Mom's Turn for the Worse
Friday, May 11, 2012
Unfortunately, things have taken a turn for the worse with my Mom. To give you a summary, we've been working with a psychiatrist in the last few months trying to get Mom’s Depakote
(anti-psychotic, I believe) to "therapeutic levels". We seem to finally have reached a level where she was not so manic with her pacing and such and hasn't been so aggressive to other people. So that has been a positive. She has mostly lost her ability to communicate other than minimal responses like yes, no, nods, etc. She might start out with a few words that make sense and sound like it's going to be a sentence, but then it just turns into gibberish. She definitely recognizes us, though, and you can see her brighten up or gesture as soon as one of us walks into the room.
The first week of April the memory care facility (Lincolnshire) found her on the floor in her room. Not sure if she fell or what, but she was pretty much out of it and acted as if she as in pain. She held her arms and legs very stiffly, but the unusual thing was that she wouldn't attempt to walk. They sent her off to the ER where she was evaluated with x-rays, CT scans, etc. All seemed to be ok. When she couldn't stand (she was basically very rigid and just tipped back on her heels when we tried to stand her up), they admitted her to the hospital. By the next morning she was mostly back to her usual self. She didn't have any meds while she was there, and by afternoon, she was
anxious and mean and pacing and attacking people, trying to pull out iv's etc. She was released to go back to Lincolnshire, and we all basically chalked the whole thing up to a little stroke or some kind of "event". Although she mostly seemed to snap back, we have seen further small declines.
We got a call last Friday that she had had another kind of "episode". She wasn't acting herself, wasn't really using her right arm, leaning to the right, didn't have a lot of balance, etc. We could have raced her off to the ER for them to evaluate but instead of jumping into that and distressing her, we spoke to the doctor to see if that would really accomplish anything for her. He basically said that they would test to see if she'd had a stroke or a seizure. We decided that really wouldn't gain us anything, so opted not to send her and see how she fares. They ordered a wheelchair, which she didn't fight being in (shockingly!). Not
much change Saturday morning, although Saturday evening she took a tumble out of the wheelchair when she'd tried to get up and couldn't stand. She was none the worse from that, but they called Sunday morning and said they'd found her on the floor by her bed again, so she'd apparently attempted to get up on her own once more. We’re still not seeing a lot of
change. She basically went rigid again and we couldn't get her to stand at all. Now, a few days later, she can stand and shuffle a little (with assistance) to and from the wheelchair. The doctor has authorized hospice to bring in whatever assistance might help her be able to stay at Lincolnshire for as long as possible. Not end-of-life hospice yet, but interim care to help her stay in assisted living as long as possible. We had an introductory meeting with the hospice gal Sunday, and met with their social worker Wednesday. They were supposed to evaluate yesterday and can provide assistance to L'shire a couple times a week, any medical
equipment (hospital bed, wheelchair, etc.). Unfortunately, we are seeing some pretty significant declines. Of course, we don't know if more "episodes" will occur in the near future, but I think we are all on high alert.
It has been an emotional, wearing week. Hoping for a quiet weekend...!