Unconsciousness after seizures - need advice please

Discussion in 'I care for a person with dementia' started by SHB, Feb 21, 2019.

  1. SHB

    SHB New member

    Feb 21, 2019
    6
    I would sincerely appreciate some advice or experience if I may.

    My mother-in-law (88) has dementia and lives in a care home. On Monday she began having seizures, vomiting bile and completely lost consciousness.

    She is in hospital now and hasn't regained any consciousness since Monday. The doctor says this is common in dementia and it's possible within three days (or as long as a week) she can resurface and potentially go back to her care home. This of course gives us hope. I can't find anything on the internet, however, related to seizures leading to unconsciousness over such a long time with dementia?

    The reality is she's pulling out the feeding tube and they can't reinsert it. Although she is taking fluids through an IV and is catheterised, I can't see how she can get better after four days unconscious and not taking any food whatsoever. She is not responsive to anyone but cries out and is restless sometimes. When this happens she is given morphine.

    Has anyone experienced this? Is there any advice on what we can or should do? If she is end stage, which feels more likely to me sadly, I'm wondering if a hospice is better than the stroke ward of a hospital both in terms of expertise and her experience however limited it might be? Not sure what to do. Any advice gratefully received.
     
  2. nae sporran

    nae sporran Volunteer Host

    Oct 29, 2014
    5,821
    Male
    Bristol
    Welcome to TP, SHB. Sorry I have no experience of your distressing situation, but you will find support here from members who know more. I can only wish you strength.
     
  3. nestle

    nestle Registered User

    Jul 22, 2016
    63
    Female
    Southwest but Yorkie by birth
    Very sad to witness , sometimes all we can do is watch and wait and try to keep the person as comfortable as possible. The unexpected can happen but sometimes one thing can lead to another , a chain of events. I would say be guided by the nurses and medics and ask as many questions as you need to. Try to take care of yourselves during this very difficult time xx
     
  4. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,244
    Female
    South coast
    Hello @SHB . I am so sorry to hear about your MIL.
    People with dementia can and frequently do surprise us and rally when we thought there was no hope, but your MIL has already been unconscious for 3 days. my feeling is that it would be a good idea to talk to the doctor on the ward about the future. I dont know where the best place for her be would be. My mum got sent back from hospital and passed away in her care home, but I dont know if all care homes are willing to do this. It may be that your MIL is too poorly to be moved and certainly she cannot be moved while she still has a drip.

    Im sending you some virtual ((((((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))) as I know the uncertainty is the worst.
     
  5. SHB

    SHB New member

    Feb 21, 2019
    6
    Thank you so much. xx
     
  6. SHB

    SHB New member

    Feb 21, 2019
    6
    T
    Thank you so much for this and for your advice which our family appreciates very much. xxx
     
  7. hilaryd

    hilaryd Registered User

    May 28, 2017
    84
    Hello @SHB, and sorry to hear of this situation. I'm no expert, but my late mum also ended up hospitalised after a series of seizures - she didn't lose consciousness like your MIL, rallied fairly quickly and was eventually discharged, but her awareness and general health deteriorated markedly afterwards. We think she continued to have seizures for the (very short) remainder of her life, with deterioriation each time - in our case it seemed to be 'the beginning of the end', but the end was quite peaceful, if that's any consolation. Thinking of you and hoping for the best outcomes.
     
  8. SHB

    SHB New member

    Feb 21, 2019
    6
    T
    Thank you very much for responding and I really appreciate it. She has regained consciousness this afternoon but cannot speak or recognise anyone. When my husband asked her to squeeze his hand she could not respond. Her blood pressure is incredibly high at 207 and they can't medicate her until she has some level of nourishment. She has repeatedly taken out the feeding tube and they don't want to risk inserting it in case she pulls it out midway and the contents go in her lungs. This is so sad and no life for her, so a peaceful outcome would be what we'd all wish most of all. Many thanks for your kind thoughts.
     
  9. canary

    canary Registered User

    Feb 25, 2014
    10,244
    Female
    South coast
    ((((((((((((((((((hugs)))))))))))))))))))))) @SHB
    It doesnt sound like she has much quality of life left, does it? As the feeding tube has been removed perhaps you could talk to the doctors and say that you would prefer her to just slip away if she deteriorates again. Sometimes it is best not to make heroic efforts to prolong life, but unfortunately most doctors are trained to treat things and the idea of letting nature take its course doesnt come naturally.
     
  10. SHB

    SHB New member

    Feb 21, 2019
    6
    Just to say thank you to everyone who helped me with this. The great news is she will make a full recovery. She is in the midst of something called "delirium" which is part of her dementia as the consultant explained, very angry, calling the nurses "boys," shouting at the nurses and family, still not really recognising us, but they say this will pass. It turned out that she had seizures and a heart attack, which resulted in the week of unconsciousness and now the delirium, but the consultant expects a full recovery, no heart damage, and she'll go back to her care home after they assess her early next week.

    What a roller coaster! As of this weekend we were losing her and to have it turn around so profoundly and so quickly is amazing! Thanks again to everyone for your help. It's such an uncertain road and I do appreciate the responses very much. :)
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.