Looking back, one often wonders when did it first start? knowing now that there is a problem, a lot of instances are suspect. I used to kid her all the time about her having early onset Alzheimer’s whenever she would forget anything, just a joke! Then she got annoyed with the joke and asked that I never say that again! That should have been a clue and I can’t remember how long ago that was.
The denial buster was when a co-worker called to say they were concerned about my dear (then partner, now wife) “loved one” (LO). They had noticed that she was having trouble remembering conversations: like after a recent vacation, they had just spoke in detail about the status of all her clients yesterday and today she called to get an update on the status of all her clients. That was April of 2012, my LO was 57. I had noticed memory lapses as well but I guess I didn’t allow those concerns to come to the front of my brain. Now, there was NO going back.
I happen to have a Dr.’s appt and our well meaning Dr. asked how I was? I told him I was fine but I was concerned about my LO. (We have the same Dr.) I proceeded to express my concerns about memory loss. He did the normal Dr. thing and said we should check it out; it could be attributed to a number of things, not only Early onset Alzheimer’s Disease (EOAD).
Since she had an upcoming Dr.appt already, I thought I should bring the subject up before we got in the exam room. I approached gingerly, saying I was concerned about her and what I thought were memory issues. She reacted so violently, it took me off guard. She said there was nothing wrong and we were NOT going to mention it to the Dr. (of course I didn’t mention that I had inadvertently already done that!). She was fixated on the topic of not wanting that kind of information in her medical records. I should interject that we both are Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance Specialists and know all too well that information in your medical records can haunt you and hinder your ability to get insurance. But that shouldn’t have been a concern for her since we both already have our LTC policies and health insurance. No amount of pleading or expression of concern budged her.
When in the exam room, I couldn’t get the Doc the “high sign” to not bring up the “subject” and before you know it I was under the bus! She again reacted violently and vehemently denied any issues. Said we were trying to medicate her and “put her in a nursing home”! She asked me to leave the room.
When she came out she said that it was Depression and that the Dr. agreed with her. AND, she felt betrayed by me and the Dr. (she has known him and been his patient for 30 years).
So…. the beginning was not good