Preventing Her Shutdown is an inside look of what an ongoing caregiver spouse goes through in my desperate effort to keep my wife with Alzheimer’s “connected”. In Real Time there are very personal unloaded feelings, emotions expressed and actions taken, never confided to anyone while slowly losing my wife.
This book started out as a daily diary of how my wife´s behavior was dramatically changing and how I was affected and began to relate to her differently. Writing helped me ventilate my deepest emotions and reactions in private as they were too personal to express to others. Somehow writing “alleviated” my continuous sorrow. Soon this diary turned into this book.
There are really no fixed “do this” and “do that” rules, as there are no two profile behavioral changes alike. Consequently, no one has the “exact key” as to how to respond to a family member with Alzheimer’s radical behavioral changes . Personal historical habits and idiosyncrasies influence behavioral changes. Only experiences from others can be your guide. I describe these dramatic changes with my wife who is in the beginning of the advanced stages.
Many times I wonder what she is thinking or what her feelings are because now she doesn’t speak at all. I only have her facial expressions or sounds. Is she happy? Is she sad? I never see sad expressions on her face so I never know if she is sad. I do see a straight face sometimes and when I do I try to provoke a smile or laughter just to be sure she is not sad. Does she know she is not well? Does she know how she was before? Does she remember her past? What I do to help her restore her past.
Then I realized “what about us”, our 43 years of marriage, does she remember that past? She recognizes and knows me well but how far back? Did our marriage begin in 1979 or 2017 when she was diagnosed?
I wasn’t sure where I was in her memory or how she sees me, as her friend or husband so I felt I had to make sure she realized I was at least her “best friend.”
She doesn’t speak at all. She expresses only some sounds and shows a lot of anxiety. This becomes a real challenge trying to figure out what she wants and how she feels. How do we communicate? How do I talk to her? How does she tell me what she wants or needs? We both learned how to interact with each other.
My reactions have always been intuitive in my desperate attempts to keep her “connected” with me, family and her surroundings. My experiences and actions as they happen “racing against the Alzheimer’s clock” to keep her communicating and interacting every day, even though she no longer speaks, are detailed in my never-ending battle to prevent her shutdown.
Targeted Age Group:: 30 +
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
This book started out as a daily diary of how my wife´s behavior was dramatically changing and how I was affected and began to relate to her differently. Writing helped me ventilate my deepest emotions and reactions in private as they were too personal to express to others. Somehow writing "alleviated" my continuous sorrow. Soon this diary turned into this book. Possibly this book can help others on this horrific journey.
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