Thursday, July 15, 2010

Not as Bad as I Thought?

He was recently in hospital for three weeks, due to a persistent infection. Either the infection, the medication, a rise in blood sugar or all three soon had his mind wandering extremely. It was very distressing! To him as well as me: he hated being there, often didn’t realise it was a hospital, and couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t take him home with me after every visit.

Witnessing that level of disorientation, I realised that his normal forgetfulness and cognitive impairment is mild compared with what could be.

The hospital gave us some literature on hyperglycemic attacks, and I think he might well have been having a lot of these and no-one ever picked it up. I’m not saying he doesn’t have mental deterioration, but it seems it could well be due at least in part to high blood sugar.

Shortly before he came home, he came back into his right mind, and has stayed there. The usual occasional vagueness, the inability to grasp practical operations e.g. on computer, and some short term memory loss. All of which we have learned to live with and get around.

Right now he is listening to a political speech on TV. His reactions indicate perfect comprehension and I know he will be able to discuss it intelligently afterwards. He has been reading with great delight a book by Winston Churchill. He’s been having lucid telephone conversations with his friends. On the other hand, he forgot to pass on a phone message to me from a tradeswoman. She rang back because, she said, she didn’t think he had grasped it.

So it’s somewhat mixed, but it seems the deterioration is in practical matters; his actual intellect still functions.