Hospitalization #1


Dennis has had a lengthy time of stability – a couple of months with no delusional thinking. In fact, he seems to be doing better cognitively, having read a couple of books that really interested him and comprehended them. He does a lot of TV watching, and for a while it was only sermons on TBN because violent shows or even the news was too traumatic for him. Now he’s back to watching the news and some documentaries, and that is almost back to pre Lewy normal for him.

Back on November 1, in the morning, Dennis met me in the hall as I was going over to check on Mom. He said his leg had felt funny during the night when he woke up – not exactly painful, but swollen and harder. I felt it and agreed that it was slightly larger and warmer to touch. It was worth sending a note to the doctor (my Health app gives access) and they messaged back that he should be seen in the clinic. He got in by 11 am and they decided to check for DVT with an ultrasound of his leg. We were walking over to radiology when he got faint, diaphoretic and couldn’t go further. I got him a wheelchair and we made it to the ultrasound. He felt better by then so the tech did the procedure while I watched.

They saw an extensive DVT and sent him to the ER right away. I was impressed with the number of people who practically mobbed him. He was hooked up to all the monitors in no time flat. The ER doc sent him for an CT scan of the lungs and it showed multiple emboli in both lungs. So it wasn’t long before he was put on anticoagulants and admitted to the hospital.

The whole ordeal sent his blood pressure sky high too, so he was put back on medicine for that as well. He stayed for two days and was discharged on Sunday afternoon. All this to say that he has been tired and weaker than usual, even though his cognition has seemed better. He stands and walks like a very old man, his right hand is afflicted with a persistent tremor, and everything he does is slow, slow, and slower.

He had a follow up appointment this week and when getting ready, he was commending himself for showering and dressing himself without help. Is he getting somewhat more independent? Maybe.

From time to time he puzzles over his “words” that he is sure God has given him, and tries to reassure himself that he hasn’t made them up. A couple of days ago he had an “aha!” moment over the word “proteolytic”. It has been harder to figure out than some of the other words and he hasn’t been able to attach it to any certain function, until now. It was brought to his attention after the CT scan that he had some sort of mass showing on his stomach which will need to be addressed after he is done with the anticoagulants. He started thinking maybe there would be a connection to the proteolytic enzymes, and sure enough, he found an article where someone’s stomach cancer had been eradicated with bromelain, an enzyme in pineapple. So God had him working on his stomach, eating pineapple and taking proteolytic enzymes way before he even knew he needed them. He’s expecting the mass to be gone by the time it’s investigated.

He is not exactly at the place where I feel he would be safe alone at home. He doesn’t find things easily, including food and clothes, so it might be awkward if I left for any length of time longer than a few hours. I cancelled my trip to NC for a writing conference and watched it online instead. Maybe if he had to take care of himself, he would rise to the challenge, but I think it would be hard on him. I think it’s going to be a long winter with a lot of staying home for us.


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