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In hospital, post-op, infections and delirium

InnerGeek

Registered User
Feb 9, 2016
117
Dad's been stable, dementia-wise for quite a while now A gradual descent but one we've navigated reasonably successfully and with minimal stress all round.

Dad's had abdominal pain and multiple emergency hospital admissions for 6 months now, and on Tuesday had surgery for a complicated internal hernia repair. It has not gone smoothly, he's acquired an infection and is on very strong antibiotics, his pain levels are through the roof and his pain medication either causes his blood pressure to fall through the floor or for him to become delirious.

Today he was refusing consent for any of the procedures that would provide him relief - pain relief administration, NG tube (unpleasant but absolute requirement for his comfort), even taking temp /blood pressure. After several hours we got consent for pain relief.

No real point to this post as I'm working closely with the hospital team and everyone's doing all they can, the dementia nurses are involved, the nurses understand the situation, just wanted to reach out to others who understand.
 

canary

Registered User
Feb 25, 2014
13,374
South coast
Im sorry @InnerGeek Infections, surgery etc can cause so many problems with out PWDs.
I do hope the antibiotics and pain relief kick in and your dad starts on the road to recovery.
 

charlie10

Registered User
Dec 20, 2018
397
My Fil has been in hospital for 5 weeks and has had 'delirium' (except the drs said it wasn't delirium but due to the painkillers/anaesthetic....not sure what the difference is as delirium can have many causes). twice, causing quite bad behavioural problems and refusal to accept meds etc. His b/p also went quite low. However he is soon to be discharged to a rehab unit, and is back to normal, flirting with other patients' visitors :rolleyes:, eating well,co-operating with the physio etc. There was a point I thought we would be looking urgently for a NH as he couldn't even sit up, I'm amazed!

So try not to worry too much, our oldies can be as tough as old boots and recover from the most frightening conditions. Take care of yourself
 

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
71,743
Kent
Give your dad time to recover from the traumas of his hospital treatment @InnerGeek.

I remember my grandmother`s confusion following hernia surgery. My gentle inoffensive grandma was insulting the nurses with language we didn`t even know she knew and pulling at the drainage tubes really not understanding they were there to help her. She didn`t have dementia but the confusion and effects of the surgery and anaesthetic were still quite frightening.
 

Gilly1968

New member
Jun 21, 2020
6
Hello all, reaching out as I’m so sad 😞 and need your support right now! Mum is recently diagnosed mixed dementia and last Thursday fell at home and broke her hip. Operation Friday and since then very confused, aggressive to nurses refused treatment didn’t know what’s going on, wants to come home. Earlier today she wasn’t so bad a family friend whose a nurse went in and she says things are ok but tonight calls to my brother and me completely not her and slight aggression in voice. It’s heartbreaking and I think I’ll call dementia nurses tomorrow for support as quite honestly I’m not coping! 😭 Drs suggesting post op delirium but will she be like this now ??
 

Banjomansmate

Registered User
Jan 13, 2019
2,078
Dorset
The Banjoman was a nightmare patient in hospital after his hip operation, fighting, lashing out , swearing at the staff and refusing to let them do anything at all. Once he returned to his Care Home and they got him off one of the medication, I think it was the pain patches, he calmed down remarkably. His dementia had definitely worsened and he couldn’t interact with the physiotherapist so didn’t get mobile but he did relax and become more amenable.
 

Louise7

Registered User
Mar 25, 2016
2,364
We had a situation where mum was said by the hospital to have delirium but it turned out that the change in her behaviour was due to medication/pain and disappeared when she was given sufficient pain relief. It's only been a few days since the operation, plus hospitals are not good environments for those with dementia, so your mum will need time to recover and may well show some signs of improvement in the weeks ahead.