Monday, January 08, 2007

Switching Meds

The last week or so Grandma has had to dose down on one of her meds, per a Illinois state law. The drug, (...begins with an R... I keep hearing the name but there are so many drugs out there I can't keep them straight), keeps Grandma from being so jittery and keeps her in control of her appetite and more specifically swallowing food. This week was hard because she couldn't keep still and she could only get a few bites of her food down before she started spitting everything out. Yesterday she ate a couple bites of her food and a couple of spoonfuls of dessert. Everything was fine for about five minutes and then she wouldn't swallow anything. I would put a spoonful in and she would spit it out. I managed to get her to drink about half of her milk and some juice. The nurse came by and gave her her daily dose of liquid laxative and she didn't drink all of that so I'm hoping today she will drink her full dose, otherwise then the nurses have to go the suppository route and I know she doesn't like that (and who does really).

We gave up on lunch after about a half an hour of spooning-and-spitting. After I said "OK let's give it a rest and get a cookie," she leaned back in her chair and put her hands to her head and just gave a big sigh. She knows that she's having a hard time and doesn't know why but is tired of it. I wheeled her back to her room and she managed to get 1/2 a cookie down before starting the spitting thing again, but I felt better knowing she had more food in her stomach.

Mom said that the last time they had to decrease her dosage, they went from three times a day to twice a day, and it lasted for a month. I don't quite remember it being that long last year, but you can tell Grandma is so uncomfortable and miserable even after a week so I hope they can increase her dose back to normal soon.

The best thing that Alzheimer's drugs do In My Opinion is slow down the decline of the disease. You won't see the symptoms go away and the person return to their old self, you'll just see a change in the comfort level and at this point, comfort level is all that matters.

Hillcrest documents her med schedule and a couple of the nurses there, Kandy and Diane, are really great about talking to mom and I about her dosage, and will look up the schedule if we have any questions.


Blogger Karma said...

Thank God for Namenda for slowing down the disease. But once someone with Alzheimer's gets to a certain point, I think the best thing that medications can do is make someone comfortable. Your grandmother is lucky to have people paying so close attention to doing whatever can be done for her. Bless you.

11:24 AM  

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