Wednesday, 5 February 2014

07:30 – Barbara went out to dinner with her friend Marcy last night, followed by a concert on the Wake Forest University campus. Frances had forgotten that Barbara was out. She called about 8:30 to give Barbara an update on their mom. Monday, Sankie had been asking her caregiver to call 911 because she was having a heart attack. Yesterday, she was trying to convince her caregiver to call 911 because she was in kidney failure. Neither was true, of course. Sankie seems convinced that there’s something badly wrong with her physically, although the doctors say there’s not. Unfortunately, the problems appear to be purely mental, and they’re not getting any better. Worse, if anything.

Frances and Barbara have been looking at care facilities, and have decided on one called Homestead Hills. It offers three levels of care: assisted living, memory care (Alzheimer’s/dementia), and full nursing care. Frances is going over today to put down a deposit to get Sankie in the queue.


09:32 – Another day, another crisis. Frances called at 7:36 this morning to tell us that Sankie had pressed her LifeLine button, that the EMTs were at her apartment, and that they were getting ready to transport her to Baptist Hospital. Fortunately, Frances got there in time to tell the EMTs to ignore Sankie. She has it in her mind that she goes to Baptist Hospital, when in fact all her doctors are at Forsyth Hospital.

So we had a conversation with Frances, Sankie, and the EMTs sitting in the ambulance in Sankie’s apartment parking lot. Barbara and Frances tried to convince Sankie that she didn’t need to go to the hospital. (Sankie’s complaint, repeatedly, was that she needed “medical attention”.) She refused to go back to her apartment, saying she didn’t “feel safe” there. Barbara and Frances explained to Sankie that if she went to the hospital that they’d probably put her in the 9th floor psych ward, which she hates, and that they’d discharge her to a nursing home and she wouldn’t be coming back to her apartment, ever. She still refused to go back to her apartment and insisted on going to the hospital, saying that she needed “medical attention”. So they transported her to Forsyth. Barbara and Frances are down there now. I have no idea how this is all going to turn out, but I suspect it won’t be good.

Meanwhile, before she left here Barbara had dropped her cell phone, fracturing the screen. So she has my cell phone as a temporary replacement while I get a real replacement ordered for her. Just one more stressful incident that Barbara really didn’t need right now. Barbara and Frances are back in hell, and their mom doesn’t know or care what she’s putting them through. As Barbara said before she left, dealing with Sankie is like dealing with a 2-year-old. I’m afraid it’s not going to get any better.


12:10 – Barbara just called to tell me that the hospital has diagnosed pneumonia, presumably pseudomonas again. Oddly, that’s good news, although pneumonia can kill even young, strong people, let alone a woman who’s nearly 86 and has other health problems. But it also means that Sankie’s severe mental problems lately may well be a result of the infection. Given that Sankie was in the hospital for a week, ending only two days ago, I’d like to know why the other hospital didn’t notice. It’s obvious that this infection has been running for some time now, possibly several weeks. This simply reinforces my opinion of psychiatrists as people with MDs who don’t actually practice medicine.