Our Fourth Winter Begins

Fight the darkness

It is a stunning realization – we have begun our fourth winter since the husband’s diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia, LBD. It is hard to say if the things we have done since September 2018 have been the right things, or have been done consistently or for long enough time. It’s just hard to imagine that one could quickly change the course of a disease that’s been in progress for many years. We may not have stopped it in its tracks, but it is clear that our journey is different from most others, so far.

LBD quickly becomes a story told by the caretaker. I remember attending a conference for LBD patients and their spouses/caretakers at Mayo Clinic in 2019 where a patient was one of the main speakers. He did a good job. I wonder how he is now. I have a feeling he was a rare case.

My Dennis used to think and talk about the book he was going to write telling his experience with LBD, and his reversal of the disease, of course. That doesn’t get mentioned anymore. He doesn’t write anything, and sometimes has trouble signing his name. A book is not the kind of project he would have been motivated to finish even when he was well, so it is not surprising to me that it has never even been started. Talking has always been his mode of communication. LBD has not changed that.

He has cognitive deficits that he is aware of, but his personality is intact. His curiosity and desire to learn is still there. His need to teach and share what he knows is still prevalent. He surprised us all over the Thanksgiving holiday by having some fairly deep conversations with several people, in which he almost seemed normal in a “pre-Lewy” way. He listens every morning when we read. He asks intelligent questions and makes reasonable comments. But prolonged thinking tires him out and he no longer tries to convince, debate or argue his points.

I left this morning to take Mom to an early doctor appointment. Dennis was listening to a favorite podcast and started to tell me something he thought was very important, which I didn’t have time to hear. When I asked him at lunch what the important thing was, he couldn’t remember it. He said he was having more trouble with his memory again. It did finally come to him, but he had to ask me to find the podcast for him on his phone and play it over.


I’ve been gone most of the day, taking mom to appointments and for groceries. He sits in his lift chair, silence in the room – a rare occasion. I ask him what’s on his mind, and does he need socialization, from me. He says “no”. He’s thinking about a sermon he heard earlier on TV. I don’t believe him. I sit down and tell him about my day and read to him.


One thought on “Our Fourth Winter Begins

  1. My dear Shirley,

    Your 4th winter…I can’t believe you have been gone that long!

    I read your words and it pains me as it does you, I am sure, to be so powerless in front of this disease. I pray God that He will equip you with strength, patience, understanding, and the knowledge to discern the needs of Dennis.

    I love you very much my dear friend.


    Liked by 1 person

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