Saturday, September 26, 2009

This weekend....the Alzheimer's roller coaster!

My mom has been relatively stable since she got back to her assisted living apartment. She isn't the same as she was before this last episode, of course. She does a lot more sitting around, doing absolutely nothing than she used to. I started to notice that she was kind of depressed. "Hey Mom, wanna go to the casino Monday?" (that's her very most favorite thing in the world) "Oh, all right, if that's what you want." "Hey Mom, wanna go shop at the dollar store?" (another favorite) "No, not today, I don't think"...so when we went to the Dr. this past week, I mentioned that. And he prescribed Celexa, an antidepressant.

He also discontinued her Vicodin, which they had put her on when she was in the nursing home. At that time she was so incoherent, they wondered if maybe she was having pain that she couldn't articulate, so they put her on Vicodin. Then, when the Xanax proved to be the drug that helped, I talked to the nurse practitioner about stopping the Vicodin, and she did not want to do it. Me, I thought, "She did not complain of pain before. This drug did not improve her cognitive condition. So what do we need it for?" The nurse practitioner informed me that she still MIGHT have some pain, so they thought she should stay on it for a "while". What do I know? I went along with it. On Friday she finally had her first follow-up appointment with a doctor since she got out of the nursing home (in our small town the good doctors are booked up for months in advance....) and the Dr. agreed that there was no real reason to keep Mom on the Vicodin. So he stopped it. Ok!

Now she's more depressed than ever. She didn't even want to go to McDonalds today "because you would be embarrassed to be seen with me. I stink." I talked her into going, and she did perk up. She was talking and laughing with DD and making comments about the weather....but when we got her home, she told me she had to use the bathroom. "Where is the bathroom again?" Uh-oh.

But I had to go to work. So I pointed her in the direction of the bathroom, and she said, "Oh! Now I remember!", so I thought it was ok. I went home to get DD home and to get ready for work. At 8:45 (I had to be to work by 9pm), my brother called. (DH is actually at my brother's house, having a "guy" night.) Apparently when my brother called my mom, she couldn't remember how to hang up the phone. She had to use her "beeper" to page an aide to help her. So on my way to work, I checked on her again, and she looked very anxious, but she told me she was ok. But she was making these little whimpering sounds, like a little kid who was lost and didn't know what to do. I went and talked to an aide and nobody is sure what is going on. I'm thinking that it's one of the med changes, but I don't know which one. Either the antidepressant messed her up, or the Vicodin withdrawals are causing this. I'm afraid to take her to the hospital (because if she is admitted, it will be another huge cognitive drop), but I told the aide that if my mom has a rough night, I'll get her in to the clinic in the morning to be checked for a bladder infection.

And now I'm feeling guilty for wanting the antidepressant for her, but it's so not like her to be depressed, I didn't know what else to do! It's like that Whack-a-Mole game--you try to fix one problem and two new ones pop up.

I hope this is just a "bump" in the road....


no1daughteroflewydad said...

I really feel for you. It's a hard journey with a loved one with mental decline. It's hard making decisions, organising and trying to get the best medical treatment. You always wonder if you have made the right choices. Most defiately your love, concern and care for your Mum is helping her with her journey.

take care and lots of best wishes

Anonymous said...

Hello from Russia!
Can I quote a post "No teme" in your blog with the link to you?

Carol said...

Hi Anon, I'm not sure I'm understanding completely...if you want to quote a post from my blog and link back to me, that is fine. I don't think there is a post "No teme", though....is that a typo?

I'd love for you to send me a link to your blog.