When the Waters Grab – Cry Out for the LORD

My husband was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease two years ago. He has the late-onset kind, which has been developing slowly. As he’s been going through changes in status recently, we’ve felt the heat of trial. Uncharted territories lie ahead of us.

Of course, Christians never freak out. Or do they? I do sometimes. I need only cry out for the Lord like Peter did, as the waters he walked on grabbed him. Jesus rescued Peter, as He does all of us.

I’m fortunate to be much younger than my hubby. This advantage provides me with more physical and mental stamina to deal with challenges. While there have been periods of real distress, most of the time, my husband copes well. A sense of humor helps me take things in stride. He has said to me casually on a few occasions, “What did you say your name was?” I smiled and told him my name each time and that I’ve been his wife for nearly fifteen years. I love how polite he has been in spite of the thought probably crossing his mind that I might not be telling the truth.

I am fortunate that my husband is a kind man, and Alzheimer’s has not robbed him of this trait. Fear, distrust, anxiety, confusion, and disorientation all may cause a patient to act out in aggression. I don’t know if carefully treating my husband with love and respect will prevent this from happening, but I’m trying my best to provide him a calm and reassuring environment. Since I’m not perfect, he may find my best efforts less than optimal. We both need mercy and grace.

If you have suggestions on how to make life easier for an Alzheimer’s patient, please, feel free to share. Blessings to you all…

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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31 Responses to When the Waters Grab – Cry Out for the LORD

  1. LeRoy Dean says:

    My heart goes out to you. Lots of patience and understanding for your husband and a strong support system for you is most important right now. I am sorry that you both have to endure this cruel disease.


    • Thank you for your kind comment, LeRoy. We are taking one day at a time. I hope that the nightmarish stories I’ve heard won’t happen to him. Thank you for your suggestions. Yes, I must treat him with kindness. I doubt that I’d be nearly as nice as he is, if I were to have this debilitating disease. He is a prince even in his distress. Blessings to you…


  2. Watching a loved one evaporate before our eyes is cruel indeed. I understand making things together is therapeutic for patient and care taker. Simple things: making cookies, making the bed, squeezing oranges, etc.


    • Thank you, Carl. This is true. He likes to help me make the bed and to feel a part of the happenings in life. It is therapeutic as you said. “Evaporate” is exactly what it seems like, too, a slow leaking of the moisture of life to leave a shell that could lock like a prison. I’m praying with all my heart that it won’t progress that far for my hubby. Yet, if it does, I’ll trust the LORD that throughout eternity, my husband with proclaim that it was a flash in the night compared with a glorious eternity. Blessings to you, Carl…


  3. Pingback: When the Waters Grab – Cry Out for the LORD (via Cah4el’s Blog) | Change is Never Ending

  4. Laura Best says:

    Carol Ann, I’m so sorry you and your husband are facing this. Such a nasty disease. The fact that you are able to stay positive so much of the time says so much, not only about the person you are, but woman your husband married. He is very fortunate to have you. I will keep you in my prayers, with hopes that you will come through this experience having gained the strength and understanding that God intends for you.


    • Thank you, Laura. I appreciate your kind words. He was and is a great husband. I am glad the LORD gave him to me. What a privilege it is to be his caregiver. Thank you so much for your prayers. There is nothing I’d rather have. Prayer makes a difference. Blessings to you, Laura…


  5. theonlycin says:

    I’m so sorry to read this, Carol. With so much going on for you to cope with, you still find the time to be supportive of other bloggers. I have no words. Strength, love and light to you – and to your husband. xxx


    • Thank you, Cindy. I am not complaining, because we’ve had it very easy thus far. Things could be so much worse. When I see signs that things will worsen, then I see those signs disappear, and I am thankful. I appreciate your kind thoughts and words. Blessings to you, Cindy…


  6. Rocco T says:

    I will continue to pray for you and your husband that God continues to give you the strength and comfort you need to finish the race he has marked out for you. May we all do the same.

    God Bless
    Brother in Christ


    • Thank you very much. I appreciate your prayers. God is good. He is always good. These light afflictions are not to be compared with the glory to come. May we both be strong and of good courage. If we fail in this, I thank God for the grace that covers us. Blessings to you…


  7. Dear Carol, I had no idea you were going through such a difficult time. Friends of ours are going through similar things. Like one person has already said, it is so hard to watch your loved one evaporate before your eyes. Many emotions will be involved. I’ll be thinking of you in my prayers.


    • Thank you, Christine. I appreciate your prayers. My hubby has bad days that scare me into thinking the worst, and then he has good days. All the prayers that have been going up must be helping. Today is a good day for him. Thanks for your kind comment . Blessings to you…


  8. pattisj says:

    I’m praising God for the good day he’s having today. I’m thankful for your love, compassion, and good humor as you face the unknown together. May you both draw strength from the prayers of many. Hugs and blessings to you both.


  9. jannatwrites says:

    Every Alzheimer’s patient is different, but having watched my family wear down as the disease progressed with my grandma, I can safely say that the best thing you can do is to take care of yourself, too – even when the inclination is to give all you have to your husband. He needs you to be strong and healthy.

    I am happy he is not aggressive – I pray he doesn’t change and that you are able to stay strong and supportive. Your positive attitude during this trial is inspiring.


    • Thank you for your prayers, Janna. I need and appreciate your prayers. I will do my best to keep up my own health. I agree with you that this would be wise. So far, our lives have been good in spite of Alzheimer’s. I can see that this could change, but I trust that along with troubles God will bring joys, and that He will make a way in the wilderness for us, because He is God. Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. Blessings to you…


  10. Jeanne says:

    My advice is the same as Jannatwrites, take care of yourself so you can take care of him. It’s too easy to set our needs aside to care for their but your health and needs are important to do your best for him. I hope that you have some time for your interests, someone to relieve you if only to take a walk to dream. My blessings and prayers are with you Carol.


    • Thank you, Jeanne. I appreciate the wisdom you offer. I trust that God will supply all our needs, mine and my hubby’s. I will definitely tend to my own health, physical and spiritual, so that I will not let my hubby down or turn myself into the wicked witch of the west :). You are an inspiration to me the way you are strong for your family. My hubby is an inspiration to me, also. He continues to praise God, reads his Bible, and does all he can to walk tall in Christ. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and to provide helpful advice. Blessings to you, Jeanne.


  11. trisha says:

    you are an angel and your husband must be a blessed person to have you in his life. I know God walks with you and will walk with you holding your hand.

    lots of love.


  12. wolfsrosebud says:

    I cared for my Dad with the same condition about 10 years ago. God’s grace was sufficient during the long nights and trying days. As a caregiver, find time in your week to refresh yourself away from the drama. And don’t feel guilty. Yes, Christians do “freak”. Maybe its human nature, lack of faith, or not enough time in the Word. Laugh, find things to make you happy despite the island of trial you’re on now. Above all… trust God will not give you more than you can handle. May God strengthen you…


    • Thank you, Patricia. I appreciate your kind comment. I will keep in mind the wisdom you learned by experience. I’m sorry to hear that your dad had to endure such a trial. He was fortunate to have you to help him. I’m glad to be here for my husband. Thank you for taking time to stop by and for sharing your thoughts. Blessings to you…


  13. Carol Anne –
    I’m so sorry you have such a burden to bear, but of one thing I am confident. God knew you would be here one day, and He has provided everything you need to come through standing. God knows how you are feeling, and He is there to comfort you the way only He can. I will be praying for you my blogging friend…


    • Thank you for your prayers. I appreciate it so much. Yes, I believe, too, that God knew we’d be here living with this experience, and I believe He will use it to draw us closer to Him. Thank you for stopping by and for your kind comment. Blessings to you…


  14. Bonnie says:

    Carol Ann, you and your husband are an inspiration. You already know your close walk with the Lord will lead you through this. My grandmother suffered with Alzheimer’s for years. She never became aggressive, and it was my grandfather that cared for her. It was amazing to see the love that never ‘went away’ although the knowledge came and went. This to me was awe-inspiring and defines true love, the kind you can always see in a person’s eyes. Blessings to you and your precious husband through this journey, my friend.


    • Thank you, Bonnie. I love to hear reports like this one about your grandmother. My hubby has not been combative yet, and I hope he won’t be. He’s been a joy to be around. I cannot complain about my life. We are facing a challenge right now. His right leg keeps buckling under him. It comes and goes without much warning. Still, God has been good. As many times as it has caused him to fall, he hasn’t been injured. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Blessings to you, Bonnie…


  15. Jamie Dedes says:

    Carol Ann, I’m so, so sorry to read this. You’re attitude is perfect and you seem to be doing all that you can and your husband’s true, sweet nature holding its own. I’m not sure what else you can do other than the fine job you are already doing. Painful situation. Holding you and your husband in heart and prayer daily. Blessings …


    • Thank you, Jamie. Holding my husband in my heart with prayer is very good advice. I pray for him daily. Thank you for your encouraging comment. I appreciate you. Blessings to you always…


  16. Sally says:

    Dear Carol — Thank you for sharing your story. My situation is different than yours in that it is my mother afflicted with the disease, and your encounter is of an even closer kind.

    The advice I would share is from 2 Corinthians 1 — where we are told in verse 4 that God comforts us so that we may be able to comfort others. There is something very healing about sharing your story with other people going through similar deep waters. Be open, honest and transparent. Your own healing will come as others are touched and encouraged by your story. One of God’s many paradoxes…

    Love to you — Sally


    • Thank you, Sally. What good advice. I want to do that. It’s such a sacred time of life. I want to make my husband feel as healthy and happy as possible. Changes are happening as we go along each day. He’s coping very well, I think. Yet, God gives me little signs of his slipping away to help me prepare myself. Your mom seems to be in a stage more advanced than my husband’s. Or, maybe the symptoms play out in different ways. May God bless you and make you strong and fill you with His peace that passes understanding. Thank you again, Sally. Blessings…


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