Gransnet forums


DH slower thinking. Is this normal?

(23 Posts)
alltheglitterglue Mon 04-Oct-21 18:17:08

DH is only early 50s, so if there is a neurological condition it is early onset.

DH holds a senior post in a large and well regarded company. He is an expert in his field, he works very hard, though he is very good at not working too long or late into the night. His workload is heavy, he is keeping on top of it and has a high profile.

My point being that if his employers didn’t think that he was doing ok they would be very good at helping him.

Throughout lockdown DH didn’t take much of his holiday so he was allowed to carry some forward. I’m still working, he is on the 2nd week of holiday he is taking just to use it up.

Today I took the day off and we went out for the day. This has been niggling at me for a while, however I really noticed it today.

During personal rather than work time DH is noticeably disorganised; he bought a takeaway coffee, he wanted to buy something in another shop and I could see that he couldn’t work out how to manage holding or putting the cup down or asking me to hold it for him while he looked at the other item.

I know that I will sound cruel, but I wanted to see what he would do and he was trying to work it out for more than a minute, a simple logistical problem.

When he purchased this 2nd item I produced a bag for life, a very basic, unisex, over the shoulder tote made from cotton, the free kind. It was like DH forgot what he was supposed to be doing with the bag. I watched him looking at his purchased items and looking at the bag to try to work it out.

On a few occasions he forgot things I said to him.

When going into public buildings it took him a long time to put his mask on, even though he had plenty with him a new he had them in his hand. I would say ‘you’ll need your mask’ as he forgot every time and still it took him ages to work out what it was doing in his hand, that he had to put it on, how to put it on etc, etc.

It was like watching a toddler discovering and learning for the first time, you know how you can watch the thoughts across their face?

He is sleeping well, eating well, says he is happy, talks about his feelings, we don’t have money worries, he has friends, our DCs are ok. I don’t think he’s having an affair or anything else that would be occupying his mind.

He was so confused on a basic level but was much better when it came to higher-level tasks and thinking.

Should I be worried? Taking action? Start a diary of instances like this?

Or maybe I’m just fussing about nothing?

alltheglitterglue Mon 04-Oct-21 18:20:33

Instead of a knew that should say and.

Urmstongran Mon 04-Oct-21 18:26:38

All this must be very upsetting for you. I didn’t like to read and retreat but honestly I have no idea. Have your adult children noticed anything untoward?

V3ra Mon 04-Oct-21 18:36:09

Does he have a personal assistant at work who takes care of the mundane practical tasks for him? Do you usually?
Is his mind normally on a higher plane?

I used to work for a psychiatrist and was doing some extra hours at his home one time. He was supposed to be cooking the family dinner that evening.
He came in with a potato in one hand and a peeler in the other and asked if he'd done it right...

M0nica Mon 04-Oct-21 18:37:22

Why not suggest a health check up?

Casdon Mon 04-Oct-21 18:41:14

It sounds to me like he is very stressed, and his mind is on the higher tasks to the exclusion of the routine. I don’t think men are as good at juggling as women - my son who is 24 had an issue with a coffee cup yesterday, he wanted to go into another shop while he had a coffee in his hand, his solution was to put it on the floor and for me to stand by it for him!

Elizabeth27 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:43:43

You could ask him why he behaved that way and ask if he is preoccupied with something.

Audi10 Mon 04-Oct-21 18:47:47

I would contact the dr for a health check for him, it’s happened a few times so I would be writing it all down,

JaneJudge Mon 04-Oct-21 18:55:48

I think it is stress too. My husband is early 50s too and all this, working from home etc has really made him quite weird wrt to smaller stuff.

BlueBelle Mon 04-Oct-21 19:17:35

He’s thinking about other things Sometimes when I m in the bathroom in the morning I totally forget whether I ve brushed my teeth or not cos I ve been so busy have mental conversations about whatever is my worry of the moment I have to feel the brush to see if it’s wet or not ?

Jaxjacky Mon 04-Oct-21 20:16:46

I think his brain is used to working on more complex problems and almost trained that way. I’ve seen this before with very clever computer programmers, they get very immersed in their work and common sense deserts them. Some even had to be prompted to eat if particularly busy.
Did you mention and discuss it with him?

Madgran77 Mon 04-Oct-21 20:23:24

It could be stress causing lack of concentration and difficulty with the mundane but it also could be the start of early onset or it could be something else.

I think you need to get him to the Dr

sodapop Mon 04-Oct-21 20:37:46

I agree with Casdon too this sounds stress related but a check up with the Dr would be a good idea.

alltheglitterglue Mon 04-Oct-21 21:04:32

Thank you for your understanding, everyone. When I read my post back I wondered whether you might all think that I came across as not like or loving or caring about him - none of which is true btw. I love him absolutely.

He is incredibly stubborn and I have no hope of getting him anywhere near a GP without a wealth of evidence, which is why the idea of the diary seemed like a good idea.

Usually, I would agree that he is preoccupied, but he is in the middle of 2 weeks off. He’s not supposed to be running around after me or the DCs, he has been spending the time doing his hobby.

My commute is an hour. Last week he did drive me into work and collect me, just for something to do!

He has looked after our GDCs but he has loved that, it’s not work for him.

DH is relaxed, evidenced by the fact that he is sleeping past his usual 6.30am waking up time. When he is working he is awake early, even at weekends.

Luckily for him DH loves his job, I think that’s one reason why he’s so strict with himself about it. If he doesn’t make himself stop before 6pm, then he would keep doing it all night! not quite, exaggeration is for illustration purposes only grin

I’m as sure as I can be that he hasn’t been working for the past week.

And that’s what is bothering me. If he was busy, if work was full-on I could understand the cause of the confusion, but he isn’t.

Over the past year he has started talking about retirement; when he will retire and how he will retire he’s thinking he would like to semi-retire and manoeuvring himself into the best position to do that. I have been saying that I don’t think he’d be very good at being retired! I am not 50 yet so I feel a long way from wanting to retire myself!

Patsy70 Mon 04-Oct-21 21:14:36

If you are concerned about his behaviour, it would make sense to raise this with him in a relaxed way, when he may reveal that he is also concerned. Best to discuss any issues with him before consulting your GP. It may well be a stress related problem, but it would be better to keep aware of any changes in his normal behaviour.

Urmstongran Mon 04-Oct-21 21:18:57

You have your concerns. That’s probably enough to go on. Gut instincts are there to warn us if we would only take heed. Often we dismiss them - until we can’t.

Shelflife Mon 04-Oct-21 21:48:20

I agree with Urmstongran. It may well be stress but you are noticing his behaviour is not what you expect. Please take some advice from a professional .

nadateturbe Mon 04-Oct-21 21:53:54

I agree with others. I wouldn't ignore it.

BigBertha1 Mon 04-Oct-21 22:38:44

I am with you on this. It's very hard to pin it down and to know whether it is 'real' or not, whether to be worried or not. My DH is doing similar things. He seems now not to be able to juggle several thoughts or ideas at once, forgets simple things and makes mistakes he never would have made. I don't think I can do anything more than a watching brief without alarming him.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 05-Oct-21 08:17:44

Men can’t often multi task, at work they often concentrate on one thing, others often run around getting paperwork together for them or help them juggle things around.
When I ask DH to do something, then in the middle of it ask him to do something else or even try to have a conversation with him, I get told that he can only do one thing at a time!
When he was at work 5 days a week it wasn’t so noticeable, but so far I’ve resisted the urge to help him do 2 things at once as I’m not his gofer.

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 05-Oct-21 08:19:14

PS, I have to say though that I’m keeping a watchful eye on DH.
But seeing his mates they all seem a bit lost without someone to help them out, when they have to try to do several things at once.

Hetty58 Tue 05-Oct-21 09:33:57

I'm fairly clumsy and preoccupied at the best of times. I often forget what I was doing - or simply can't remember if I've done something or not.

It's not a memory problem - but an attention one. At work, or busy doing something familiar, I tend to be fine, though. When I'm relaxed, enjoying myself, I'm at my worst!

alltheglitterglue Wed 06-Oct-21 09:54:21

He does have a PA, his PA is a man, he works for DH & another exec. The PA’s job is to maintain their calendars and organise any travel.

Meeting notes don’t need to be typed up as they have voice to text software.

By coincidence, I was talking to DH about a male friend of ours. I had recommended a book to the friend & spoken to DH about it. That conversation happened on Monday. DH had no memory of it yesterday. None. Even though the book I recommended was one that DH has recently read too.

As DH is off this week he has written himself a list. Fair enough, lots of people would do that, but the list includes really small things that it would be difficult to forget.