Decline

In a short time, Bo took a downward turn.

The beginning was about ten days ago — a virus, complicated by a urinary infection.  He was miserable, sleeping, fretting, coughing and not wanting to eat or drink. At the time I wrote this:

Yesterday was the worst day we’ve had — absolutely terrible. It began when Bo got up early,  a surprise since he’s been sleeping all day recently.  But he got up confused, weak and agitated… worried all day about things  I couldn’t even understand.  The overriding theme was that he had to meet someone and that we had to go somewhere.  Before we took the dog out,  he rolled up the hall rug. Then he got out the big basket of hats and gloves from the closet to take and chose two ski jackets.  Got yogurt and pepper strips from the refrigerator, confusing our walk with the dog and a long trip. His vocabulary became a lot of made up words.   I couldn’t understand him and he couldn’t understand me.

 In the evening,  friends came to play cards so he went upstairs ,and when they left,  I found him in bed with his clothes on.  He got up and it all started again — only worse.  He was determined to go somewhere to meet someone.  Kept saying he would go now,  I tried to explain that it was one a.m. He didn’t go downstairs, but I hid the car keys and locked the garage door just to be sure.  Finally, he obeyed me and got into bed.

 But the night continued.  He was up every hour, so I was up too. I would talk him back into bed, turn off the lights and try again.   By morning I realized he was ill, sounded as if he had a sore throat, and a cough was developing.   He was so sleepy that he wanted to sleep all day without food or water.  In the end I called the doctor. ”

One important thing to know is how a urinary tract infection can affect a person.  It can cause not only the obvious discomfort and dehydration,  but also confusion and disorientation.

Bo was ill for a week but instead of recovering  he seems to have declined, a setback which isn’t really reversing.  He understands less,  has more trouble following directions,  is totally exhausted all the time and is confused more by the day/night concepts.  Anything – just dressing – exhausts him. One day he fell in the bedroom and lost his balance a couple of other times.

I awaken him throughout the day so he will eat and drink and he would be happy if I brought the food to the bed and fed him, but I won’t. One day I had to give him directions for bathing, but he had difficulty understanding, so I ended up assisting him.

Yesterday he seemed to be doing a little better – got up in the morning and ate breakfast, then had lunch,  so he ended up eating three meals plus  I  gave him a fourth meal late in the evening so he wasn’t hungry in the middle of the night. I plan to keep doing this — it may aid his sleeping pattern.

I’m hoping.

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7 Responses to Decline

  1. greg says:

    You are in our prayers. If you need me call.

  2. maureen says:

    great idea for the midnight snack!

  3. Julio Feldman says:

    The nights could be very difficult. B (as we affectionally call each other) would get up, turn the lights on, get dressed, and look out the window. She too was very confused about day and night. She would get up and not know where she was. She would get agitated and say, “This is not working for me.” When questioned what it meant she was unable to explain herself. Some nights she did not know where the bathroom was. When she was hungry during the night we would go to the kitchen and she would eat yogurt or ice cream. Ice cream and frozen pops became her favorite foods. Nancy, although it wasn’t very effective, I did ask her doctor to prescribe something for sleeping. I too would be constantly reminding her to turn the lights off, get into bed and go to sleep. I know how exhausting it can be!

  4. pam hogan says:

    From experience, the awakeness at night and the night wandering gets worse for awhile. You might see if his dr will prescribe a sleeping pill or get a night aide to stay with him, or you will never sleep for fear of him wander or falling.

  5. charlotte guarino says:

    So sad. Seems it’s time for you to get some assistance. As usual, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

  6. Ine says:

    Nancy,
    From what I observe, when I am at your house, is that you are doing an incredible job with Bo. Your patience is commendable. Eventually you will need more help and you know when that time has arrived. Thinking of you always.

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