I have just arrived back home from an outpatient appointment with my husband. Michael suffers from bipolar disorder, and I could see the signs of another episode coming on. I have been with Michael for 30 years now, and he is my second husband. Throughout those years, despite Michael's condition, we have had some very good times. But now that Michael is in his seventies his disorder is becoming more prevalent. The long term news is not good as the doctors think that he is developing dementia also. Even though I have been through long hospitalisations with him, I now feel extremely sad. Sad to see how he is slipping away from me, and sad that I cannot do anything about this.
Losing My Husband Again: I have just... - Positive Wellbein...
Positive Wellbeing During Self-Isolation
I’m hoping that you can get some help and support, I know that Covid19 is a great hindrance for nhs, but some services are coming back. Make enquires for advice and respite care, mentoring and help for your wellbeing! I am hoping that you can find the strength and support for you both 😊💕🌈🌎
Thank you for kind reply. It is good that some of our services are coming back. However, I did ask for an emergency appointment two weeks ago, to see if they could offer us an emergency appointment. If Michael is left for too long without help, then it could possibly save another long hospitalisation. But instead, they just gave me a call every day, plus a visit from one of the mental health nurses. I do try very hard as I am grappling with my diagnosis of macular degeneration, which was around three years back. Also, I also suffered a mini stroke a few weeks before last Christmas, this came after a struggle with Covid - 19. I have to keep up and running for Michael. I am a fighter though, but just a bit worn out since last Christmas. Thank you for the rainbow.
I appreciate your reply, I just felt like a little contact might lighten your load
My lovely John died 14mths ago after having a diagnosis of liver complications. He didn’t drink or smoke, but he was a strong and determined guy who made his own decisions.
I am hoping that I’m not upsetting you,but my John showed how his god is with him and he’s now with me spiritually
Take care and keep pushing for help 😊💕📿📿
Sorry for your loss, Sunflower. You certainly have a positive spirit.
As you know, death is a "pause" in life, yes ...
But time "resting or sleeping" is TEMPORARY.
Our kind heavenly Father gives those we've lost back to us. Rejoice.
I want you to know newbie that I have just read your reply, and it’s such a comfort to me. I’m blessed with my faith and my John is my strong support.
My heart 💕is not broken, it’s now huge, coz our 2 hearts are now one. I’m sending you best wishes for your well-being and a heart felt thanks 😊
We definitely feel your grief and pain but we see your courage also.
You can always expect get well wishers & good advice here.
May the God of comfort continue to supply you with hope & strength.
Please update us when you can. <3
I am so sorry to hear this, I totally understand your feelings of loss and helplessness.
It is what some would call a living bereavement.
I do hope that despite the gloomy outlook that you can find happy times still.
Have you been given any details of support for both you and your husband, helplines, local group support, I do hope so.
Sadly the things we took in our stride when younger do feel more daunting as we get older.
Sometimes we physically can't do what we could before.
May I suggest that it may be good to let your GP know of this development so that you have it noted on your records that you are living in a caring role.
Perhaps you already have done that but if not it could be helpful and the GP surgery usually give an information pack to carers which may help in the future.
You have obviously done a amazing job over the years but perhaps could use a little more help now and in the future.
I wish you the very best of support and if luck comes into it that too.
Thank you for replying, it is very much appreciated. I plan on going to my husband's GP soon, to put him in the picture. We have different GP surgeries, so I need to try and liaise with Michael's GP. I will remind them that I am his carer. It is a living bereavement, as you say. I really could use some luck right now.
My heart goes out to you, you’ve been through so much together Over the years, but it sounds as if you need more help now, get your GP involved if he’s not already, does your husband go for respite at all , if not maybe nows the time, I cared for my Mother who had vascular dementia and it was a very difficult time, we had no internet then but now there is lots of Help online as we are learning more and more about dementia, good luck, and take care,of yourself too
Thank you for your concern, it is very kind of you. Michael used to attend a day centre, but that was just for one day a week. Now, because of Covid - 19, the centre is off limits. I am hoping to find out if there is any other type of respite that we can access. I shall be having a good surf on the net tonight. Thank you.
Good luck, and don't forget there's always someone to talk to on here, take care
Oh my heart goes out to you. Bipolar is an awful condition, my daughter who's 38 has had it for many years and I honestly don't know how to handle it.
Have you spoken to your doctor to see what help is out there?
Sending you my thoughts.
Thank you for your kind thoughts, yours, and everyone else's thoughts on here too. I know that you understand just how difficult it is to deal with, and I feel for you with your daughter having the same condition. I am off to see the GP tomorrow, and hoping for a response.
Yiu are welcome and I'm pleased you are going to see the doctor tomorrow, support for you is definitely needed, it's hard to do this on your own.
Take care xx
To be given this news, you must feel real pain in your heart and feel lost at the moment I should imagine. We cannot see what lies ahead, only deal with the presence of the day and the joys and sorrows it brings with it. I would hope that you will have support for yourself and your husband and find a way to deal with the situation as it develops. We all wish for a perfect life and when things strike us like this, we can only hope we have the strength to see them through and also to continue to find a happy medium for both of you. I wish the best for you both. 🌸
That's it though horrible things strike us all at some points in our lives!
After you have received the bad news even if you have an idea it's coming it's always hard to take and a shock and you don't think rationally after having heard shocking things as I have experienced it myself on many occasions as well.
Years ago when I was 21 I had received some shocking news that a friend of mine had been killed in a car accident and that had been a right blow as it was totally unexpected without warning and I had been working as a sandwich maker at the time and had said to the line manager what had happened and they had comforted me holding my hand saying how that was extremely bad news as when you are 21 your life is just starting.
Sorry to hear that catgirl. All bad news is shocking and it takes time to adjust for sure. 😊🌼
Thank you bobbybobb, you are all so kind on this forum. I am just taking a rest this evening before I prepare for tomorrow. The pain in my heart is very real, and I would love to have Michael restored to health. However, if I can just keep him from going back into hospital, it will be better for us both. After his last long sojourn in hospital, he never appeared to get back on track. Every attack appears to take a little more of him away from me. I will try and deal with things day by day.
Thats what I said today to my sister in law as often in life there's times when we don't have a choice in our circumstances and how covid was one of those and also bereavement and illness and she says I'm right on that one.
I said although I was angry when covid first kicked off it was because I had felt helpless as it was one of those things that is beyond my control but over time I have calmed down and did some productive things in lockdown and how it has taught me about being thankful for seemingly small things for example the pub being open today is one of them and also for having a choice in the matter.
We will go again very soon but it's my interview tomorrow at 1pm for that part time job which I feel will be good experience.
I remember how I had lashed out at the toxic job when I was told I couldn't have had a couple of hours off unpaid to go away to Swansea in February last year.
What was behind that wasn't not getting the hours in themselves that was the problem no what was the problem was that they were unfair over it and prior to that I had received other bad news and then that happened and for me that was the final blow at that job which had led me to the decision to leave altogether at the end of last year and I'm glad I did leave now as over time I have accepted the situation.
It was their attitude that had caused me to lash out not the not getting the hours in itself!
If I was manager I would have given the hours and say work them back when you come back and so would one of my friends who used to be a catering manager years ago who said she thought it was petty and mean begrudging someone a couple of hours off unpaid!
It's devastating isn't it when someone is ill and there's nothing you can do about it and you feel angry because you feel helpless and like its not fair!
Aww, I'm so sorry to hear this 01776. How awful life can be sometimes. It's bad enough to watch someone you love with bipolar disorder but to now find out he is probably developing dimentia too must be devastating. There's a few good suggestions on here and I hope you will find the strength you need to cope with it all. All the very best to you both. xx
Thank you springcross, yes, life can be awful sometimes. I am usually quite a resilient person, but I am growing older now, and have quite a few health issues of my own. I am going to follow up all of the suggestions on here.
I wish you luck and strength. xx
Please ask his doctor to consider trying Lithium every day. It made my husband back to himself again. If I see a manic time coming on, he takes a Xanax to help calm it.
Thank you Jerry, it is so nice and comforting to know that I have all of these kind people on the forum. I am trying to access support, but because of shut downs, plus shorter hours, a lot of the services are harder to access. But I will keep on trying. I love the rainbows that are being sent my way.
I send love and virtual hugs, I am useless at constructive advice, so I won’t ! Take care, get as much help as you can and remember we are all rooting for you xx
That's very sad 01776. You've had a long and happy relationship and it's horrible that disease can interfere with your peace of mind and spoil your remaining years together. It's tough being someone's carer and I wish you strength to carry you through this. There's a Care Community at HU too if you need any reassurance or advice with regard to caring for Michael. It's not the most active community but the members it has, have a wealth of understanding and good advice about caring. Please do take a look. It might be of help to you at some time either now or in future.
And very best wishes to both of you.🙏
So sorry - this sounds very very very hard - just hope things improve for you both even if in some small ways. X
I am so sorry to hear that. It must be extremely difficult for you. Do you receive help and also someone to talk to about this. Dementia Care and Age UK are fantastic. I hope that things get better for you. X
Words are sometimes 'empty' but when we are struggling with health or other problems, particularly in these troubled times, can mean so much. I am sending my love and prayers to you, I hope that you can take comfort from our forum but urge you to look at some respite care for your husband, it might be possible to get a day or so each week and this will give you space to recharge your own batteries. God bless and keep you safe.🌈🌈
I am so very sorry 01776, l am sure that we are all praying for you both!
Take great care of yourself at this time too!
I am so very sorry to hear of the pain and grieving process you are going through at this time.
My husband, of 28 years, is bipolar. He is 55, but in this past year I have noticed more confusion, agitation, and many issues with Problems with thought processes and recall. I still think of him as so young and it is so sad & difficult to see him worsening now.
My heart breaks for you and what lies ahead in the decisions and options for the best care for him and for you!
I send you hugs and warm thoughts. I will also keep you in my prayers. May God bless you both and give you peace and improved health.
I used to work as a care assistant in a nursing home many years ago and there was a lady in there called Denise who was only in her 50s who had dementia and it goes to show that things like dementia dont discriminate on how young or old you are.
I'm so sorry you are going through such a hard time. Please see if you can get some respite care as this will help you a great deal. People I have known who have looked after someone with dementia say they felt as if they were losing the person twice. You are both in my thoughts and prayers. I hope you go on ok at the DRS today. Really tell them how your situation is,you do need help as anyone would in your situation. You've had a double whammy with your husband having bipolar and then dementia. Thinking of you as always Lynne xxxx ❤️🌈💜🌈
I am so sorry for your situation. It must be very difficult and sad but you will have lots of happy memories of your life together and no-one can take those away from you. If you can, it would be good to make photo albums so you can look at them together and it will help Michael to remember as long as he can. Try to enjoy what is now and don't dwell on the future. It doesn't exist. Love and hugs x
I’m sorry to hear that dementia symptoms can often be low B12 if he hasn’t he should get Dr to test it, although often they’ll say it’s fine when not. I know peoples cognitive symptoms often improve on B12 & the older you are the less stomachs acid so you don’t absurd the same. I know my body was a mess without injections down to Coeliac. I’d ask for the result though. X
That is so sad my mother in law suffered with dementia for many years it’s a horrible disease along with bi polar a double whammy for you
Take care and hope you have lots of better days with yr husband x
I know about Dementia I’ve lost 3 close relatives to it. My mom has it one of the is her twin sister. I imagine he’s difficult to care for at your age. Hate to ask this but...would you consider put him in a rest home? Not meaning to be insensitive just realistic. This is going to eventually take a toll on You. Wish you the Best 🙏😷
Take whatever help comes your way. Life is so unfair sometimes. I hope you and Michael find a little more inner strength to help you, you've already shown your strengths by getting to this point. Take care of yourself too, so that you can take care of him. Sending you best wishes. 🤗
So sorry to hear your husband is suffering with this. My mum has bi polar which reared its ugly head when she was in her 50's and led to a 6 month hospitalization. I was a young mum with two small boys at the time. It can be so scary to see the person you love so changed and distressed.
Very hard for anyone who hasn't encountered it to understand.
Do reach out for help , although I know the resources are spread very thin here in Ireland. Confide in a close friend over coffee and a long walk, you need to be looked after also.
My mum is in a nursing home now and she does have dementia but all the anxiety she used to suffer with is gone and she is a content happy old lady now. She still knows me and I see plenty of glimpses of my lovely mum as I knew her as a child reappearing. It's sad and life sucks but there are good times also.
I am very sorry to hear how sad you are. I wish you all the best wishes. Steve
I do feel for you both.
My wife and I are both 61 and after a health issue I begin to sense the dread of imminent loss.
That "parting is such sweet sorrow".
I was feeling so sorry for myself recently because I couldn't find work during this shadow.
I know this is not much consolation but your situation has helped me put things into perspective.
You have helped us by sharing. I hope this does the same.
I have a friend who is 45 y/o and was diagnosed with bipolar as a teenager. He has been off all of his meds for the past 4 years and works full time as a teacher and is doing quite well. Your husband is not a hopeless case. Nothing is impossible with God. I am praying for you both. 🙏💗
Omg, so sorry you are going through this. I will pray that you will have the strenghth to support him through this horrible experience.
Get some help. Don't go through this alone.
Sending you hugs I hope you get the help you both need 💕💕
So sad to read this. You are in my thought's and prayer's. I watched my deceased Dad slip away from me from dementia then Alzheimer's. The last time he saw me, he didn't recognize me.
Thinking of you at this very stressful time, your heart must breaking.x
Extremely sad to hear your story. I hope you have some very good and understanding friends who can help you. Just for you to be able to talk to them and get support when things get too much for you. Wish you much strength and courage.
My heart goes out to you. I too am married to a man with bipolar disease. We've been married 28 years. Even though it's like riding a roller coaster with all the ups and downs I wouldn't trade him for anything. I cannot imagine what you must be going through with dementia coming on. I pray that you can find a way to help him and keep your own sanity.
We have a lot in common! I have MS, diagnosed in 2007. My husband of 28 years is bipolar. Definitely a rollercoaster, but he is my best friend & forever partner. We live in the US, do you as well? BTW, your quilts are beautiful!
Looks like we do have a lot in common! I was diagnosed in2005. Gotta ask...when did you get married? Our anniversary date is 6/27, although our license says 6/28. The pastor put the wrong date in. My husband always tells people that we aren't really married cuz he wasn't even in that town on that day! I live in the US in Mena, Arkansas. And thank you, quilting is my new addiction.
Thank you for your kind words. It is like riding the 'Big Dipper' that monstrous piece of machinery up in Blackpool. Unfortunately, age is playing a role with Mike's condition now. I am waiting from a call from the carers association to see if they can help out in any way. A lot of agencies are still not up and running because of Covid - 19, which does make a huge difference. I am also contacting the various agencies who work for dementia patients. 'No stone unturned,' as we say. It is very hard to try and help my husband now, as his condition is mixed in with a bipolar episode. I am struggling with keeping myself together, but life still goes on.
You have been added to my prayer list! Sounds like you are doing just about everything you can possibly do. Remember to take care of yourself too. When I'm feeling stressed I just let it go and give it to God, He has more experience dealing with problems than I do! I hope you can do the same.
Sorry to hear of your troubles, hope your doctor can help when you see them today. I think you have realised the time as come to seek more help if you are to cope with your home & health situation. Is there a carers group possibly near you now that sheilding as been dropped ? or they may have a help line for talking to someone about yours & your husbands health. Mind is a better contact for mental health info in your area especially for carers. Not all health services come via the doctor, many charities deal with these community needs. Do take any offers of help just talking on here can lessen the burden and let you know your not alone. It has been difficult for health issues during this pandemic it as made it very hard for many . And I appreciate it is not easy to watch your nearest and dearest going down hill with little support available to share the load. My thoughts go with you sorry I cannot help only with chat. Stay safe and do take care, changes can take time.
I agree with Sunfloweronline -theres some excellent points & suggestions in her paragraph
Sometimes we/I think we are having a bad day until, someone like you tells us what they are experiencing. God be with you as you navigate this journey we call life. I have friends, and family that have had, or are experiencing a Bipolar diagnosis. I also have had family/friends who have had, and one who is currently handling Alzheimer's a form of dementia. I have not had any love one who is experiencing both. My heart goes out to you. I hope/pray you can find a support group, and I hope you have loved one's around who can give you the much needed support you deserve. May GOD bless you, and your loved one.
I’m hoping that you are coping
01776 , you are a great support to Michael and he will have you in his heart 💓.
Life is very challenging at times and the joy is sucked out of us!
I hope that you can get help and support to manage, is there a group support helpline that you can join? Stay strong but ask your docs advice if you are not managing. My thoughts and prayers are with you