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Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 1,696
Registered: ‎06-25-2013

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 241 of 275 (2,533 Views)

"They could be Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - which are like mini-strokes but even these will cause some damage. "


Gail,   please re-consider changing that verb from "will" cause to "may" cause.   


My doc reluctantly admitted to me 4 years ago - when I pressed  -  she thinks I had a mild TIA on the eve of checking into hospital (for something totally unrelated to CVA,  pelvic surgery)   


When I reported the symptoms (leaning to one side, unable to straighten up,  then grey/black curtain coming down over one eye,  leaving me blind for a few minutes in that eye) she concurred it was probably stroke. 


However,  after the episode was over,  I did not feel I suffered damage in any way,  everything, including eyesight,  balance,  returned to normal.  Nor could any of the doctors later at the hospital detect any damage from this suspected TIA.     


So I don't believe one can make a blanket statement that TIA-type mini-strokes will cause "some"  damage always.   

Valued Social Butterfly
Posts: 8,137
Registered: ‎08-18-2008

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

[ Edited ]
Message 242 of 275 (2,539 Views)

@   mf70661080 - reply to your 2/23/2015 post


CVA or "cerebral vascular accident" is really just another name for a stoke.  All stokes do some damage but where they are located in the brain determines what effects they may have on the person.


They could be Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) - which are like mini-strokes but even these will cause some damage. 


It sounds to me that he could be having more with the weakness in his legs.


He really needs to have those neurological studies done - probably with a brain scan.  Only that way you will know how much damage there is and what might be expected for the short and long term and can make any plans that you have to make for the level of care he might need.


Hang in there and hopefully you will know something soon.  If he has a male friend or a son / nephew close by, maybe you could ask them to spend a bit of time with him just so you can get out a bit, weather permitting. 


Here is an article on Strokes - symptoms and types from WEBMD -

read especially the SYMPTOMS of A Stroke


Good Luck.




Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-23-2015

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 243 of 275 (2,563 Views)
One week ago my spouse , (76 years old) was admitted to hospital for 4 days and released home with vague diagnosis of " cva" he was starting to have some confusion so we were told he was having sundowners syndrome and being home would make it better. No diagnosis of dementia or if a stroke caused this!
Day after he got home he started having leg weakness and now needs a walker and that is not safe. He can barely feed himself , doesn't want to eat and looks at me blankly frequently. It takes lots of instruction to just get out of his chair etc, etc!!
Sometimes he seems like his old self( especially when Drs ask questions and if friends visit. Other times he has no clue We don't have a diagnosis ...this was sudden and I am already so stressed I don't know what to do! Haven't had neuro follow up due to inclement weather. ....maybe tomorrow! I hope!!!! Does anyone know if this is dementia or Alzheimer's or from a stroke?
I am lost. Friends offer help but they can't really . I can't leave someone who needs help to urinate or just get out of chair safely ,,!!!!!
Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-10-2009

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 244 of 275 (3,148 Views)

Yes I have been taking care of my wife now for the past three years. My friends no longer call or come by because they know I can't go anywhere .My wife has heart diease and needs both a hip and knee replacement. My stepchildren are useless .They won't come by and pick their mother up for a few hours to give me a break. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, but i promise her the day we were married 24 years ago that as long as I was able I would never put her in a nursing home.

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-13-2014

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 245 of 275 (3,199 Views)

Hello Everyone,

    I am taking care of my hubby of 40 years. He has Hepatic Encelapathy, he's in end stage liver failure. He has been a heavy beer drinker for 35 years. He's always been pretty self centered (to say the least), but now, it's all about HIM. The disease is slowly but surely killing him, at this point, I'm not sure if it's going to take me first.  . 

   His b/p is dropping, to the point it has gotten so low he's gone into acute renal failure, twice. Hospice has become my lifesaver. An aide comes out 3 times a week to help bathe him. He had refused to bathe for over 2-3 weeks at a time, the aide coming put him on a regular schedule. Our Hospice nurse comes out 3 times a week, (look at me, I've claimed his nurse as ours), Hospice has been a life saver!!! I cannot stress just how much of a difference they have made, all to the good. 

   He gets "confused" (read crazy as a loon) He was driving, I literally had heart attacks every time he would stagger to the car or truck. They along with our family physician and a friendly local police officer, put a stop to that. He was falling constantly, my son had had to put his own life on hold to come live with us, just to help me, he was picking hubby up out of the floor, off the deck, off the ground, many times a week.  The peeps helped get himto using a rolling walkalator. And helped to get his meds adjusted to help with the balance. My son was able to move back out, but he comes by 3-6 times a week. I am just so thankful I have my son!! He is my hero, my rock, he is the one who has to listen to me vent, too. He has wide shoulders, at times he needs them.

    He has realized he is dying. He checks his b/p 10-12 times a day, he checks his o2 about the same. Hospice also got him a o2 concentrator. Some weeks I can run to town, pay bills, buy groceries, etc. Others, I have to get my son to come hubby sit. The last 2 weeks, he has been more stable than in months, physically. Mentally, he has been more clear of thought, in the last few days. 

   My hubby, teen age sweetheart, love of my life, has done a 360*, the sweet wonderful man is now a mean selfish monster, I keep telling myself it's the brain damage, but you can only lie to yourself for so long. He is a control freak that has lost control. I see him checking his bp, heart rate, etc and I realize he is scared of dying, yet, he does nothing to ease his fears, his, I'm sure, horrors. I caught myself remarking to him, after he had said something so hurtful,. . "If I was as scared of dying as you are, I wouldn't be picking fights with God." 

   Do any of you have any advice, any helpful hints? I'm so tired physically, and mentally that I'm not sure I'm going to make it. And yes, I know I have no choice except to make it. 

  Thank you!


Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎07-12-2014

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 246 of 275 (3,198 Views)

Hi  -     I take care of my husband who has vascular dementia and a myriad of other health issues which include heart, diabetes, and on and on.   I have been caring for him for 8 yrs.  I am glad I had read about this group in a recent AARP.   Like many of you I too feel alone in doing my caregiving as many people have faded out of our lives.  People mean well but the thought of following through is another thing.   Our sons live out of state and friends have retired and are not nearby.   I work full time during the school year which is belief it or not a respite.  I am currently able to leave my husband home alone since he has mild cognitive problems but keep my cell phone on me at all times in case he needs me.   Since I have been out of school being here full time is hardest and since I do it all.   I am glad to have found a place to find tools to cope with my new life.

Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-24-2010

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 247 of 275 (3,284 Views)
We don't have one. I'm exhausted all the time. After 4 years of caring for hubby 24/7 I don't have the energy to consider being romantic. I'm glad to get through the day. Not very encouraging, is it?
Info Seeker
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-24-2010

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 248 of 275 (3,301 Views)

I'm in the same boat.  Hubby had Parkinson's diagnosed about 6-7 years ago.  Four years ago he had a "widow-maker" heart attack.  That affected his short term memory.  Between PD and the heart attack he lost the ability to figure out how to move his body so most of the day he can't figure out how to get out of a chair.  He can't get in and out of bed by himself so I'm always lifting him - he goes to the bathroom between 1 and 5 times a night.  I never get an uninterrupted night's sleep.  He can't make his own meals.  He can't go to the bathroom by himself and is incontinent at times.  

I also have no family close by (several thousand miles away).  I've had no break in 4 years.  What keeps me sane are my friends, Facebook (I thank heaven for it every day), reading, brief walks with my dog and the bits of time each day when hubby is "himself."  

But it is a very lonely life.  And now I have Stage 1 breast cancer.  My kids will come in and care for me and hubby for 3 weeks while I have surgery and recuperate.  That will be lovely.  I should actually get some sleep for a change Smiley Happy  

Area Agency on Aging used to have a program of respite care and I thought I'd use it for hubby for a week or two.  But it has been discontinued.  And, honestly, if he were in a home of some sort, he would decline even further.

It's hard not to get discouraged.  But we all do what we have to do.  Keep strong!

Info Seeker
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-01-2008

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 249 of 275 (3,503 Views)
I have been caring for my wife, on an increasingly basis, since 2005. It began with caring for her as she battled breast cancer, then her extended recovery from brain surgery, two extended recoveries from lower back surgery, a very lengthy recovery from a botched knee replacement surgery, i.e., after 4 surgeries, she ended up having to have her leg fused (cannot bend her leg) and has essentially lost her mobility (has limited use of a walker; must use a wheelchair most of the time). Subsequently, she was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, which eventually led to permanent kidney failure; she receives dialysis treatment 3 times a week (get up at 4:30 a.m. to make 5:30 appt; pick her up at 10:15 a.m.). Has also been diagnosed having progressive dementia; is easily irritated and can become quite nasty and hurtful to me, at times. Bad situation compounded by fact that our youngest son (almost 50 yrs old) has been living with us for almost a year because he lost his job and his credit rating is tanked; he is also an alcoholic who is in deep denial. I find his continued presence very irritating and extremely stressful. Although he has found a new good paying job, he is unable to qualify for a rental apt due to his bad credit rating. Needs to file for bankruptcy but I learned just recently that instead of making monthly payments to his bankruptcy lawyer, he has been spending his money on booze. Needless to say, this revelation really irritated me, so I have given him an eviction date. This situation has caused increased friction between me and my wife since she is unable to recognize his shortcomings and the effect they have upon me. I have been seeing a doctor for depression but his answer has been to place me on medication, which has only served to cause me frequent nausea. I have quit taking the medication and intend to stop seeing this doctor. I think I need professional counseling on how to effectively address my situation, rather than being placed on a drug regimen. Not a pretty picture.....that is for certain. Am willing to give this forum a try. Need to find something that works. Took 2 weeks off in April to recharge my batteries but that relief wore off much to quickly. Have another son and daughter in town but their availability to assist is limited. Try to play golf a couple times each week. My oldest son is pushing me to do volunteer work to break up the routine and relieve the stress.
Regular Social Butterfly
Posts: 409
Registered: ‎04-28-2014

Re: Is anyone taking care of a spouse?

Message 250 of 275 (3,598 Views)

Good evening, Grammarian,


I missed it: who said they were considering divorce?


You are hanging in there, that's for sure. Your husband is a lucky man.