It’s unbelievable. I’m sure you won’t believe it. I don’t believe it. We’re back in the hospital for the 4th time in 5 weeks. We brought Bo back last night after just two days at home because he has a fever, is very unresponsive, unable to stand, weak and so much worse overall than he was before.
Earlier yesterday Jon got him down the stairs to the living room sofa by supporting and almost carrying him. Jon said Bo didn’t understand what his shoes were or how to get his feet into them. He ate his poached eggs by being fed, but his eyes were shut. By dinner, he didn’t want to eat and would have to be repeatedly prodded to stay awake long enough to chew food he was fed. He couldn’t drink from a glass and chewed on the end of the straw instead of sucking.
Later in the evening we realized that the only way he could be put to bed was by Jon carrying him upstairs, but then we discovered he had a fever and considering how he was overall, decided to take him back to the hospital. Jon had to pick him up and carry him to the car; he couldn’t hold his head up in the seat.
His decline is so sudden but the doctor said this isn’t unusual for alzheimer’s patients; a hospital stay or sickness can cause cognitive and/or physical deterioration. Sometimes something much smaller than a kidney stone can trigger it.
Our issue now is to decide what to do and how to do it. I know the hospital will want to send him home quickly, especially since they have a shortage of beds (There were 10 of us waiting for a room last night.) Can we continue to care for him? Will he improve any in the days ahead? Do we need a third person to help us? Going to a rehab isn’t an option with an illness that cannot improve (unlike a broken hip, for example.)
The social worker will meet with me, perhaps today. I also expect a palliative medical doctor. A speech pathologist was already here in the room making an assessment of his swallowing/eating ability. He couldn’t answer most questions that she asked (his last name, whether he lives in California, how to count to 10) but when asked where his wife is, he pointed to me, and on the way up here to the room, he called me by my name. Mostly, he sleeps.
The sadness of all of this is overwhelming.