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Round and round in circles -Carers UK Forum

Round and round in circles

Share information, support and advice on all aspects of caring.

Still having problems with my 78 year old husband. He is not eating much - 6 Fortisips Monday, 3 Tuesday and 2 Wednesday - 2 yesterday but one slice of beef and cheese and one slice of bread.Ironically this was the day I did not prompt! His weight is around 8st 7 so he has lost around 7 pounds since Xmas. He is 5ft 9.

Digestion a nightmare - having dulcolax and suppositories and yes this does mean a lot of extra washing.

I have been trying to write a joint letter to the new GP - never met her and we are at different surgeries so do not want to mention my dementia worries until I have at least met her. But husband is very chaneable re his health problems. For example, he said that his legs feel as if they are going to give way - he fell in September and February, but when I mentioned putting this and the dizziness in the letter he said it was not important! Well it is to me because if he falls then he could break his leg or hit his head again.

Not sure if I should leave be for now and wait for a crisis to happen.I do not want to go to the GP and end up having to talk for him - if he is going to contradict me.He is very deaf. I do feel it is important to write a balanced shortish letter before going - 10 mins is not long.

Frankly I think he is denial, does not want to go into hospital and if he has mental capacity he does not have to go, and I am tempted to just step back. Very hard though. We also have work going on to extend oru cat run and sort out my garden which I cannot cope with any longer so it is not easy to get out of the house right now - thankfully downstairs bathroom finished.

I did get him to the dentist after two cancellations. I still do not think he is doing his teeth.

My husband is a very clever man and I dare not go against him even if this really is not in his own interests. I do think he may still be able to convince a busy GP that I am exagerating so I am trying hard to negotiate a way through. I do know when he has been crying with pain, he has gone to GP with me, and when asked if hte pain is bad he has said 'not really'.!

Thanks for reading. Just taking it day by day.........
Helena, I eventually wrote to my husband's​ GP with my concerns re memory loss etc. My husband had falls, UTIs and utter confusion at times. He had changed his doctor, ( sadly, because ours would have listened to me, the new one was hopeless). Anyway, not to digress, you are doing the right thing in writing, and you will have a copy won't you? The doctor can't deny he/ she has been informed of your concerns. I know where you are coming from, your husband being intelligent, and in denial.
Thinking of you in your difficult emotional time.
I agree - definitely write the letter, an d definitely keep a copy! (Can you email it in, that way there's more record of it, plus easier to read etc etc). You could print out a copy, or several copies, ie, give a print copy to the doctor as well.

You say you only get ten minutes for the appointment, but it should be possible to specifically request a double appointment.

I'm worried that you say your husband is very clever, with the implication being that you are not! I don't see why! (Though I can see why your huban might have 'done a number' on you to indicate to you that he is intelligent you are stupid.....'controllers' rather like doing that! And so do older husbands too, perhaps unconsciously assuming that they 'they know best' simply because their wife is so much younger.....???)(apols for any unfair speculation, but please do NOT think yourse'f stupid in comparison. I mean, how clever is it of him to be in denial, and refuse to wash his teeth properly so they fall out, etc etc etc?? Not very intelligent in my book!!!!!!)

PS. Hope the cat run is HUGE. I know your cats are valuable, but I do so hate the thought of cats in prisons.......(I can't bear zoos!). Do they ever get to 'roam free'....or even just be taken for a walk?? I do hope so! (Ha ha, the moment I typed that my own handsome chap strolled in through the bedroom window over the conservatory roof. He's now staring at me, purring his head off, and is clearly about to walk all over my keyboard till I feed him. He's now 'paddling'....but luckily not on the keyboard. His tail is twitching so he's getting impatient - I'd better stop and pay him attention like a good servant should....!!! :) :) )
I take your point Jenny but we live near a main road plus not everyone likes cats and mine are pedigrees so at risk of being stolen. Yes, the present cat run is quite large but extending it to the top lawn will make it very large. The builder is the husband of my friend who is a cat breeder so we are having shelves and floor to ceilings scratching posts plus wait for, maybe an exercise wheel. My cats love sitting out and having the breeze in their fur. It is a loss/gain analysis but for me keeping my cats indoors with the enclosure is the only viable option.

Yes husband is 23 years older. I heard him say a couple of years ago that when he had met me, I had just come out of borstal!!!!. I was an Admin Officer in the MOD and my tax return will show this. He also has burnt every pan in the house and says if I tell anyone he will say I did it. Frankly I just let it wash over me now but even the Consultant in hospital said that he was even managing to fool some of the medical staff and that was not in his own interests or mine. He also said husbands vocubulary and intellect was so much above the 'average' NHS patient. So yes, I am still a little worried I won't be believed. Also the 'Mental Capacity'thing is a nightmare and yes, he can still have mental capacity and not eat or do his teeth because i went through this with my GP in regard to my late father - he gave up his afternoon off to persuade the ambulence crew to take him to hospital. The bottom line is if husband does not accept or realise he needs help, at this moment of time, I can do nothing. I just have to wait for it to get to the next level which is really really hard.

This morning he has just said he will have another suppository completely having forgotten he has one yesterday and it worked. I will try to stop this as he is at risk of being dehydrated. But if he insists, I cannot physically stop him and nor will I try as I weight 7st.

I will keep working at the letter ideally with his help but if not, then maybe I should take a deep breath and send my version. We are together 24/7 so my own emotional health and the safety of the cats has to be taken into account too - just not in a position where i can leave even for a few days.

Cat show tomorrow but friend coming as husband a menace with the trolley.

Thanks ladies - good advice. Yes Jenny husband has brainwashed me for years and yes, he is scared, and deep down does realise something is wrong, which I think is why he has to make me feel no one will believe me. But looking at him in his dirty stained dressing gown - yes, I have put a clean one on the hook in his bathroom , I think those days are starting to come to an end.
So wish we had the same GP and surgery as my GP is very good and very straight - good GP's today are terrified of being sued - yes, they are in the right but as he told me, the time it takes to deal with a complaint/legal thing could and should be spent on patients. But husband threatened to sue him and moved to new surgery 4 years ago and now his GP has emigrated. I am just scared his GP won't believe me.

Thanks again.
I suppose I am just frightened that if I write to the GP, and she calls him in, and even mentions the D word, then he will realise I have written to her. I just cannot risk that. He can be very emotionally abusive and we are together 24/7. I will try to discuss this with my own GP when I can get - husband very annoyed I am still with this surgery and tells me I am being 'disloyal'.But the fact is my GP was great with my father, and I can walk to the surgery so personally see no reason to change, and to try to negotiate a relationship with someone else.

He does tend to 'shoot from the hip' and gave very good advice re mental capacity and sectioning - the latter is almost impossible. So at the risk of sounding hard, I have to step back and keep trying to go for a joint letter. Trying to prove emotional abuse despite changes in the law, is not frankly a viable option. Even if they believed me, given his age no action would be taken. Sorry to sound cynical and uncaring but that is my experience and for the record, I do not blame the GP's just our 'sue the NHS culture' and 'no win no fee'. lawyers.
Helena, your husband's GP has to take confidentiality very seriously. If you explain your husband will react extremely badly to the word dementia, then he must not use the word. He shouldn't tell your husband you have even communicated, especially if you make it clear it will cause problems. Even though you are married, the doctor can not tell you anything re your husband's medical records without permission. Not until you have power of attorney. What you are doing is making the doctor aware of your husband's difficulties. He can ask to see your husband for a general check up. It's very very difficult I really understand, but what you are doing is looking after your husband, even if you do feel devious, and just as importantly looking after yourself. I personally feel it's better to do something, than nothing.Its a fight I know.
I too would not change my GP to hubby's. So glad I was adamant about that.
Hi Helena
I'd suggest sending the joint letter, but also sending a supplemental letter where you can explain your concerns and stressing not to use the d word.
Together that should give the GP sufficient 'heads up'
Xx MrsA
Hi ~Helena

Just a thought - if you get on well with your GP and he realises you are under great stress and at risk becoming ill yourself, could he not contact your husband's GP and voice his concerns?

This confidentiality thing is really very restrictive, but I think that doctors are so scared of being sued.