An interesting word, gobsmacked. It comes from the Irish and Scottish Gaelic meaning to be surprised or shocked as though someone smacked you in the mouth.
That is the perfect word for what caregivers of dementia patients feel when they first realize their loved one is not the same person they knew. The thoughts that run through your head could be, “What is going on here,” What was that all about”, or just, “Oh, no.”
In the early stages of dementia your loved one might also realize there is something happening that is not quite right. My husband would become frustrated and say, “I am so stupid.” I would try to reassure him that he was not stupid, but he was having some memory issues.
I told myself to remember the diagnosis, “This is progressive and irreversible,” But, when evidence of the disease first presents itself, you are, well, gobsmacked.
If you are able to attend a support group, I strongly urge you to do so. It helps.
With love and hope, Jane