Get out a map

Jim and I enjoying Beaufort, SC June 2009

Jim and I enjoying Beaufort, SC June 2009

The defining moment happened what seems like a lifetime ago. I can still feel the  complete loss of breathe and how my mind completely started shutting down while my emotions took over without  ability to control them. I escaped into a fog that I am not sure has lifted yet. I am not sure it ever will.

Jim and I had just visited Beaufort, SC. We had a wonderful trip sans kids.    We meandered along the beautiful coast of South Carolina, making stops along the way, in no hurry. We arrived in Beaufort after travelling through Charleston (that is important to remember). For those of you not familiar with the East Coast, you might want to review your Southeastern US geography.

Two Suns Bed and Breakfast

Two Suns Bed and Breakfast

We, well I , ate a lot of shrimp and grits.  We had a wonderful time staying at a local bed and breakfast. We did the historical tour, drove out to a beach looking for sea turtles and just relaxed together. That weekend was one of those weekends marriages need but seldom get. It was the last long weekend Jim and I would take together before I realized that my husband was never going to be the same.  Before I realized that I was never going to be the same.

I was working part time for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Jim was working as a government contractor, on the road 1 – 2 weeks a month. The kids were 5 and 8. It was June 2009.

I was sitting at my desk and Jim called. He had made it to Savannah, GA for his latest work trip.

“Guess what I am looking at right now from my hotel balcony.”

“Ummm, I don’t know. A really cool tree or house?”

“No, that bridge we went over on our trip.”


“What bridge? The one with all the people jogging and walking across it?”


“Aren’t you in Savannah?”


“Then you can’t be looking at that bridge. That bridge was in Charleston. You are in Savannah.”

“No, I am standing here looking at the bridge. I can see it.”

“Jim, you cannot see that bridge if you are in Georgia.  We NEVER made it that far.  We were in South Carolina and never went to Savannah.  We talked about it, but never went. “

“I am telling you, I am looking at the bridge we crossed.”

“Jim, listen to me. I have NEVER been to Savannah. I have always wanted to go, but I have never been. I would remember if we had just been there last week!”

“I can see that bridge. It is the same one we went over, it looks the same.”

The conversation went like this, where we literally argued for about 3 or 4 full minutes.

Argued. I couldn’t believe he had looked at that bridge, thought to call me, dialed the number and we had the whole conversation without him once realizing that South Carolina is North of Georgia. He was in Georgia and it was impossible for him to be staring at the bridge we crossed in Charleston, South Carolina. During that entire thought process it had not occurred to him he was mistaken.

I hung up the phone and sobbed. I didn’t know exactly what was wrong. There already been some other red flags that had shown themselves to me during the previous months.  But this was it. I knew.

 I had to leave work early. I couldn’t even tell my co-workers where I was going or what was wrong. I just cried and left. What could I say? “My husband is in Georgia but is thinking he is in South Carolina?”

When Jim returned from his trip, I got out a map and we discussed this again, much calmer. We both agreed he needed to see a doctor.  Something was wrong.

And our journey began….


Pelicans flying over us in Beaufort


posted by Karen in Early Signs of Alzheimer's,Early Stages of Alzheimer's Disease,Uncategorized,Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease and have Comment (1)

One Response to “Get out a map”

  1. C says:

    Sounds familiar! This is our second day at Johns Hopkins and surgery is scheduled for mid-May. I’ll keep you updated — If we have great results, maybe you and Jim would be interested! xo

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