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My mother in law was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 6 or 7 years ago. She moved in with us 3 years ago, we have kept her routine the same and she was doing great until Christmas Eve when she had a stroke. We got her to the ER within the first 2 hours, she was given the clot buster drug and was put in NSICU for observation for 5 days then sent to rehab. Right after her stroke that Thursday morning until the following Saturday at 4:00 she was wide awake. Shaky, jibbering, talking to people that had passed away years ago. She snapped out of it and they sent her to rehab the following Sunday night. She was doing well until I went to visit her the following Tuesday and she was doing the same again. I tried telling them I believe she'd had another stroke. It wasn't until the following Saturday, aft she'd been wide awake 5 days straight, that they did an MRI that showed she had, had another stroke. I believe she's had another since being home. We are going on 40 straight hours no sleep right now. The Home health nurse says it's the dementia from her Alzheimers. I don't know what to think.... I don't know how she can continue to survive with no sleep for days at a time like this. Has anyone ever experienced this type of behavior in an Alzheimers patient that has had a stroke or series of strokes?
She has 90%blockage in her carotid to her brain and due to her age and the disease the only new drug they started her on was an aspirin a day. Nothing else. She's been checked for UTIs and that was clear. No infection.
She does have an appointment with her longevity Dr. Wednesday so I'll have a notebook full of questions for her.
If you have experienced this, please share how the patient and the caregivers survived it. Sleepless in Arkansas

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Thank you for your comments! I was hoping that others may have had similar experiences. We really would like to continue to care for her at home if at all possible. That was her request while she was still able to think for herself. We want her last months, years to be with family that love her, she still knows who we are. There is no monetary reasons either. We just believe that our Family is all we really have. Our parents gave us life, cared for us for years and the least we can do, is to return the same for them when they need us. My Mother wanted to die at home and her request was granted as well.
Myself, I have a sleep disorder already, similar to narcolepsy. I am meds to stay awake during the day. I can sleep in the room with her and not hear a thing.thats my problem, so if she try's to get out of bed, I'd never know. My husband is a light sleeper and hears everything. He is the one that is suffering from the loss of sleep as much as she is. He is a 9 to 6 sleeper so it is taking a toll on him. Our home health care providers only come twice a week, the nurse thought she was better than when she first met her, when in reality she was worse yesterday than when she first met her a week ago.
Again, I do appreciate the comment/suggestions that have been posted and any future one that may be posted. Thank you so much and have a Blessed Day.
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Can you sleep in a chair in her room- to stay close?
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I personally have had T.I.A.'s in the past. There are times that I do not sleep, but I am retired and have the luxury of a flexible schedule in between the little dysfunctional crisies that crop up from stress- caregiving dH. Never went more than 25 or so hours without sleep, unless it was an intentional mind-over-matter thing, when sitting with a terminal patient overnight so the wife could rest. Do not choose to take sleep meds, ever. I do not fret from loss of sleep. I actually hurt more if there is too much sleep.
If it helps, sit with Mil, gently rub her back as she sleeps. She may be just enough aware to be afraid to sleep. Don't be alarmed if she wakes if you try to leave.
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I have not experienced this and would definitely be exhausted! Are there other options than living with you? If she is having recurrence of strokes perhaps care in a nursing home should be considered.
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