What was this?

After his usual breakfast with gusto, Don lay down for his nap, and steady snores soon took over the living room.

An hour or so later I heard rummaging and thumping and calling, and went to investigate. I was met by a very frightened man, his limbs shaking and his words incomprehensible. He didn’t know where he was or, at first, who I was. The extreme unsteadiness and fear continued for an hour, and finally he said, clearly, “Now I know what’s happening. I am insane.” I replied, “Oh darling, you are not going insane, it is just the Alzheimer’s.” (I always just call it Alzheimer’s — can’t imagine how I would explain the word dementia at that point in time!)

“No,” he said clearly, “Not going insane, I am insane.” A little later he added, “You need to be careful for yourself around me because I’m insane.” I assured him I was very careful for myself and he soon went into a deep deep sleep that continued for hours. He got up to have lunch with his caregiver friend, and then went right back to sleep for another 3 hours.

All this behaviour sounds somewhat normal, except it was all extreme, including the unsteadiness and the jumbled words. Was it a mini-stroke? Is this to be expected? How I wish I had a nurse on call to come and see episodes like this.

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