My hubby has front lobe brain damage from a stroke and over the last 12 months is getting worse. He has breakfast at 7am , lunch at 9.45 and wants his tea at 4pm. Gets really anxious if we don’t stick to these times but 9 times out of 10 half way through eating says I can’t eat this. The minute he puts his knife and fork down after tea he goes to bed. Also I have to tell him to shower every day and when he does he’s in it for 30 seconds max. If I watch him he gets mad. I feel so bad because everything he does makes me angry I know he can’t help it but it’s so hard. Does anyone else get angry
Hello Marie , welcome to the forum
My late husband had strokes, then sadly vascular dementia. I realised after a while, that I wasn’t angry with my lovely hubby but angry at the situation his illness had put us in. Angry that we couldn’t be as we were, unable to enjoy retirement as we should. Once I understood that, I was no longer angry. ( Well rarely). I went along with what he said, It’s not always easy.
Do you get any help, or respite? Has the stroke society been in touch with you?
Without him knowing - what are the chances you can change the times.
Have two identical clocks (or more) showing different times and switch them as necessary - put a lower voltage battery in a clock, should slow it down, (some experimentation may be required).
Yes, I get angry too: take yesterday, (I didn’t actually get angry, so I must be getting better) we went for a CV19 test - I squirted some hand sanitiser into the palm of my wife’s hand, she began to wipe her hands but held them upright, most of the sanitiser dripped off onto her lap - she was completely unaware, (and usually is of anything like that happening), almost totally incompetent and inept at everything she does now.
I’ve spent my entire working life as self employed, to be successful at that you have to be competent and efficient, it becomes a way of life, it drives me mad that she is now so sloppy.
Marie, are you claiming any disability benefits for your husband?
Did you know that he has been exempt from Council Tax on the grounds of Severe Mental Impairment? Some people have claimed back massive amounts, over £9,000!!
Are Social Services aware of your situation?
Pet66 you’re right I’m angry because the man I married is no longer there. It’s just some days I could scream. I want our life together back but it’s never going to be
Bowling bun yes we get attendance allowance and he doesn’t pay council tax. Can’t involve social services he won’t talk to anyone or even move out of the house
No chance of changing times he gets so anxious
Are you linked to any charities or organisation for brain injury.
Marie, as a carer you are entitled to support in your own right from Social Services.
I nearly had a breakdown, had counselling that made me see I had no life of my own as I was too busy trying to please everyone else. Does that sound familiar? You have a right to a life of your own, no one can force you to care, and sadly things are only ever going to get worse, not better.
You cannot always do what your husband wants. Was he always very controlling, or is this just since he became ill?
How old are you and your husband? You cannot live your life being totally tied down, it sounds like you are not getting any decent sort of break at all. When did you last have a complete break, a 2 week holiday?
Pet, a previous poster, had to make the heart wrenching decision for her husband to move into residential care, and I’m afraid you are going to have to make a similar decision at some stage. It is not what you or anyone else would WANT but he now NEEDS a lot of care and support.
My own mum spent the last year in residential care because she was simply too frail to live at home. I know how awful the decision is, but your post and anger shows just how much the current situation has upset your mental health, because you are worn out, exhausted, and grieving the husband that you have lost in spirit, if not in body. Please don’t end up having a breakdown before you have help.
Marie, I totally understand, my husband had a severe stroke last November, it has left him disabled down the left side, he now needs me to do everything for him he can’t stand on his own, I have moments of feeling angry at why this has happened to us , I have seen very little improvement in him and I’m trying to adjust to this new normal
I agree with Pet, that it is helpful to view it as your husband’s condition that is annoying you and making you feel angry and understandably so. The way your life has changed is enough to make anyone feel angry and upset.
It must be very limiting having him eating his meals at those times, though nice that he goes to bed so early - then you have the rest of the afternoon and evening to yourself. What does he do in bed from 4pm onwards? Can you use this time to relax, garden, go for a walk, have a SD meet with a friend etc?
I think I would be of the same mind as Sunny disposition and Ayjay about inching the time of lunch gradually later. Does he have a morning coffee and biscuits or bacon sandwich or whatever between breakfast and lunch? This might mask the fact that you are incrementally moving lunch later (even by 5 minutes every few days.) I suppose it all depends on how he knows the time? Is it is his watch or the kitchen clock or by the programmes on TV etc or his internal body clock? Whichever it was I think I would be working out how to alter them slightly every few days until HIS 9.45 is really 9.50 …9.55 … until you get to midday or whatever.
Finally forgive me if its not a good idea, but does he like music? If so, playing one of his favourite tracks whilst he is in the shower, might make him stay in a little longer.
Did he shower better in hospital? Some folk are more co-oerative for people in uniform. He may co-operate better for a paid carer in a uniform. I know he has refused any help, but this isn’t just about him - it’s about what you need too and you don’t want to live with someone with poor hygiene.
I feel sure that some good quality counselling would help you lose the anger, and decide how you can balance what you want, with your husband’s condition. You CANNOT be forced to care for him.
I understand that you didn’t ask for or want this, but it is the hand in life you have been dealt.
I didn’t ask to be widowed at 54 either.
I didn’t ask for an untrained midwife without supervision to be responsible for the birth of my second son either.
He was brain damaged at birth, giving our whole family a life sentence.
I didn’t ask to be hit head on by an 18 year old boy racer, leaving me unable to walk properly.
I didn’t ask to be given 30 tons of vintage lorry spares to sell.
I didn’t ask to have cancer.
Being angry doesn’t solve anything, although it is very understandable, but being permanently angry is horrible for you and all around you.
It took me ages to work through my feelings. I CANNOT change what happened, but I CAN change how I react to things. I don’t want to be remembered as a miserable bitch who bit everyone’s heads off at the injustice of it all, although believe me it would have been very easy at times!
You are going through a grief process right now, anger is quite normal. No one can tell you what to do, that’s not what counselling is about, but it can make you decide what you want for your own future. That is your right.
Your life isn’t over, but it isn’t going the way you wanted it to, it’s not fair, but who said life would be fair?
I do know how you feel. My husband has cognitive brain damage, and I have been looking after him for 7 and a half years at home. It is better than it was but no-one really knows how bad it feels. How bad I feel for feeling angry, bitter, resentful. I think one comment was wise, about the fact that at the bottom it is anger at the situation, really. But it does feel like anger towards HIM. Sometimes I am permanently irritated. And yes, I have had all the help and respite I can, but the covid restrictions have meant he does not go out to his few hours of activities a week, so we are at home all the time, together in a small house. As a woman who is prone to depression and anxiety it is not easy. I don’t know what the answer is. I find meditation, counselling etc help. I have to try to view my life from a different perspective. And his life too. And try to find some spiritual purpose and meaning in it all, when I can. If it is any help at all, you are not alone and I do think this life can be very cruel. But never, ever feel bad for being angry. We are only human and doing a superhuman job.