Re: NO IDEA what to do
Having been through something similar when my DH was diagnosed in his 50s, I have a few suggestions. (1) make sure all of his insurance and benefit elections are as good as possible, and that he has life insurance (and if you can afford it, buy long term care insurance) BEFORE HE IS DIAGNOSED WITH ANYTHING. (2) make sure you both have wills, powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney (3) then get him to see a doctor asap. He might have a brain tumor, blood disease or other illness that can be treated. He may be having a bad reaction to a medication, or be under enormous stress at work. There are lots of things that can affect mental abilities.
Even if it's AD, you will want to get him on the medications that slow it down asap. You will have to start addressing his driving, employment situation, any disability benefits, and many other decisions.
Whether you tell him that you both need a baseline physical with a new family physician due to the relocation, or whether you come right out and tell him that you're concerned...he needs to see a doctor. Many people on the board have given a doctor a list of the problems they've seen before the exam. Physicians are unable to speak with family members the way they did before the Privacy Act went into place, which can be a real problem. (Ideally, get your husband's consent in writing to having the doctor speak freely with you).
You can survive a diagnosis of early onset AD, in the worst case. I did. My DH is going into his 7th year of the disease. I am raising three kids (one is going to be graduating college this year with honors...one helps to take care of DH and is still in high school...one is applying for a medical program in college). I've worked long hours to pay the bills, have figured out how to fix toilets and do other home repairs, and have juggled countless problems while caring for a husband who is becoming increasingly helpless.
I pray that your DH has something fixable. The odds are actually very much in your favor. But if it's AD, you will find strength and help here, and from many, many other people. You will be surprised at all of the people around you who have had loved ones with this disease. I have been helped by some amazing people, such as an electrician with a Grandmother with AD who did work for me at a very steep discount, one of my kid's teachers whose mother was in a NH with AD who offered to talk to my kid any time of the day or night, etc.
Last edited by Beginning; 08-25-2008 at 06:08 PM.