Finding Yourself Between A Rock And A Hard Place

I find myself in this position currently. A position where I don’t quite know exactly what to do. One where my head says one thing and my heart something completely different. So, let me give you a little backstory.

A little over a year ago, I finally convinced my husband to see a doctor about his chronic pain. He also told me that he was noticing some changes in his mental abilities, most specifically, his memory. After a battery of tests, and a few months later, he was diagnosed with Early Onset Alzheimer’s. The diagnosis COMPLETELY rocked our worlds and turned it all upside down, sideways, and diagonal. We did some research to find that what the doctor was telling us basically meant that he had a tops of 9-10 years left. Being 33 years old at the time of diagnosis made it another hard pill to swallow. We did all that we were supposed to do. We even went and got 2nd and 3rd opinions.

These other opinions actually resulted in the removal of the Alzheimer’s diagnosis; however, we now do not have an “official” diagnosis. What is now suspected can only be diagnosed through an autopsy. We are not looking for anything like that any time soon, obviously. But what it seems like the consensus is pointing to is something called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)…just think of former Pittsburgh Steelers player, Mike Webster to get an idea of what I am talking about. This disease comes from MANY brain injuries over time, so a lot of professional football players have been diagnosed with this same disorder in the last decade and is actually how it was found. If you haven’t already, you can check out what it is (a little bit) by checking out the movie Concussion staring Will Smith. There are also documentaries and publications on CTE for more information.

There is no known cure for this and unfortunately none of the doctor’s that my husband has seen knows any way to treat it. 😦 But we have been taking each day one at a time trying to do our best with what we can. What can this do to a person? Well, aside from the aforementioned memory loss, those who suffered from CTE eventually ended up committing suicide. Prior to that unwanted outcome, there is a lot of anger problems, memory loss, speech problems, problems coping with stress, and can come to violent tendencies or behaviors to name a few. That is where I am stuck right now.

Over this past weekend, what was supposed to be a great relaxing weekend for this mamma turned out to be the very worst Mother’s Day weekend I have ever had. Saturday, my hubby offered to help me with dinner, but never showed up in the kitchen as he was “too busy” playing his video game. As I was getting to the point that dinner was nearly ready to serve, I heard my dryer kick off. I called into the other room and asked if he would be able to help me out because the dryer was done. He agreed after saying he had 2 minutes left. 10-15 minutes passed and he kicked the dryer back on. I turned to him and said, all I needed was either help finishing this up or fold the laundry so I could finish dinner. Apparently that was the wrong thing to say as it resulted in WWIII in my kitchen. He completely blew up! Yelling, getting right within inches of my face, calling me some of the nastiest names possible, told me that I needed to leave because nobody wanted me around, and then picked up a ceramic platter as if he was going to swing it toward my head (until he stopped himself…thankfully). I suggested that he go live with his mother (who lives next door) to which he repeated that nobody wanted me here and that I should be the one to leave because he was not going to and that he was staying for our kids.

This is where I now don’t know what to do. I know that it isn’t him. I know that this is the disease causing these outbursts and the behavior. My problem is that I also need to think about my safety and more importantly the safety of my children. While this has never happened before, knowing the nature of the disease and what is to come, I cannot put my children or myself at risk. I also cannot let my children grow up thinking that is how a man is supposed to treat a woman, or that a couple talks to one another in that manner. A large part of me wants to take my kids and go. Get them out of this place while still allowing him to be a part of their lives, obviously, as I would never keep them from their father. But knowing that this is stemming from a disease and not really who he is, the other part of me thinks that it would be best to stay and help him through this. After all, our wedding vows were “in sickness and in health, until death do us part”.

This is one situation I never thought I would be in ever in my life. It will take a lot of thought, a lot of discussion, and a lot of soul searching to determine what would be best for the kids and I. As this unfolds, I promise to keep you updated. I just ask for some prayers, because no matter what happens, I am sure this is going to be one of the hardest decisions in my marriage to date. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, and of course for sticking with me through this.

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