Pain…Something We Need To Be Aware Of

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I thought I would share a recent change in Dad’s condition and behaviours that we originally put down to a ‘further decline in his dementia’. He was sleeping in more, being grumpy, kicking when people touched him, and his dressing routine was thrown into disarray.When dressing him I noticed him slightly wince when putting socks on. He also did it when a sheet was placed over his feet.He had hurt his toes over 3 months ago (due to ill fitting shoes) and we thought his feet were obviously fine, so why 3 months later are they now bothering him? His toenail was actually lifting and he did not have the ability to tell us. With dementia you often ‘blame the dementia’ for just about everything. I called the nurse and showed her his toes and we called the doctor. He placed a ‘patch’ on Dad’s back for the pain. We monitored his reactions to the patch extremely closely each day and noticed he was constantly groggy, refused meds, and was irritable. We rang the doc again a week later, removed the patch and Dad became brighter and happier again.The doc also placed the patch on the ‘allergies list’ which meant it is not a suitable response for his pain. The podiatrist advised that once the nail falls off (anytime soon) – he will be in no more pain. My point?…..With any dementia medication adjustments you need to monitor reactions, side effects (everything) really closely, as if we did not remove the patch Dad may have become a zombie and his condition may be accepted as his new normal…which is not actually the case.

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