Delirium or dementia or both? We saw it coming, even before she suffered her stroke in August. We noticed the subtle changes but dismissed them; assumed she was just getting old and cranky. Honestly, we thought her mood swings and accusations were quite comical and rolled with them.
During her first hospital stay last fall, we asked the doctor to take her off certain pain medications to stop the delusions. Afterwards, her mental state briefly improved but never returned to normal. In between delusional episodes, we would tell her about her irrational behaviors. She laughed about some while remaining convinced others were still true. Like the time she believed she was hospitalized with dogs. She said at night the ICU became a veterinary. We could not convince her that dogs were not being treated in the ICU. There were also things she accused her nurses and aides of doing that we know were not true. Remember, I stayed with her day and night over a two month period. This was the reason I could not leave her at the hospital alone. She was not all there. Well, over the last several months her mental state and behaviors have only declined.
This most recent bout of delusions has lasted several days, now, and is only getting worse. I had decided I would stay here at the hospital until her mental state improved. Sadly, I’m no longer sure when or if that will happen. I have been trying to roll with it by trying different techniques to keep her calm and cooperative, especially with the nurses. Unfortunately, I have to leave her in a few hours. Don’t want to but I have things I need to do. Plus, I miss my own little family. Right now she’s yelling for me to take my knee off her hand and I am sitting here on the sofa writing this blog. Yeah… it’s a lot. Praying that God protects and surrounds her with a gentle and caring nursing team while I’m gone, or until she can get proper care.
On a positive note, every invisible person she’s spoken to she’s told them the same story– “I was paralyzed for 39 years [actually 24 years] and I just started walking three days ago.” So, she is walking again. How cool is that! The mind is absolutely amazing.
Yesterday she met Keenen Ivory Wayans (not really). She told him about all of her favorite episodes of “In Living Color,” and her favorite character, Fire Marshall Bill. Before they parted ways, she told him her story about being paralyzed for 39 years and recently walking again. She ended with, “It feels so good to walk again.”
Since she’s been in this state, she has not been in any pain, which is a good thing. No pain. No pain meds. Just delusions. Some good. Some bad. I pray that God gives her peace.