Monday, October 17, 2011

Hitting the Rapids and Holding On Tight

Called the ambulance for the first time in my life.  RD developed a watery, gurgly breathing sound over the weekend.  Breathing was rapid and scary to hear.  This morning I could not get him to his feet.  The expression, "weak as a kitten" fit him perfectly.  After foolishly trying to lift him to his feet this morning, we both fell back onto the bed.  Oh yes, the agony of defeat and the call for help followed.
He was transported to the hospital emergency room where he received IV fluids, three blood draws, and a chest x-ray.  He did not have pneumonia so he was sent home about 3 hours later.  He has been asleep since arriving back home (2:00pm) and it's now 10:00pm.  How will he be able to sleep through the night? 
With these breathing problems also came new behaviors.  He has become angry and agressive towards me.  He clenched his fist and tried to take a swing at me saying I was trying to kill him.  He told the emergency room staff he didn't trust me because I was trying to kill him.  He tried to hit the young phlebotomist drawing blood.  I've never seen behavior like this.   It has been "normal" for him to pick up my hand and gently kiss it, mouthing the words "I love you".  How did we go from this to trying to hit me? 
This explains tonight's Title.  I feel like the water is roiling with jutting, dangerous rocks ahead.  Most are beneath the surface so no way to know when the whole boat will break apart after hitting a hidden boulder. Could be tomorrow or next week but they are out there. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Down in Up and Down Days

Today wasn't a day to remember.  It ended worse than it began.  When days begin with delusion and confusion, I can be assured nothing good will follow.  Our day began routine enough.    I showered RD and washed his hair, dressed him, applied moisturizing cream, cut his hair, shaved him and generally pampered him from head to toe. He was looking and smelling pretty darn sweet.
By the end of the day, he was agitated, tried to take a swing at me and let me know in no uncertain terms I was trying to kill him.  How did we get from tender loving care to don't touch me or I'll kill you... all in a short 12 twelve hours?  

Monday, October 10, 2011

Living Inside

Going it alone, without help in the house, is getting a bit crazy.  When putting up a new curtain in the basement storeroom at midnight is exciting, when exhilaration comes from cleaning the storeroom and building new shelving, and when giddiness erupts at news my brother and his family will be stopping to see us  for a few minutes, I need to get out more!  Living inside Lewy Body dementia can mean the mundane tasks of life suddenly take on a holiday spirit.
Battling the sudden fainting is about to get me down. It is getting more and more difficult to walk him from one place to another.  It's difficult to get him onto the toilet and back up to a standing position.  Psychiatric problems (delusions, hallucinations, capgras syndrome), physical limitations caused by the Parkinsonian symptoms, cognitive loss, and less and less ability to make himself understood frustrates the heck out of me and I'm certain it's even worse for RD.
Last week RD seemed to live in a perpetual delusion but I was to blame.  I was working to clean the storeroom, build shelving, and restore organization from chaos but I made a lot of racket.  I was working in 10-15 minute sprints because  RD kept getting up to look for me.  Getting up quickly is a guaranteed drop in blood pressure followed by a guaranteed fainting episode anywhere from 30 seconds to one minute after rising.  Between running up and down the stairs to check on RD and the noise, RD began to believe the city had condemned the 'building' and were busy tearing it down.  He became obsessed with the idea we would have to move.  He was convinced the foundation was crumbling and the city was knocking down the support walls.  Nothing convinced him otherwise.   Imagine the frightening feeling when believing your "building" was being torn apart while you were sitting inside?!!1
Since I had no one to stay with RD, I took him to my own doctor's appointment. The wind was gusting up to 65 miles per hour.  I asked him to stay in the car while I got the wheelchair out of the trunk.  Because of the wind and banging trunk lid,  I did not hear RD get out of the car but the next thing I saw was RD on the asphalt.  He had fallen backwards.  I ended up speeding through my own appointment so I  could get him over to the walk-in clinic.  Nothing broken but his pride.  My head hurts just thinking about it again.
Today began and ended with the same delusion.  I'll be living here for a while.