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 Can it happen this fast? 
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Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 5:24 pm
Posts: 12
Post Can it happen this fast?
I live far away from my parents, I was in town to see them mid Sept. my dad was doing ok. Sleeping a lot sometimes having a hard time with speech and following a thought but now I am home again and he is in the psych ward at the hospital, making no sense not knowing anyone and hallucinating like crazy. He went in 2 weeks ago, the day before he went in he was pretty normal, he went to PT that day had conversation with my sister all was pretty good. The next day he didn't know who anyone was and extremely paranoid and hallucinating. Can it happen that fast, it was like flipping a switch. Of couse we have seen a gradual decline in him no doubt but this seems so fast. He is not my dad anymore, he just constantly talks but makes no sense and he see's things vividly that are not there. What is going on? Is this typical?


Sun Dec 18, 2011 4:01 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Well, it did happen that fast, so I guess it can. :cry: Since he is in the hospital I'm sure they are checking for any treatable causes, like infections or drug interactions. This may be a low point on the roller coaster ride, or the beginning of the end.

With you out of town and not having seen him for a while, it probably seems even more sudden and drastic to you, although it sounds like the rest of your family is stunned, too.

I don't know what is "typical" (if anything) but I have sure heard a large range of situations among my support group.

Whatever comes next, I wish you strength and peace.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Sun Dec 18, 2011 5:23 pm
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Joined: Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:18 am
Posts: 276
Location: Washington State
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Terry,

With a change like that occurring on the first day of being in the psych ward (if I'm understanding your timeline correctly) I would check his medications to see if he was given something new or an increased dose that he's reacting to. Particularly antipsychotics. In my experience, even when some doctors knew about my LO's written orders by her PCP of "no haldol, no seroquel" they still wanted to prescribe them. Good luck to you. Annie

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Annie, daughter of brave Marie, dx 2007 and in ALF


Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:07 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
I wasn't clear why he went into the psychiatric facility. Did the big change occur before or after he went in? With my husband, infections brought about an abrupt change in mental status and behavior. Have they checked for UTI or other infections?

Yes, wrong medications can sometimes cause Neuroleptic Malignant Syndrome but the symptoms are usually extreme stiffness, trouble swallowing and fever leading to an almost comatose state. My husband experienced this after being put on Risperdal and he didn't develop it until after about two weeks.

It's hard but necessary to be constantly vigilant in your LOs care. We cannot assume that medical professionals always know what to do--something most of us have learned through the Lewy years. Be sure to make copies of the LBDA fact sheet and hand it out to whatever provider your LO is seeing. God bless!

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Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 12:38 pm
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Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2011 5:52 pm
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Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
In reply to those who ask if it can happen this fast, that is my question also. My Mom was showing signs after Hurricane Katrina of having memory loss and night terrors. I took her and my Dad, who had been sick 23 years, into live with me after the storm. My Mom was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in 2008 and in the past two years was saying she saw people kneeling down praying in the house or people arranging flowers. I thought it was her cataracts. We had that fixed and she still sees the visions. This August she took sick with an ear infection and it has been downhill since. She has constant hallucinations. The Dr. has been very patient trying different meds, she is very sensitive to all meds. Depakote seemed to help for a while, but now he is trying respiridol. She can hardly walk. She needs to be walked with at all times or should be in a wheelchair. She forgets that she can't get up on her own and tries. The dementia is terrible. I have been caring for my Dad and now my Mom for over 25 years and this is killing me. I feel like I am tied to a leash. Does any one know if this sounds like the beginning, middle or end of this disease? I'm trying to find sitters to help me, but that is not easy. Thanks.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:00 pm
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 9:33 pm
Posts: 3305
Location: Vermont
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
It is hard to tell what stage your mom is in. Everyone seems to take their own path without a lot of predictability. If you have been caretaking for all those years, you need a BIG break! If your parents were both of sound mind, wouldn't they want you to have a life? I'd run, not walk, to the nearest eldercare agency and see what you can find for help in your area. I believe in taking care of our LOs, but not to the point that it's your life, and if you've been a CG for that long, I'm guessing it has taken over your whole life. You deserve some time for yourself too. Lynn

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Lynn, daughter of 89 year old dad dx with possiblity of LBD, CBD, PSP, FTD, ALS, Vascular Dementia, AD, etc., died Nov. 30, 2010 after living in ALF for 18 months.


Mon Dec 19, 2011 10:26 pm
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:46 pm
Posts: 4811
Location: SF Bay Area (Northern CA)
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Certainly things can change on a dime but usually this sort of change is triggered by infection, medication, metabolic imbalance, etc. I hope with the right meds your father can be stabilized.


Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:02 am
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Portland, Or
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
I can't write much because I need to get back up to the hospital. This is the second time this year that my mom has taken a bad downturn to the point that she only talks gibberish and keeps repeating the same word over and over ( this time it was "socks off"). As much as I hate going to the emergency room I was afraid that she was going to fall if I left her alone to go to sleep so Sunday night she was admitted to the hospital. Thank God the admitting hospitalist is familiar with LBD. Her ekg showed that she might be having a heart attack and the emergency room doctor asked if she would want an angiogram and I said no because she would have to be sedated and I know that that can having devastating aftereffects and we wouldn't go for any bypass or anything because she doesn't want that. She was actually doing better after having her first bag of IV fluids as I believe she was very dehydrated.
When I was there yesterday afternoon she was less agitated and recognized me and my sister, and when they put her in bed she was resting peacefully ( when she was in the e.r. her legs were in constant motion). I still don't know exactly what happened, could be a UTI, but she had been on two different antibiotics so I don't know how she could get a UTI. I'll know later today I hope.
My point is that this is the second time this year that she has had a very swift decline and then came back ( almost) to baseline. So yes, it can happen this fast, but it can also get better very fast.
One of the doctors asked me what her goal was and I said to die, but I don't believe that she has to be thrashing around in pain, either. So while we don't want to any "cure" for her heart attack( that neither I or the admitting doctor believe she was having), I also don't think she has to be extremely agitated and in pain.
Ellen

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Ellen 59, caregiver for mom Marion 81,dx LBD Feb 2011


Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:24 pm
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Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 3213
Location: WA
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Good work, Ellen. You and your mom are in my thoughts and prayers!

_________________
Pat [68] married to Derek [84] for 38 years; husband dx PDD/LBD 2005, probably began 2002 or earlier; late stage and in a SNF as of January 2011. Hospitalized 11/2/2013 and discharged to home Hospice. Passed away at home on 11/9/2013.


Tue Dec 20, 2011 1:39 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:07 pm
Posts: 1039
Location: Minnesota
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
It sounds like you were well-prepared to deal with the issues that come up in an ER. Your mother is lucky to have you, Ellen.

Coy has also recovered from two hospitalizations and come back to baseline (although the therapists told me he would not). Recovery to baseline is certainly not a sure thing, but it is possible.

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Jeanne, 68 cared for husband Coy, 86. RBD for 30+ years; LDB since 2003, Coy at home, in early stage, until death in 2012


Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:57 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:22 pm
Posts: 188
Location: Portland, Or
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Thanks for your comments, I brought my mom home from the hospital this evening and she's doing great! She did have a UTI. I'm so happy to have cleared another Lewy hurdle.
Ellen

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Ellen 59, caregiver for mom Marion 81,dx LBD Feb 2011


Tue Dec 20, 2011 10:32 pm
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2011 9:55 pm
Posts: 355
Post Re: Can it happen this fast?
Jeanne and Pat, so glad to hear all is well again, thank God,
Ger xx

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cared for Dad who passed away on January 28th 2013 R.I.P.


Wed Dec 21, 2011 4:32 am
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