Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Silence is not always Golden

I think one of the most difficult issues to deal with in Alzheimer’s patients is their lack of communication. Bob's silence is sometimes extremely frustrating and causes a feeling of horrible loneliness for me. His ability to carry on a conversation here lately has been non existent at times.

I know most Alzheimer’s patients lose their ability to successfully communicate early on during the course of the disease. I just didn't realize how frustrating it can be. With Bobs severe hearing loss we had been pretty good at communicating with hand signals and body language but now it seems that the only time that he even tries to communicate is when he is frustrated or angry or just having an exceptionally good day.
Him not being able to communicate affects so many aspects of our journey — from practical matters to emotional matters. I often feel like I am caring for an infant. Watching his face for signs of pain or emotions. Besides the practical issues that are health related, not being able to hear him  speak also takes an emotional toll on me. I carry on two sided conversations and often find myself trying to force a response or conversation out of Bob. One worded responses seem to be our  new normal. Unless he is upset, or angry.. or may be having a good day. Then and only then does he seems to be able to get a reasonable sentence out.
I miss his voice. I miss his laugh. I wish he used them more often.  I wish........

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