I don't want to do another week like this ever again if possible.
It started off Sunday with my brother in the ICU again. When I left there Sunday night I was certain we would be planning a funeral on Monday. But thanks to powers way above my pay grade he rallied and came home today. Worst residual effect is an increase in his vascular dementia symptoms.
Monday, before I returned to the hospital, I saw my neurologist for the first time since getting the results of my neuropsych testing. He said after reviewing everything he would have to give a diagnosis of unspecified dementia and he was leaning toward DLB but didn't have quite enough evidence to support that. But, he thinks within 6-8 months we should be able to do so. He asked if I would mind starting Aricept. As I had reviewed several studies of the effectiveness of Aricept use in early DLB, especially without overt concurrent signs of Alzheimer's, being quite a bit more effective than placebo without a great many side effects, I agreed. I'm almost a week into the treatment now without noticeable side effects and possibly, possibly, some improvement in clarity.
Come Wednesday evening, my wife starts having stabbing pains deep in her right side when she takes a deep breath. As she easily developed bronchitis, we called and got an appt with our PCP for the next day at 3. She did nothing but deteriorate throughout the night spiking a fever to 103, the pain spreading throughout her right side even upon shallow breaths and was less than coherent by 9:30 or 10 Thursday morning. We called the doctors office and explained what was going on to ask if we could come on in. They said NO, go immediately to the ER. The staff at the ER take her straight back, no triage, and start all the tests imaginable, including those for CHF, heart attack, kidney and liver failure and sepsis. Flu swab was neg, chest X-ray was clear. Lactic acid and white cell count were elevated. Other labs will take a couple of days to come back. Since she is on Embrel and methotrexate and they think she either has sepsis or pneumonia, they decided to admit. 24 hours later we are sitting here with her fever finally broken, all blood values back to normal or near normal, Rocephin and Zithromax flowing through the IV, and breathing treatments clearing a lot of the rattle. It's been a long 48 hours but I think we're finally turning the corner.
Well, that's been my week. And, as I said, as I sit here in the telemetry unit of the hospital and reflect on my week, Man, I never want to do this again. The diagnosis of dementia may have been the easiest thing that happened. At least I was expecting it....