My 54 yr old husband seems ok, and then on Sunday he fixed the oatmeal like he usually does and told me, "The tuna fish is ready." Recently he
asked me where a huge check from his work went to, after I had asked him a few days earlier what was taking his employer so long to reimburse us for our
moving expenses. (We just moved in June) When he asked the employer about it, they said that the check had been issued 2 weeks ago. He said not a word about losing it. Luckily they will reissue a new one, but this is making me nervous. He is not the type of guy that I can suggest a dr visit, and I don't want to start something that will get him upset & stop talking to me. I don't feel that I can share with anyone in the family, because what if there is nothing seriously wrong???
I admit to being a life long worry-wort. But this is really starting to make my stomach churn.
Reading some of your posts helps me, but if anyone has some insight, it would sure be appreciated.
I think he has to get tested. There are many reasons for forgetfulness, Alzheimer's is only one of them. He could have had a mini stroke, some infection, or even a brain tumor.
Maybe you can schedule general checkups for the two of you together, so you don't need to point out that you suspect anything is wrong with him. But try to get word to the doctor ahead of time about what you have noticed.
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.
54 is young and usually that young it is early onset ALZ. For now keep your eyes and ears open and see what other symptoms you see. Keep a log of what you suspect with time and date. That will give you a better prespective of when things are happening and what is happening. It will also give you documentation if it becomes necessary to talk to him or other family members. Check to be sure the bills are paid and the check book is balanced. Does he repeat himself? How often does he mix up words? Is it a one time occurance or has it happened repeatedly? How is his performance at work? Does he have trouble with Math? Mixing up one word or losing a check in itself does not indicate dementia.... if there is a pattern then you may have to talk to him or someone that can convince himto go to the doctor.
I truly hope it is not dementia but if it is please get the help you need. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you all for your comments. God is good. This morning on the way out the door my husband told me that he had a dr appt today. He is bald & has some precancerous growths on his scalp that need to be burned off every so often & so he is going to a GP today for a recommendation to a dermatologist. Since I handle all the bills, I will soon see who this dr is that he is going to today & will have someone to contact if I ever need consult. What a relief!
Thanks for the info about the paperwork. It has been about 20 yrs since we first made out our will, so it was a good reminder that we should update it.