Friday, March 11, 2011

Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde

We just came out of a couple rough days.  I was ready to throw in the towel, but only if I would get to throw out the patient.  Let me explain. 

Richard had been on two medications post-operatively – one was an anti-seizure medication and the other was an older medicine used to stimulate restoring connections in the brain. At his doctor’s visit Tuesday Richard was instructed to discontinue the anti-seizure med by tapering off.  The connection stimulator could just be discontinued if he felt it had not been making a difference.  Richard immediately stopped the connection stimulator and began tapering the anti-seizure one.  Gradually over the next two and a half days we did see a change, but it took us until this morning (Friday) to get the full picture. 

First back on Wednesday, Richard started to turn grumpy. By bedtime he no longer saw humor in anything, not even obvious word plays as the children bantered in the living room.  Then Thursday morning he started the day like a raging four-year-old.  A grown man with the temper of a spoiled four-year-old is not a pretty sight, so the sensible family members provided ample room for Richard to have things his way. He was growing into a regular Mr. Hyde. By bedtime Richard was beside himself in agitation.  I finally talked him into accepting a backrub, the very thing that I had used with irrational four-year-olds in years past.  He finally relaxed and went to sleep.

Friday morning he arose feeling quite sheepish over the agitation of the day before, but he still felt powerless to avert another such day.  He kept repeating, “I’m so confused.  I’m in a fog.” His blood pressure was fine along with his other vital signs, but his gait was so unsteady that I ordered everyone in the family keep the basement door closed lest he tumble down.  Also, I insisted that he not even think about going to the basement to fold laundry while he was so wobbly.

After breakfast he simply sat in his recliner with his robe hood pulled over his face.  I held a discussion with the talking robe and we decided to resume his connection stimulator medication.  An hour and a half later he put the robe hood back and it looked like we had pleasant Dr. Jekyll back with us. Today has been fine.  Richard is more like his old self, enjoying a jest and a story.  Why, twice in the kitchen as I was preparing supper he even came up to me for a little kissy-face.  Let me tell you, it will be some weeks before I let him put that connection stimulator medicine aside.   

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