We had been feeling very hopeful around here in the last few days. After the last serious episode, I phoned Seniors Health for help, and promptly got a major increase in the quetiapine prescription. Don almost immediately returned to his character of earlier days, child-like, sunny, mostly cheerful, and cracking little jokes. A joy to be with, actually.
His caregivers and I were thinking “We can handle this at home; after all a care home will only give him drugs,” until I had a serious chat with the family doctor. She said, “Hmm, yes but there are other considerations, including your own health. But more than that, these drugs won’t work forever and he will need more and more physical care.” Which of course, I have been quite clear I do not want to do, and most possibly cannot, not being very strong. We also talked about Don’s weight gain and she pointed out that if he enjoyed his food, that was great, and he should be allowed to have whatever pleasure he can get. Before that, she had checked in to make sure I understood and remembered that this was a fatal disease.
All rather difficult and thought-provoking, but nothing like last night. We had just been discussing Habilitation Therapy, where caregivers try to join the patient in their reality, in order to keep them calm. So it was ironic, when last night my love and I spent an hour searching the house for possible animals that might be lurking in the woods waiting to eat him. He was pretty calm about it all, although I was actually afraid to do anything else except join in the search because there was a layer of mad irritability underneath. (Saw that with my dad too – if you contradicted him his eyes kind of glittered and he got mean.) I had to sadly say, over and over, that we did not have a gun while being ever so thankful that we don’t! He started looking for a stick but kind of forgot – I think because it was all so eerily calm – and eventually we returned to bed.
Worse, this morning he actually remembered the scene and nodded matter-of-factly at how we had been up last night looking for animals. Perfectly reasonable thing to do.