Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sundowners Syndrome

Taking care of an Alzheimers patient isn't easy.  Then add to that kidney failure, congestive heart disease and macular degeneration and you're talkin a real struggle. We've reached the bewitching hour......and the Sundowners syndrome kicks in.  This has been getting worse and worse as time goes on.  Tonight I woke up to her calling for help.  She was on the floor.  She tried to get up and fell.  And the fun begins.  She's now wide awake and agitated, confused, scared.  She cries.  She doesn't know why.  The miracle is she didn't hurt herself when she fell.  This Sundowners syndrome is really tricky.  The nurse had me give her morphine because of her labored breathing, thinking that might help her sleep...... but that didn't work.  Her breathing was better, but it didn't make her sleep.  We've given her anti anxiety medication.  The first time we gave it to her it seems it didn't take effect until the next day and then she was out cold all day.  Today we gave her the anti-anxiety meds at about noon, thinking it'd take effect in the evening, but here we are at midnight and she's wide awake.   Oh how I wish I could help her. If you've had children you know the feeling...... when they are so sick and you want so desperately for them to feel better, and you have no control over it.   She's also detaching, according to the nurse.  It's like she has one foot in the grave and one still planted on earth.  Hence she talks to her dead sister.  Gonna be another long night...... think I'll make a pot of coffee.  Care to join me?  

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