Friday, April 29, 2011

Happy to see Friday...

What a difference a week makes. Last Friday, I wrote about our visit to Billy's doctor and new meds. Last weekend was when Billy told me about his "girlfriend," and he had several episodes of delusions. He's been on new meds for a week now, and overall, I believe his anxiety is slightly better. Several weeks ago, the doctor had given me a prescription for the higher dose of Ambien that is also a time release pill. We wanted to see if changing a few other things would help with his sleep before getting it filled. After too many nights of him waking at 2:30 or 3:00 and not relenting, I had the prescription filled. He has slept all night for three nights, and I'm praying he will again tonight. I had to wake him Friday morning, and I do not remember the last time that happened.

Thursday was the day we had Catherine, our caretaker from Easter Seals come to the house. I had asked her to stay late because I needed to attend the beginning of our school board meeting, so it was a long day for the two of them. When I returned home around 8:00, Billy greeted me in the driveway. I asked him how his day was, and he said it had not been good. He indicated he would have to tell me about it later. When I walked into the house, I asked Catherine how the day had gone, and I could tell from her look that it had not gone well. I asked Billy to get my briefcase from the car, so I could have an opportunity to visit with Catherine. She told me that for three hours, Billy had been agitated and confused, wanting to go home. He told her again and again that he wanted to go visit his mom, and she told him they couldn't leave because I would be so upset if they weren't home when I returned. Catherine is really good about working with dementia patients and has a natural ability to calm them. She can take Billy places and run errands for hours - something I can't do successfully. I could tell by her talking that those three hours had been tough. Those are typical sundowning episodes for Billy. Sometimes they last 2 hours, and sometimes they are much longer. Fortunately, he came out of it the last hour I was gone. But I know Catherine was worn out.

He returned to the Cottage on Friday, and I was able to pick him up early. He had a great day from the conversation I had with the caretakers. The owner of the facility had been there all day and enlisted Billy's help on moving items from one room to another. He felt purpose, and that always makes a difference for him. A good day on Friday leads us into a good weekend, and I am thankful. I'm praying for many more.

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