Ch.94 Twenty-Four Hours of Chaos
June 8, 2021
10:00 A.M. Pat and I cuddle quietly in bed. Everything seems ok. A time of gentle connection.
11:00 A.M. Time to get Pat out of bed. But she is terribly weak. I mostly have to lift her out and steer her to the bathroom.
11:15 A.M. Pat falls trying to leave the bathroom. I am standing right next to her, but it happens so suddenly I cannot reach to hold her. Pat is uninjured but it takes about 15 minutes for me to be able to lift her back onto her feet and help her to her chair in the living room.
1:00 P.M. Paul, her new physical therapist, arrives for Pat’s first p.t. session. He asks her to stand with his help only to realize that Pat cannot stand at all on her own. Paul looks amazed and declares clearly that Pat is too weak for physical therapy. He very professionally questions the wisdom of her being discharged to home. By now I am certain Pat should have been sent to a rehab facility. (But later, my daughter Jenny tells me she had seen Pat doing much better at the hospital when she was tested there in a physical therapy session). Paul leaves telling me he will consult with his team about what to do.
2:00 P.M. Pat falls asleep in her chair and continues to rest and nap the rest of the afternoon.
5:00 p.m. I am at the stove preparing dinner when Pat suddenly appears, talking rapidly about something she has to do outside at another house. She is walking well, without even her cane. Then she heads toward the stairs to leave the house. For the first time I have to physically restrain her. Pat becomes furious with me. She retreats to our bedroom, telling me to stay away and not to touch her.
I understand that rapid fluctuation is the distinctive mark of Lewy Body. But come on! I cannot handle these extremes. How can my wife be too weak to stand at 1 p.m. and dangerously energized a few hours later? What is happening here? I feel lost and scared.
I can’t keep Pat safe, and neither can she. What will we do?
June 9, 2021.
10:00 A.M. I’ve asked my daughter Jenny to come out in the morning to help assess the situation. Together, we try to help Pat out of bed. It is not possible. Pat is back to being physically helpless and exhausted. Jenny and I decide to call an ambulance.
Three days later. As I write this passage, Pat is still in the hospital awaiting transfer to a local assisted living and memory care facility. I don’t know what looms ahead. Perhaps Pat will return home in due course, strengthened enough to stand and walk; maybe not and we will have to live apart. I don’t want that to happen, not at all, and neither does Pat. However, we may just have to adjust.
The words that go through my head are these: We are still a team, wherever we may reside.
Pat’s comments on Twenty-Four Hours of Chaos: I don’t remember what happened.
Ron to Pat: How do you feel about being physically apart?
Pat: I experience that as a whole as kind of a negative thing – because we both are seeing something that isn’t working right or might not be working right.