Thanksgiving Day was a pleasant day. Several dozen family members gathered and all were in good spirits. Great food, great company. Names were drawn for the Christmas gift exchange. All was good. Yet, I did have a little nagging voice in me about my aunt sitting to the North, an hour away, and new I had to see her before ‘bed time’.
Now bed time is a fairly fluid event at the care facility. Maybe 8pm, but it varies with the resident, but not too much. I left the festive gathering and headed north. I arrived to find my aunt the only one up, so to speak. She was sitting in her wheelchair before the TV in the family room. I sat beside her and she opened her eyes in a sleepy, dazed sort of way and immediately recognized me.
So, we had decided upon a decision a little over a weak ago, to change her meds. She was just too sleepy upon receiving her original meds. Also, she was still agitated and hallucinating. So, we went to another med. But, there was a slight disagreement here. The new doctor thought the second med would probably be inadequate. A mental health care nurse had suggested a different med. The doctor deferred to the mental health nurse and we embarked on that drug, that was suppose to take at least a week to work. Well, I wrote here that we were not doing well with that drug and that it was going to be a long week.
After several verbal and physical disturbances, the facility care giver advised family and the doctor that things were worse than before….maybe this second med was not such a good idea after all. So, the doctor made the decision, in consultation with the mental health nurse/family, to initiate the use of a third med. All this with the intent of having her less stuporous, agitated and psychotic.
So, last night, on the second day of using the drug, I was pleased with the responsiveness, strength of voice and attitude. She was her old sweet heart self. She was still seeing things (some couple were found standing in her kitchen and saying the meanest things to her. She doesn’t think they took any of her ‘stuff’ though). You know if her hallucinations are not of the lurking serpents, swamps, etc. I will be happy.
She is not eating as well she was (she did remember that the facility had prepared a nice ham dinner for the residents that day). We have gone to liquid meds which helps in getting the meds down. The doctor has eliminated many of the previous prescribed med’s and supplements (fish oil, Zoloft, high blood medicine, congestive heart failure med). This has accomplished the removal of the task of getting her to take five or more meds. And, it removes her swallowing difficulties (fish oil capsules are quite big…) She is not eating, nor drinking enough. That will be the force of change in the weeks ahead.
So, it was a sweet visit. I hope she is on a pathway toward more frequent mellow days and nights. Perhaps this will remove the ‘sundowner syndrome’ cycle we have been in. Yes, yes, I am ready for the ‘one step forward, two steps back’ cycle as well….still, a nice end to our evening.