Memory Health: Alzheimer's Support Group
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Temperament changes

Evening all, hope you’re well and warm wherever you are. I’m sitting here wrapped in a blanket in front of the fire still thinking it’s cold. We’re having our first “cold snap”of the season, it’s currently around 20* Fahrenheit outside right now and I’m not liking it.

Now to my point. I’ve always known that personality changes were a good chance with dementia, particularly DLB but I was hoping/praying that I could somehow avoid this. This can be one of the uglier aspects of a very ugly journey and I wanted to spare my family this injustice if at all possible. After an incident that happened earlier, I’m afraid this may not be possible.

I believe my wife may be allergic to electronics. We joke that if she walks by the computer, it automatically goes to blue screen. Well, as normal, she had some problem that she needed my help with which I really don’t mind doing as long as I can. But this time the laptop was extremely sluggish and the website kept resetting even though all my login info was correct. After the 5-6th reset I was getting a tad irritated. Then my wife sat down next to me with a bowl of chili. Lately, little things like hearing people chewing just grinds my nerves. Well, the sluggish laptop, screwy website, and her chili created the prefect storm. Before I had time to form conscious thought, the words, “Stop Chewing!”, came growling out of my mouth. I couldn’t believe it. The look on my wife’s face said volumes. The surprise, the hurt, the realization I had probably just attained another milestone. This isn’t me. I’m normally a very patient person, people have made remarks about that my entire life. So this was quite a departure for me. And I am so afraid it’s only a beginning.

And the scary thing is I had no control over it. It just came rolling out. Mean. Hateful. Before I had a chance to even think about it and maintain my composure. I really hope this was a one time thing but I’ve been finding myself on the edge of this for some time now, I’ve just been able to control it. This monster that we dance through the night with is unforgiving to the patient, but it’s absolutely tormenting for the family and they don’t deserve it. I’m sorry to put them through it.

Hope you guys have a great day


1 Reply

Hey there amigo, I feel your rage brother. I have hit a few of those moments too and to make matters worse, when I screw up due to aphasia and say the wrong thing, I then get seriously tongue-tied trying to fix it. Its like when you talked about the hospital and you had to tell someone something was wrong and thats when the words got all messed up. And its like the more you try, the more you fail. And if you are not someone who takes failing in life well like me, thats a pain you just can't explain. And so you just internalize it because it has nowhere else to go. And after this happens enough, you may be ready to blow even without knowing it.

I know it might sound like a cop-out and of course I can't prove anything but I have observed in me that when those kinds of events happen where I screw up and fail, sometimes big, sometimes small, and they happen enough within a given window of time, I am many times more likely to blow up, even at inanimate objects like burnt toast or a pet that won't do what I want even after 10 minutes of rigorous aphasia-ridden explanation. I have also observed that when lots of the fails DONT happen, I tend to have much longer periods of serenity, for lack of better terms. So while its not conclusive, I would state that it is true enough to me and unlikely to be disproven by medical science before I cease to care so....its my truth I guess.

And with all you have going on and have had going on for a long time, say what you want but this is a situation just begging for blow-ups because I think you ARE like me, wanting your work to be good, etc. And if all thats true, I would wager that once the constant pressure has passed for a while, that part of your personality will slip back closer to terra fima.