I took Ma to her Urologist, or as I call him ‘The Wee Man’, on Monday. After discussions around Ma’s problems of pain, sleeplessness and urinary incontinence, he decided to prescribe Mirtazapine to help Ma with her pain, sleeplessness and depression. Mirtazapine is an anti-depressant used to treat major depressive disorder. Knowing how fragile Ma has become to any medications, I was reluctant to get them for her…. And then I thought, “what if they worked and I got to sleep all night?” I did some research and asked my Memory People™ family if they had had any experience using this on their loved one. Experiences were varied with some having great success. As each person reacts differently it’s something that’s hard to predict so with great trepidation I gave her 7.5mg to go to bed.
I tucked her in and she was soon snoring. She slept for five hours straight. When I checked on her she was lying across the bed in a horizontal position with her legs on the floor sound asleep. I’m not sure how she got there. She was restless from then onwards… up and down every couple of hours. In the morning she was like a zombie. She ate some breakfast but I couldn’t communicate with her properly. She sat there on the side of the bed with her eyes closed rocking slightly. She spent the day like that. Not making any sense, not understanding anything I said and drifting in and out of sleep…sitting up as she wouldn’t lie down. She also seemed to be having increased difficulty getting off the side of the bed.
I rang her doctor for advice and in the end I decided not to give her any more tablets. I finally got through to her in the evening when I roused her enough to eat some dinner. She was very confused and sat there at the table after she had finished eating until I asked her what she was doing. She responded with, “you know I’ve only been in the house a short time and I don’t know where the toilet and shower are”. I got her washed and into bed and she was out like a light.
She roused enough during the night to find the toilet but couldn’t find her way back. The ‘people’ were also back in her bed so I had to convince her each time that there was nobody there. In the morning I could see she was more awake but still very dopey. Her confusion (more than usual) continued, she also seemed very depressed and unhappy and continued to be very disorientated throughout the Wednesday. She was also very angry at me. She told me she wanted to go home to her house, that none of her clothes were here and the bedroom I made her go in was different from the bedroom she was in before.
Thursday was more of the same, still confused, still disorientated, still angry. The doctor visited and checked her over and gave a script for a mild sleeping pill. I’m not sure I dare give it to her as yet! The carer came and I was glad to get out for a few hours to go to work. As usual, Ma was on her best behaviour for the carer. I walked through the door and it was ‘game on’ with her talking about her imaginary ‘friends’. Papers that were on the table had been placed there by ‘the boss’ who had come home… She said she had to tell me in case somebody got hurt. I’m still trying to work that one out. The radio was on, but she hadn’t put it on… and she wasn’t going to turn it off in case ‘they’ were listening to it. She wouldn’t go in her bedroom as there were ‘people’ in there. After spending a few hours at work and pretending that my life was normal her behaviours hit home worse than usual.
On Friday she was as cranky as a bag full of cats. I was trying to do some work when I heard her start talking (my office is next door to her room). “I want to go home to my house, although I suppose nobody will be there.” When I went in to see her she said, “why am I here”? That stopped me in my tracks. For the life of me I couldn’t think of how to answer her question. To stall for time, I asked her what she meant. She repeated her question. It was then I went for the big ‘D’ for Distraction, and asked her if she wanted to go out for coffee. She couldn’t get out the door fast enough. I took her up the street where she bought new slippers. We then had coffee and cake where she looked at me and said, “I feel better now”. After a shop through the supermarket we came home and she laughed and joked. It was like somebody had thrown a switch.
Her confusion remains worse than it was before her disorientation the same. It will be a week tonight since she had the pill. I don’t know whether her mental state will recover. Her mood seems to be more stable although her ‘friends’ continue to visit.
I’ll just take it one day at a time…