say, or what they like to discuss. So often people don't know how to help. They just speak louder or leave.

Any tips that you find useful from the article?

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@tunared

Orca59
My wife can remember minute details from many years ago but not so much from the last few years. She has never been great with technology but I forget that sometimes, like today when I was driving and asked her to text our granddaughter that we were on our way to pick her up. She couldn't remember how to use the phone or which icon to tap on to start a text message. Then she started getting upset, calling herself stupid and other names. I apologized for asking her to send the text message and tried to calm her down before we got to our granddaughter’s house. It was my fault that she was upset because I forgot she has MCI. We took our granddaughter to lunch at a restaurant that we have been to about 3-4 times over the last few years. My wife told our granddaughter we had never been to the restaurant before. I never corrected her because I knew she would get upset. I find it difficult sometimes to remember that my beautiful wife of 51 years is having a problem with her memory but that’s my problem and I will work on fixing it.

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DanL You are an amazing caregiver. Good for you.

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@tunared

Orca59
My wife can remember minute details from many years ago but not so much from the last few years. She has never been great with technology but I forget that sometimes, like today when I was driving and asked her to text our granddaughter that we were on our way to pick her up. She couldn't remember how to use the phone or which icon to tap on to start a text message. Then she started getting upset, calling herself stupid and other names. I apologized for asking her to send the text message and tried to calm her down before we got to our granddaughter’s house. It was my fault that she was upset because I forgot she has MCI. We took our granddaughter to lunch at a restaurant that we have been to about 3-4 times over the last few years. My wife told our granddaughter we had never been to the restaurant before. I never corrected her because I knew she would get upset. I find it difficult sometimes to remember that my beautiful wife of 51 years is having a problem with her memory but that’s my problem and I will work on fixing it.

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Bless your heart, it sounds like you are so very patient and kind. My husband also brings me his phone and says things like, "Can you fix this on my phone, I have never seen this before". And, there is nothing at all different on the phone. He just forgets how to navigate through it. So I understand your dear wife not being able to find the text button. This morning my husband asked me what month we were in and he thought it was June. He also seems to be nervous if I am away for any length of time such as the store, or visiting family for a few hours. He is reluctant to let me drive too far and fears something will happen to me. I have started to stay home more and sometimes feel so sad. I need to find a way to balance seeing other members of my family. Both families live an hour away. I work on patience too. Especially the repetitive nature of his questions. You are correct, these are small things in the scheme of things, and I too need to work on fixing that part of myself. May I ask how old your dear wife is? My husband is 71, but I saw glimpses of the changes years ago.

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@tunes

This might be a good place to start. His symptoms are fairly classic for LBD, but obviously PET scans etc. would be valuable in a real diagnosis. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/lewy-body-dementia/symptoms-causes/syc-20352025

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Thank you so much. He had one in 2017 when we first went to visit the neurologist. Possibly time to request another scan. Thank you so much.

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Here's a recognizable list of providers with creditable neurology depts, treating as well as researching Brain Tangle diseases. Hopefully you will find one reasonably near you. Mayo was our choice and where the diagnosis took place. The next step is to have a GP/or neurologist in your home town that is willing to work with this remote medical resource, as just that, a resource, a team member for treating your spouse.

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@orca59

Bless your heart, it sounds like you are so very patient and kind. My husband also brings me his phone and says things like, "Can you fix this on my phone, I have never seen this before". And, there is nothing at all different on the phone. He just forgets how to navigate through it. So I understand your dear wife not being able to find the text button. This morning my husband asked me what month we were in and he thought it was June. He also seems to be nervous if I am away for any length of time such as the store, or visiting family for a few hours. He is reluctant to let me drive too far and fears something will happen to me. I have started to stay home more and sometimes feel so sad. I need to find a way to balance seeing other members of my family. Both families live an hour away. I work on patience too. Especially the repetitive nature of his questions. You are correct, these are small things in the scheme of things, and I too need to work on fixing that part of myself. May I ask how old your dear wife is? My husband is 71, but I saw glimpses of the changes years ago.

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Orca59
My wife is 72 and was 1st diagnosed back 2014 but I'm still learning. She lost her sense of smell & taste over a year ago and no we are thinking her constipation (going on for over a month) might also be due to MCI. We can’t find a MD that agrees, all they say “it could be”. Very frustrating for her since none of the over-the-counter medications (recommended by her PCP) are working.
We go to the gym together (about every other day) and when she get's on a machine (treadmill, bicycle, etc) I check on her to see if she has any questions then I go and work out (but keeping one eye on her). Sometimes she will forget her headphones, so I'll go track them down because otherwise she will get upset. If I don't find the headphones, I give her one (an extra I keep in my bag) and say I found it, that way she doesn't get upset. We live in the Northeast, so luckily she at least knows what season it is. 😊 but generally she doesn't know what month/day it is.
I do try to keep her involved in day to day activities as much as possible. Because of past problems, I ask to review all the checks she writes for the monthly bills. I seal all the envelopes and mail them. It would be a lot easier (for me) if we paid the bills electronically but I want her involved as much as possible in household matters. I know, eventually, I will be taking care of everything but until then, I try to keep her involved, for her own peace of mind.
I know what we are doing would be impossible if I was still working, so I’m very lucky to have been able to retire at 66. Good luck.

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@ggibson

The extra headphones idea is a Jedi level tip! Thanks and I wish the best for you both.

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Brilliant idea about the headphones and compassionate caring. Your wife is truly blessed to have your loving care. You are my living mantra: Patience, Compassion, Love.

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