I thought I would share another little chapter in our journey which I am hoping some of you may learn from, and many others probably understand or have seen this situation. Dad was having a very average day yesterday and when I turned up the carers told me that he was unresponsive and vague. He was also leaning to the right hand side again and his mouth was hanging loose. Straight away I thought he must of had a TIA (mini stroke). His obs were perfect and he was well checked over and we just let things ride.
Today I went into the nursing home and Dad lit up when he saw me (as per usual), held my hand for a while and spoke a few mumbled words. I was relieved as I thought there was improvement on previous day. Two minutes later I watched his eyes change colour, they rolled back and went all sorts of directions and he went pale. He was having a TIA right in front of me! The nurse was really good and fetched an oxygen cylinder and we left the mask on him for 20 minutes and he slowly started to smile again. Phew!….
I re-visited him in the afternoon and his emotions were shot and he was erratically crying, he had twitching in his arms and he was dehydrated. I gave him a few glasses of water as he sat and watched Andre Rieu on tv for the millionth time:)
I noticed he had a dry mouth and his lips were a bit stuck together. It is these ‘small signs’ that we need to look out for as family members as they possibly could be missed by our very good time-stretched carers. Imagine having your very dry lips stuck together and a dry mouth for hours with no-one noticing? It must be irritating and uncomfortable. I drove to the chemist and bought some ‘paw paw’ cream and placed it on his lips – giving him instant relief.
Dad is ok but now really vague and his mind scrambled as he recovers (last time it took 3-4 days).He is trying to smile and tap his fingers to the music without much success. It is these times that our family goes into overdrive and we step up the caring and monitoring as his capabilities are temporarily impaired. My Mum has been doing a sterling job going in every night for the last few months to ensure he is clean and dry before he falls asleep and has the most comfortable sleep he can have. Onya Mum!
Hopefully some good lessons & learnings for all in this story.