Sunday, June 22, 2008

Lithium Dehydration!

Today, DH went to his Spenders Anonymous meeting and then went to work. Outside. In the sun. It's 85 degrees out. He's a big guy. And he's on Lithium. He called me after he had been there about an hour: "I don't feel good. I feel weak and woozy."

Me: Have you had anything to eat or drink?

DH: I had those two jugs of Gatorade you left for me--oh, yeah, I drank one of those on my way to Spenders. So I guess I had one jug of Gatorade.

Me: Are you drinking water?

DH: No, I had Gatorade.

Me: (hangs up quickly and runs to the store for more Gatorade and some bananas and brings them to DH, along with his water jug)

DH called about an hour later and said he felt better. Then he came home and basically laid in bed all evening, until I left for work. As I was getting ready for work, he told me, "I feel nauseous and dizzy. I think I'm dehydrated." I asked him if he had drank any water today. "No, I had Gatorade." Then he told me he was going to get up to BUY water. It was an excuse not to drink the water. So I sat by the bed and basically forced him to drink 40 oz of tap water. He promised he would drink more while I'm at work. I could tell he was angry with me for forcing him to drink that water.

I kept trying to tell him that Lithium is a salt, and getting dehydrated while a person is taking Lithium is a really bad idea. It can raise the levels of Lithium in his blood and cause him to have a LOT of problems. I tried to remind him that if he didn't take care of himself by doing things that he knows he's supposed to do, he isn't going to be able to work like he wants to. But I could still tell he was angry at me. But I know that he wouldn't have drank ANY water if I hadn't forced him.

I'm worried about him. I'm worried about Lithium Toxicity. I'm worried that even though he's doing better, he's still not making good decisions about his health. Oh--and the diabetes?? Yah. If I have this much trouble getting him to drink water, how fun do you think it is for me to try to get him to eat wheat bread, or sugar-free candy? Not happening at all. In fact, since his diabetes diagnosis, he has not changed one thing except he seems to be sticking to drinking diet pop instead of sugar pop. And he never went back to see the diabetes doctor, either, so he hasn't started on the insulin yet. I can't remember the last time he checked his blood sugar. You know, part of me wants to quit "being his mother" and reminding him to do all these things that he is supposed to do. But then I think that a) he has memory problems and b) if I don't help and he or his health suffers for it, isn't that kind of heartless? It's a tough call. Right now, I guess I'm still his mother. :-P


perphila said...

I know a wife who makes her husband drink a huge amount of water when he takes his lithium. I am ot sure the amount of ounces but it looks like 40. That way he has that large amount of water going in his system right off the bat. Then through out the day he will drink more water. She has to make him do it too. Now it is starting to get routine. So far she has been lucky in the fact he is pretty compliant. He might whine some but still does it. No matter what though it still feels like mothering.