Dementia: Woken By Maureen Screaming In The Night Again

It’s 4 am in the morning and I have decided that blogging may help me to sort a few things out.

There is a difference today as I know I haven’t woken myself up to blog.  Once again I have been woken up by Maureen screaming: yelling out in fear that there is a stranger around.  This time she was yelling to her dad that someone was walking down the passage.  She didn’t see it as a dream as she asked me if I had heard their footsteps.  It seems likely that there is far more to her current presentation than the infection that surfaced last week

In the last week or so Maureen’s levels of confusion have concerned those who see her on a regular basis.  Yesterday, Chloe one of our regular carers commented on how confused Maureen was at the moment.  It’s no longer just a question of Maureen asking Chloe the same questions time after time. There is far more to concern us than that.  Yesterday, Maureen became completely confused on my whereabouts on several occasions.  Unfortunately, her present levels of confusion are not being eased by the antibiotics, and no further treatment is required for her original infection.

I managed to have brief chat with Yvonna our chemist yesterday, and there are a number of possible explanations for Maureen’s increased level of confusion.  It is possible it is evidence of further decline caused by dementia.  On the other hand it could be explained by viral, or bacterial infections, or viruses.  I’m hoping that it is something within the realms of the latter explanation.  Only time will tell and a good diet along with the right amount of exercise and rest, are just what the doctor or chemist ordered.

I hope to catch up on some sleep later in the day.   Unless I can get more sleep there is little hope of my leg or shoulder pain being solved.  There is a price to be paid for concentrating on Maureen’s needs, and dementia may well mean that they are insatiable.  It is time to tough it out and prioritise my own needs.  If I don’t carer burn out is on the horizon, and that won’t help either of us.

My trip to Coventry on Monday offers some respite when I have a day to myself: albeit one with demands of its own; a tiring journey with an emotionally draining agenda.   Seeing your mum with vascular dementia and brother with Alzheimer’s is hardly a picnic.  However, the downward coach trip should offer some valuable thinking time: I need to have some sort of plan to break out of this Catch 22 situation I’m now in.  In a nutshell:  I can’t carry on like this!


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