Well, most of my writing in recent months has been in the form of posts I’ve made directly to facebook. I am trying a blog post today; but I will post the link to this on my facebook page.
I have had a particularly rough stretch for caregiving for my wife Sharon, living with Alzheimer’s, since the early morning hours of Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 (the morning after Labor Day). Sharon fainted, possibly due to low blood pressure from getting out of bed tooquickly, to go to the bathroom and/or from a drug trial that she was on for treating agitation. She injured her upper right arm and left leg, to the outside of the knee during the incident.
Sharon was checked out at home and transferred by the San Antonio (Texas) Fire Department EMTs to Methodist Stone Oak Hospital about 4 am on Sept. 7. Sharon was discharged about 8 am after going through many tests, including scans of her head. I tried to get Sharon to stand to get dressed to go home, and she could not put weight on her leg; and she, complained of her right arm hurting.
Well, she got readmitted to the hospital. Sharon had her arm x-rayed first; then her leg. The X-rays showed fractures in her arm and leg. She stayed in a room at Methodist Stone Oak for 3 nights, to better assess the fractures. They determined she did not need surgeries, but meanwhile she could not transfer, stand, or walk because of the fracture in her left leg. And, her right arm gave her pain. She is not to lift anything or move her right arm up, for six weeks, from Sept. 7, to about, October 19.
Sharon was discharged on Friday, Sept. 10 to Sonterra Health Center, a nursing home, for rehabilitation. Sharon had good physical therapists, as well as a speech therapist here (who was trying to better understand Sharon’s aphasia (from her Alzherimer’s), where you lose some of your ability to speak and communicate meaningfully. She also had occupational therapists. The physical and occupational therapists got Sharon standing and walking again; but they did not work with her and her CNAs on transferring to the toilet. When I visited, I was not permitted (until towards the end of her 15 days stay there), to help her to the toilet.
These issues kept her largely incontinent at Sonterra. This was disappointing to me. Sharon was discharged to home with me on Saturday, September 25. Her incontinence largely continued at home. It is slowly improving as I work with Sharon.
Since getting home, Sharon has been more subject to sundowning from her Alzheimer’s. She gets depressed and upset starting as early as 2:00 pm, and going pretty strong until about 8:00 pm, when I help her get ready for bed. One positive, since we got home, is that Sharon is more compliant in letting me help her get undressed and ready for bed. Another positive is that Sharon is not pacing, in her agitation, like she did before. While we are at home, she stays mostly with me, in our den, kitchen, bedroom, or office.
She is taking less enjoyment in the outside world, such as seeing small kids, when she is sundowning. Most of her TV shows, such as Good Morning America (with Michael Strahan); American’s Funniest Videos; Ellen; and others are giving her little enjoyment. She did chuckle at an SNL tribute to Norm McDonald, where they showed some of his old clips from Weekend Update.
We tried an early dinner around 5:30 pm this evening (Monday, October 4) at nearby Camila’s Mexican restaurant. Sharon did not enjoy it much; but we did get out of the house for an hour.
I’ll write some more again soon.