Dr Grumpy

In all of my married life, 31 years, Hubby has had maybe three ER visits for himself. Broken ribs (fast shower half time of a football game), asthma attack and kidney stone (hated seeing him like that but funny as all get out when he got some loopy meds).

But in the last few months, Lewy had sent us to the ER three times.
Lewy Body Dementia presents itself with symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease.

From the lbda.org website, Parkinsonism or Parkinson’s Disease symptoms take the form of changes in gait; the person may shuffle or walk stiffly. There may also be frequent falls. Body stiffness in the arms or legs, or tremors may also occur. Parkinson’s mask (blank stare, emotionless look on face), stooped posture, drooling and runny nose may be present.

Hubby lives with all of these symptoms and the one that scares me is the falling.

As a matter of fact, it was the falling that made me decide to seek home health care. The day I was gone from home and returned to evidence Hubby had fallen but even worse, Hubby didn’t remember what he had hit. You can read about “That Wash Woman” Here.

Hubby had taken a fall in the bathroom the other night.

He’s taken some doozies in the past but always was determined that he didn’t need to go to the Dr. Our stubborn heads butted many times about this. He won all the times but two. This last time he didn’t even argue and agreed to a late night visit to the ER. You know it was bad when he said yes.

His complaint was his back, we called the ambulance for transport. I grabbed our Emergency Bag and the Folder I had put together with Hubby’s info. See my folder items here.

 

When the ambulance arrived I gave them the short version of the situation and about Lewy. They loaded Hubby and turned to me for info and I smiled really BIG, handed them the folder and declared, I’m about to make your night! And apparently I did because the look of confusion went to delight when they realized the treasure trove of information they had and it was theirs to keep! They went on and on about it. :)

Hmm, now I wonder if I should have been all smiles while they were wheeling my husband off to the ambulance for a trip to the hospital. #visiblyconcernedwifefail

Next stop, the ER. I went inside to present Hubby’s info as the EMT personnel carried Hubby to the back. I was informed that I would be notified when they had him in a room. I politely took a seat away from as many of the obviously sick wall- to-wall people in the waiting room. Seriously, the flu has hit our area hard. And a posted sign stated that the wait time for minor cases was going to be three hours. ! People just kept coming as I sat there.

As I waited patiently to be notified what room Hubby was in, I overheard one man I truly believed was not a minor case as he spoke loudly and rudely to his grandmother on the phone. I doubted it wasn’t his finger he needed looked at. It was obvious he needed a serious attitude adjustment, and quick! >:|

After a 20-minute wait, I finally walked back up to the desk and asked about Hubby’s room. I was buzzed through and Hubby had already been to and back from X-ray.

Everyone that worked with Hubby or had contact with us was very kind and concerned and attentive. It surprised Hubby to learn that the man that came in and told us who the Dr would be and took Hubby’s vitals was his nurse.

Hubby asked, “Who was that?” I explained it was his nurse and Hubby was confused and I laughed when he said “That GUY?”

Yep Hubby, men are nurses too. LOL!!

Another man marched into the room. The results were in and they showed a very small fracture to Hubby’s T12 vertebrae. The man held up his fingers to show the approximate size of the fracture. He gruffly continued, There was no danger of any spinal cord injury to worry about. It’s going to hurt like crazy, but if you think he can tolerate the pain take him home and give him meds.

The man quizzed me on meds and I gave him a short lesson on Lewy and pain meds and what Hubby was already taking. At this point I’m deciding this must be the Dr. I didn’t see a name tag so I named him Dr Grumpy in my head. Dr Grumpy told me to double Hubby’s current meds for his pain, then he turned and marched out. No hello, no goodbye from Dr Grumpy.

I didn’t let Dr Grumpy or the circumstances distress me, I actually saw a positive in the situation. Since we have to live with Lewy Body Dementia I use every opportunity to educate about it. This was Hubby’s first trip to the ER in the night. This meant a new group of people to meet and share. I did.

Hubby was discharged for home.

Between Hubby’s shot of Demerol at the hospital and his pain meds at home he slept the rest of the night. Good for us both.

The next day Hubby did well, still in pain but he slept most of the day.

Then the night came.

Hubby was calling out every couple of hours, even in his sleep. Neither of us rested well.

I have a call in to his PCP to see if we can do something else for the pain.

Of course I’m worried about meds and worsening cognition changes but after last night I’ll do whatever we need to keep Hubby pain free. I’m praying hard.

Today Hubby is still suffering with pain and is extra extra needy.

I’m afraid to touch him because he hollers out but he needs my help with everything. Like getting up to go to the bathroom, getting in and out of the bed and the wheelchair, covering up and most recently he called me to help him divide a piece of candy evenly for the dogs to share. Really Hubby?! :/ LOL!

Avatar of Kathy

About Kathy

I'm a 51 yr old, full time 24/7, Spousal Caregiver/Guardian. My 76 year old husband, of 31 year, was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia Oct of 2007. Lewy Body Dementia is the second most common form of dementia although often misdiagnosed as it has many of many of the characteristics of Parkinsons and Alzheimers. Besides caring for Hubby I also have the privilege of sharing care for my 65 yr old Brother in Law (Hubby's Brother) who has Downs Syndrome. I get him for the fun months of Sept thru Dec :) Our lives are certainly an adventure and we try to enjoy as much of it as we can :)My Motto is: Never lose your sense of humor!

6 thoughts on “Dr Grumpy

  1. Avatar of Sunshine=Sometimes

    Dearest Kathy,

    You write so fun! I believe I am there watching you talk to the paramedics or the Dr.Grumpy! (Or the male nurse to your hubby!) You could be a stand-up comic when you retire from caregiving! :)

    Keep us in “stitches,” Kathy! :)
    {{HUGS}}

    Reply
  2. Avatar of ejourneysejourneys

    #visiblyconcernedwifefail gave me a chuckle. Hey, you’re whuppin’ those medics into shape. :-)
    I hope neither of the dogs felt shortchanged. :-)
    I especially hope Hubby feels much better soon! And that you both get some quality sleep.

    Reply
  3. Avatar of DeniseDenise

    Hi–I love this–so much I learn from this post: How to be prepared, how to take control during a out-of-control experience (the ER!!) and how to name doctors in my head. :)

    How is Hubby feeling now?

    Reply
  4. Avatar of AimeeAimee

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know that you have been in my thoughts and prayers the past few days… I will continue to pray for you as you care for Hubby.
    I loved your folder idea and have implemented it with my dear FIL. The doctors and nurses really appreciate it and it takes a lot of stress off of us to remember everything.
    We have had a tough couple of months, but recently increased meds and the past few days have been better. I just read your Kat in a Bag blog as well. We keep dancing around with the nursing home idea. We know the swings of Lewy Body can be so big that we always take the wait and see approach and so far he swings back to a level of care that we can manage. God’s timing is perfect and His strength and grace are sufficient. My biggest prayer is that when the time comes for nursing home placement that all of my husband’s siblings, my husband and I can have peace in the decision. Phil 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

    Reply

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