Two heart attacks and 'incident' in hospital

Discussion in 'Middle - later stages of dementia' started by kirstyor, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. kirstyor

    kirstyor Registered User

    Jun 19, 2014
    Sidenote - This is all secondhand information as I wasn't around when this happened so bear that in mind.

    A few weeks ago my gran had two heart attacks and had to spend about a week and a half in hospital. She's 84 and coming into the later stages of dementia, it seems. I'm a student so I live away from home mostly, and this happened a couple days after I visited.
    Apparently, she was okay for the first two days in hospital, but then due to what we later found out was a urinary infection, had a huge incident of delusions, hallucinations and extreme aggressive behaviour. My mum was called into hospital at about 10pm after one of the nurses had told her that my gran had cut herself and was smearing blood on the other patients, was shouting and trying to attack anyone who came near her so could not be sedated. Once she got there apparently my gran called my mum 'useless', said she was unfaithful to my dad, claimed she wasn't even her daughter and told her to get out. My mum (obviously) couldn't deal with this and had to take a break with one of the nurses as my dad tried to reason with my gran. In this time, my gran was telling my dad a huge and to be honest incredibly imaginative story about the nurses trying to kill her, and that there were clues everywhere. From how my parents described it, she basically performed an evil villain-esque monologue complete with dark humour and really nasty remarks about my mum, who she's had a very good relationship with all her life.
    Since the hospital her physical and mental health has drastically deteriorated. She now sleeps constantly and is completely physically incapable, and doesn't seem to think she lives here anymore. I'm visiting again at the moment and every day I'm expecting her to not know who I am anymore. The whole thing at the hospital was so, so out of character, I still can't believe it, and it's really hard to deal with since she's basically been a second mum to me and lived with us all my life. I'd read about personality changes and physical incompetence, but never about full scale delusions like in the hospital.
    Has anyone else experienced things like this? I don't know how we'll be able to handle Christmas day, I don't even know if she'll be around by then. It makes me not want to be at home which is awful because I know my parents need all the support they can get but I'm just struggling to deal with it.
  2. Kevinl

    Kevinl Registered User

    Aug 24, 2013
    Hu Kirsty
    A UTI can make a normally placid person become like something out of the exorcist (not a nice film). Usually thing get slowly better after it clears up, but each time it happens you do seem to lose a bit more of them.
    Don't worry about Christmas guilt, we still have 2 kids at uni and if they don't want to come at Christmas or only visit for a short time then I personally understand, in some ways it's easier for me to cope with my wife without them and I don't mean that in a bad way, we just have a little routine which in a way isn't helped by having people stay. You should speak to your parents and see how they feel then work round them they're the ones who have to do it every day, but make the most of your gran while you still have her too.
  3. CeliaThePoet

    CeliaThePoet Registered User

    Dec 7, 2013
    Buffalo, NY, USA
    People with dementia often experience delirium in hospitals.

    This plus a UTI and other physical problems is a very bad combo. Don't make decisions or assumptions yet. Take things day by day. When she gets out of the hospital, she will likely calm down. What is the next step? Is she still ill?
  4. kirstyor

    kirstyor Registered User

    Jun 19, 2014
    Thank you for the parent perspective Kevin it helps a lot, I'll definitely have a talk with them about it.
    Ah sorry Celia, I didn't really explain well, she's been out of hospital now for the last month or so. Although physically she improved for a while, mentally she is constantly declining. She's nowhere near as bad as she was in hospital, but she's also much worse than when I saw her the weekend before she went in. We've been told by the doctors that she's very unlikely to recover as her heart's been severely damaged and she rarely knows where she is anymore.

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