The Storm Before the Calm, I Hope


If I’m getting this right, we are at the, “Storm Before the Calm, I Hope.”

In the past few months, Robert’s coughing, wheezing and seizures have seem to be getting out of control. Not saying we can’t control it. Most of you know mine and Trish’s attitude toward control. There is nothing I can think of that between us over the seventeen years that we have been unable to control. Things may get out of hand a bit, but we have a way of reeling it in and turning it around.

Back to Robert. These past few days, Robert has had several pretty major seizures within an hour of waking up. This morning’s was the worst. Trish was helping Robert with his shower while I was doing the kitchen duties. As I’m steaming milk for Trish’s mocha, I hear “GET ME HIS WALKER!” I know right away he’s down for the count, usually for 30 seconds to a couple of minutes and then he’s fine.

I could tell by the way he was positioned this one was different. Think of holding a pretzel, vertically between a wall and your knee, chest and hands and the pretzel is sliding down. That was Robert. Trish can normally catch him and get him onto the toilet seat fast enough and hold him there but not today.

This seizure did a number on him. It was longer and more intense than normal. At one point he was breathing through his nose deeply and in a split second nothing. I didn’t say anything at the time but Trish did. We both thought he stopped breathing. Luckily that was not the case. Because Robert was still unable to respond to us and seemed to be having a hard time breathing, giving him an oral medicine was not happening. We can give him another medication to help stop or cut the effects of seizures which is administered similar to an enema. Trish asked me to grab it. Just as I walked into the restroom with it, Robert actually said something incoherent to Trish. (Wipe sweat off brow here–that’s better than nothing.) As he was coming out of it at, he started saying in this low, pain-filled, childlike voice, ‘Help me, help me.” That just tugged at my heart stings. I can still see his face and hear that voice.

Robert was still very slow to respond to us fully. As he was sat on the floor, non-responsive, dazed, saying “Ouch” when you tried helping him up, we made the decision that we had to at the least get him up onto the toilet seat and out of the awkward position he was now in. He was still pretty out of it and was unable to answer our questions, tell us who we are or where he is. So Trish went with the oral medicine, Ativan. When he was finally able to take the Ativan, Robert thought he was rinsing out his mouth when he was given some water to swallow the pill with. It took some talking to him but eventually we got him to swallow the pill. After a few minutes, I asked him if he knew who I was. With a Robert-type pause he looked at me with a face that said, “What, don’t you know who you are?” He answered, “Richard.” I repeated the question, pointing to Trish this time and another pause and out came, “Trish.” I Tried with his best friend, Taz (not, he’s our year-old black lab) but that was too much to soon. Progress for now.

Trish finished helping Robert, I went and began cleaning up the steamed milk for Trish’s mocha that went all over the kitchen counter and down the front of the dishwasher. It feels like a Starbucks morning.

Trish finished helping Robert; he then made it to the dining room table for breakfast as we both finished getting ready. After making a mocha and campana (quad espresso with whip cream and “3x” caramel), we all made our way to work and day program. My number one chore for the day: Stop by the local pharmacy and pick up a shower chair. Things have progressed to this point. Remember, every day will be different, be ready for anything, plan for everything and be light on your feet, you’re a caregiver.

4 thoughts on “The Storm Before the Calm, I Hope

  1. Avatar of JanetJanet

    What a morning for all of you. I have had seat for our shower it’s the only way mom can take a bath by herself. The only funny thing or not really funny, but I started to smell something foul so Zi first thought was my 2 years old granddaughter doing het morning business in her diaper which I was right, but also my mom had a blow out on het colostomy bag. So what a morning here.

  2. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Oh, Richard! What a way to start the day. It just amazes me how Trish and you, seemingly go from crisis to continuing with the day in a normal fashion! You are all in my prayers, especially Robert, do so hope this is the calm. Hugs to all.

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