Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hallucinations and Delusions

To start with, when you walk in Joe's den, you can smell his dirty head. I suggested he take a shower and wash his hair. Why, he wanted to know. Okay, frankly, you stink. He told me he'd never heard nothing like that in his life. At least he changed shirts today. The last one he wore for 4 days and slept in it also. His nails are too long and filthy. I keep asking him to file/trim and clean them. He's gonna.

Well yesterday was one wild ride. Lola was delusional, irrational and combative. The worst part is, I think it was my fault. Her prescription of Xanax ran out, and I only realized it was gonna on Saturday. Come Monday, hanging head, I forgot about it. On Tuesday, Jeanne and Jill visited, and I didn't get to doc's office before they closed. I got there Wednesday.  So Lola went 4 days without Xanax, which isn't a class of medicine that should be abruptly stopped.

I did that to myself many years ago with a med I didn't realize was like that. Was poor, ran out of it, and didn't get it refilled for a few weeks. The only thing I suffered was the jitters, itchiness, dizzyness, and being cloud-headed. Lola suffered delusions, hallucinations and hyperactivity. It made me suspect this is what happened to her two years ago when she was telling everyone she was seeing things.

She started off the morning by rambling into the kitchen and telling me it rained so hard last night, it covered the patio. Since our patio is two feet off the ground sitting on a hillside, this patently couldn't happen (well, except for a catastrophe.) I suggested that it was likely a dream since that couldn't possibly happen. Lemme tell ya. I was just plain stupid, and she knew damn well what had and what hadn't happened.

It's so impossible for me to feed delusions. I keep thinking of what worse consequences could happen if I do. Sigh. Dumb of me, I know. I said, "Mama, think about it - that patio is off the ground and on a hillside." Wrongo, girl. She tried to slap me. Realizing finally, the better part of valor, I left the room. She went on to her bedroom and actually dressed in clothes on her own for the first time in over six months.

I didn't exactly argue anything else with her the rest of the day, but I couldn't confirm seeing any of the dogs and cats she kept pointing out to me, either. During the day, she kept insisting Joe shouldn't be outside because of the mud. It's dry as hardtack out there. I did get her to go out on the front porch and see that the grass or ground wasn't wet. That little trip brought on a spate of having to walk the yard to pet the cat, which I never could do because there simply wasn't one. She'd shake her head and swear there was a cat there. There were numerous dogs and cats in the yard throughout the day. Oh, and a cat asleep in the litter box in the house.

Throughout the day, she kept asking me when my husband would be back to visit me. It took quite a few hours to peg out what was going on with her. The night before I had told her there would come a time when she would have to come to live with me and Max in Memphis. All day yesterday, she thought she was in Memphis. She kept asking when Max would get home from work, except she kept calling him Joe. She was waiting for him. Once she asked me where Joe and Joe were. Since I was confused myself at that point, I told her her husband was in the yard and Jill's husband Joe was in Waverly. Then she shook her head and said Max. I told her he was in Memphis.

Tuesday was a bad day to have had that conversation. I realize that now but didn't at the time. She was happy because of Jeanne's visit and seemed crisp and clear-headed. About 8:30 p.m. she asked me if I'd drive her home tomorrow. All I could say was that she was home, in her chair in her house in Arlington.

Oy, at 8:45 p.m., she asked me if I worked down here (meaning Memphis). I told her no, I lived with her in Arlington, 24 hours day. At 8:55 she asked me if I would drive her home tomorrow. Right after that, she told me someone was looking in the picture window. Not. I closed the blackout curtains. At 9:00, right as Anderson Cooper was talking about the NJ flooding, she told me that last week it rained so hard that the water got up to the steps on the front porch.

She wanted to finally go to bed a bit early for her, 11:00 p.m. She was up at 2 a.m., sitting on the toilet in bathroom. Then she started to wander lost. I got her into her bedroom, and she immediately headed for the chamber pot in there. I tried to convince her she just went. She declared she hadn't, so I left her in privacy. When I went to check 5 minutes later, she had crept off the chamber pot and back to the bathroom. After that, she finally, finally got in bed and stayed there.

Today, Thursday, there is enough Xanax back in her system to end any withdrawal symptoms, and I swear I will never, ever let that prescription run out again. She's back to sitting in the chair in her jammies watching Turner Classic Movies all day. Lest you think I'm drugging her into somnolence, she takes 1/2 of the lowest dose available in the morning and 2 at night at bedtime. I got her off most of it during the day, but she will be up all night if she doesn't have it at night. There's usually 12 hours in between her doses. This is a drug that is a partner drug to her Parkinson's Disease medicine.

I hate seeing her sitting in that chair like that, but I also didn't like seeing her hallucinating. I didn't mind the hyperactivity so much. That was actually rather nice. She got her cane out for once and moved around in the house, which is good for her. Finding the remote control for her TV in the garage after I came back from the doctor's was a bit of a surprise, though. That was a bit of a trip for her.

This gave me a bit of a preview of what it will be like if she does come live with me. Here she was, sitting in her own home asking me to drive her home. It won't matter where she is. It will be the idea of not being at home that will bother her.

We're probably going to have to deal with that. They can't afford to repair this house, and it's losing market value every day because of leaks and things needing repair. We need to sell it now, while we can for a better price. I'll do everything I can to not put them in a home, but I need to be at my own home. I need a bedroom. I need to be with my husband. I don't need to be tasked with caring for 7 acres of land or trying to keep up a breaking house. Reality is rearing it's ugly head.

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