Take Me Out To the Ball Game
It was a beautiful Sunday morning; my husband and I headed to a Twins Ballgame at the new Target Stadium in Minneapolis. We met our oldest son and his wife,
anticipating a fun family outing.
Second inning – Patty calls. When she came to check on Dad, she found him agitated and not talking. They headed to the hospital.
Should I Go or Should I Stay?
Should we leave the game early? I wavered between annoyance and guilt. It seemed like only yesterday I had rushed to the emergency room for one of my mother’s incidences. Was this hospital run starting over again?
Because we had taken the light rail to the game, our son and his wife drove us home shortly after the seventh inning stretch. I headed to the hospital for what was one of the worst nights of my life with Lewy.
What was My Worst Fear?
By the time I met my sister there he was lying in a gurney in the ER, wearing only a hospital gown and a thin sheet. He was literally incoherent, restless, and aggressive. The nurse told me not to let him grab my hand as they were afraid of his grip.
I didn’t care. I held his hand. I knew he was still strong from all those years of physical labor. But I wasn’t afraid, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me.
My fear was worse than having a crushed hand.
My fear was of seeing him naked!
I couldn’t bear the thought of him throwing the covers off himself. I kept tucking the sheets around him, under the mattress. He would try to throw them off. I’d tuck them in, and he would roll over. EWWWWW…
Let’s just say, I’d rather have a crushed hand.
To Medicate or Not
The evening wore on. Tucked between the two curtains in the emergency room, my sister and I took turns sitting by him, calling the other two sisters, and huddling in a corner wondering what would happen.
He just wouldn’t calm down. What was going on in his head?
Finally, the medical staff suggested giving him an antipsychotic med, then they would move him to a room. We called Linda, the therapist, for advice. She said to tell them no anti-psych meds. Research indicates anti-psych meds, usually used in healthy adults with mental illness, causes more confusion in patients with dementia.
We told the medical staff no, we did not consent.
The nurses said it was necessary, how else would they deal with extremely agitated patients?
Patty and I huddled in the corner, what to do?
In spite our concerns, we finally conceded, and he was given the meds. It almost immediately calmed him down. Around midnight they checked him into a hospital room, and he slept soundly.
We went home to bed to wonder, what next?