Short background update: June 28 FIL (89) died. He was in Hospital 2 weeks (surgery for hernia) , NH 1 week for rehab, moved to hospice 1 week before death. THEN MIL (80) had COPD flare up & Critically low sodium levels twice in August, 1st time she was fully alert, aware, etc. Transferred to NH for rehab. Three days later 2nd time critically low sodium & also had a UTI and was TOTALLY out of her mind but she remembered her husband had died. Total hospital stay was about 13 days.
NOW: She’s home after 8 weeks rehab for physical therapy. She also had a very mild case of Shingles while in rehab, not requiring any meds for that now. She doesn’t remember even being in the hospital, despite being fully cognizant her 1st hospital stay. Therefore she didn’t understand why she was in rehab. She was asking if her husband died at home or the hospital (he wasn’t even Sick when he was home). She thought the picture hanging in a very prominent place (by her phone & calendar) on her wall was new, but my daughter painted it & gave it to her months before. She also wanted to know if I had given her my microwave, as-she didn’t remember going with my hubby to get a new one because Her old one was peeling on the inside (it was her idea). Also, when returning home she didn’t remember how to use her nebulizer despite having used it several times a day for several years before rehab. That REALLY scares me, but I do realize this is a LOT for someone to go through. We hadn’t noticed any memory probs prior to this, and we saw them several times a week as they live on our road. They totally functioned/handled all business by themselves.
My husband thinks she just needs time to recover, but I’m concerned this is the beginning of dementia. Oh, the NH has told us all those “breathing spells” she was having are actually panic attacks, but she also does have “severe” COPD per her pulmonologist, but he didn’t tell us what stage. She is now on Buspar for anxiety, and their thinking that the Zoloft she was given when my FIL died caused the low sodium. (Sorry so long!)
PS we must find a new Dr. The one she has is nice but terrible with seniors, or at least her.