Catching Up over Christmas

So much has happened. Chad came home the day after Christmas and is doing fine other than some residual fatigue and pain. He now feels full after drinking 1 oz. of fluid. So he’s working on getting vitamins, minerals and plenty of protein until he’s able to start on regular food.

The days were long while sitting in the hospital. One of the days I stayed home. Pam, of course, became very fatigued too. Since we celebrated Christmas before he went into the hospital, it really didn’t feel like Christmas Day on the 25th. We did stop by to see Pam’s brothers for a few hours in the evening. Very nice visit.

So now, it’s trying to get back into a routine which I missed. I was very aware of those people out there who experienced losses over Christmas. Those of whom have loved ones who are still alive but lost to dementia. Those who spent their first Christmas without a parent, a child, a spouse or a friend. It can be sad but I know time does heal. And sadness and grief is so healthy and normal. I encourage people to cry, to laugh, to talk about their loved ones who’ve passed. To look at pictures and ponder the past happy days.

I learned a lot about dignity while sitting in the hospital. I need to think more about it and will probably blog on it soon.

Am sleeping better. My goal is to try to wean off the Ativan and to just use the Klonopin. I’ve not had bad reactions to Ativan like many people with Lewy Body Dementia have. I’m fortunate. It does help to get to sleep and for periods of severe anxiety and nervousness. But I’d like to take the least amount of meds as possible. And since Ativan and KIonopin are in the same family, I’d like to eliminate one of them. I was on 2-mg of Ativan every night. I’m down to 1.5-mg now and will do that for a few days. Then down to 1.0-mg for a week or so, 0.5-mg for a week or so and then hopefully be able to stop. The nice thing about Ativan is that it has a short half-life and it can be weaned from much faster than other longer acting agents like Valium and Klonopin.

I’ve noticed over 100 news articles, blogs, etc. over the past week or so about the REM sleep behavior disorder which is now a predictor of possible LBD and dementia. I wish I knew that years ago. I could have been able to start treatment earlier. But I won’t dwell on the past.

We had a record high of 61 degrees. It beat the 59 degrees back in 1979. And the rain we’ve had. Unbelievable with high wind gusts too. Meteorology has always fascinated me. It was one the my favorite topics when I used to teach Earth and Space science in high school. Wow, that was back in 1969. I was so proud and happy that I had a good paying job. My teaching salary was $6400 per year. Have times changed or what?!

I think it will be a quiet football day while doing some crafts.



4 Responses

  1. David,
    Could you post a link or 2 on the REM articles? I would be very interested in reading some of them.

    Maybe you could do a post on what you read if that would be easier?


  2. David..I do so enjoy your posts. My step-father has LBD and life is very difficult for he and my Mom. One question that I have that puzzles me is “Why can’t I convince my step-dad that his hallucinations are not real?” His worst ones always involve my 80 year old Mom “being” with other men. He then calls her horrible names and screams at her for hours. He also has capgras syndrome and believes that she is an imposter or that he is in the wrong house. He currently takes Ativan..(has been on this drug for years) and also Rispiradone.

  3. Hello David,

    Pleased to hear that Chad is doing fine. Wonderful, that he has a new future ahead of him.

    Yes, my Dad had the REM sleep disorder, acting out his dreams. This began about 15-20 yrs ago. Yelling out things like ‘he who dares wins’ and punching etc. Years of nightmares.
    Hopefully with all the press coverage, more people will now know to seek help.

  4. Dear David, I am glad Chad is recovering fine and looking forward to his future, and also that those stressful days are over for you.
    My husband started with that REM disorder about 11 years ago, but the intensity decreased as the illness advanced, and for the last 2 or 3 years it was only hand or feet movements and some talking in his sleep.
    I wish you and your family a happy and fulfilling 2009.
    Thank you for symathizing with us who have lost a LO! The first Holidays can surely be very sad…
    With love,

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