Ch.44. Two Exhausting Days: Pat Faints on Wednesday but Sings in a Concert on Thursday.
I had been warned about fainting episodes in my care partners support group. I was told that people with Lewy Body sometimes faint in a rather dramatic way. They just suddenly collapse. “You’ll think they had a stroke and died,” they said, “but then a couple minutes later they will open their eyes and quickly recover.” So, all you need to do is wait, as against calling for help.
Pat and I were showering together. She mentioned she wasn’t feeling too well. And then a minute later she fell to the floor without a sound, hitting the shower walls but fortunately nothing hard. I knelt by her, terrified she had died. Her eyes were open but not focused. I couldn’t detect any breathing. And, yes, I remembered what I had been told; I knew Pat might be having an episode of what’s called syncope and that she might be ok. But I sure wasn’t going to sit around to see what came next. I ran to the phone and called 911, told them our address and what had happened. I was only gone a minute; when I returned, Pat had regained consciousness and eye focus.
The emergency medical technicians got to our home in about 5 minutes, followed by an ambulance crew. They helped Pat out of the shower and to a chair in our living room, with our two loyal dogs sitting at her feet to gently comfort and protect her. All Pat’s vital signs were fine. She sent the ambulance people away.
I don’t know about Pat, but two days later as I write I am still shaken to the core.
That was Wednesday. Thursday was the day Pat’s Stand in the Light memory choir was scheduled to have a two-hour rehearsal in the morning and then give a major performance that evening. Pat did well at both. The choir sang beautifully in front of an audience of several hundred truly impressed listeners. Two of our children and their families attended and brought Pat flowers. But she looked as physically exhausted as I felt emotionally exhausted at the social function after the choir.
Today we took a long drive in the country, discovering a few dirt roads we’ve missed in the past. We journaled. Mostly we rested.
One traumatic episode is over, as is one wonderfully rewarding event.
This is our Lewy Body world.
Pat’s comments on Two Exhausting Days: Pat Faints on Wednesday but Sings in a Concert on Thursday.
On Wednesday I was terribly embarrassed being dragged out of the shower almost naked. The attendants on Wednesday did their job well and since my dogs were surrounding me – sweetly, it might be noted – I was proud of both of them, the dogs and the team.
On Thursday I was totally astounded at the size of the crowd, how good the performance was, and at seeing two of my children seated in front of me both holding flowers.
The banquet following the choir performance was wonderful and topped off by a few distant relatives whom I had not seen for years right there beside me. What could have been better? I got to meet people my mother had introduced me to when I was young. Hurrah!