Last night was another difficult one.   The times up were not as often as our worst nights.  The hallucinations did not include the hyperactivity that was present ten days or two weeks ago.  They were fairly constant and strong.  Each time during the night I needed to talk her into lying back down. 

She needed a snack shortly after going to bed since she had eaten so little at supper.  She wanted pizza at 4am or 5am (don’t remember which of the multiple early morning times).   She thought it was suppertime, even though it was dark. 

I took her blood pressure first thing this morning.  It was 220/120.  Needless to say I did not give her any Midodrine.  At 10:20am it was 140/90.  After a long nap I took her BP while standing.  It was 115/60.  About fifteen minutes later I took it again while she was sitting.  It was 170/95.

It seemed as if I had too much information to give over the phone when calling the Cardiologist’s office.  Here is what I wrote and dropped off at the Cardiologist’s office this afterno0n: 

Dr. Meyer and Angela Bachelor, ARNP

Blood pressures on 2/4/2010 are in her chart – Midodrine: 10mg morning, 5mg noon, 5mg supper.

No blood pressures taken on 2/5 – Midodrine 10mg morning, 5mg noon, 5mg supper.

2/6, 10mg Midodrine in morning – sitting blood pressure measurements:

220/115 at 8:17am

200/110 at 11:30am – no noon 5mg Midodrine dose given

160/85 at 1:15pm

185/100 at 2:25pm

200/100 at 4:25pm – no suppertime 5mg Midodrine dose given

200/105 at 8:00pm

2/7, sitting blood pressure measurements – no Midodrine given all day

200/105 at 2:00am

220/120 at 8:45am

165/105 at 1:45pm

Standing measurement – 130/80 at 3:10pm

165/95 at 5:00pm

2/8, sitting blood pressure measurements – no Midodrine given all day

220/120 at 8:00am

140/90 at 10:20am

Standing measurement – 116/60

170/95 at 2:35pm

Questions:

Is there something I should be doing that would be safe for me to do (some prn med) to help lower her BP when it is so high? If so how high should trigger its use?

Can Midodrine be used prn assuming four hour intervals up to three times a day, last dose at suppertime, starting with 5mg per dose, titrating to no more than 10mg? Would either fainting or BP measurement with both numbers below 100 be appropriate triggers for Midodrine if prn use is authorized?

Peter Tremain, 2/8/2010

That is the blood pressure issue.  Now comes the return of the hallucinations.  The problem has continued and intensified a bit during the day today.  There is a little black poodle who looks like the one we used to have that Mary Ann has been seeing and talking to today. 

Zandra, her Bath Aide, reported that she saw a little girl during shower and morning prep time.  Mary Ann mentioned seeing our Granddaughter Ashlyn a few times today.  Ashlyn lives in Kentucky.  She has been seeing dirty spots on the carpet or bedding, wet spots in many places.  There have been lots of little gold chains.  There were racccoon tracks on her transfer chair.  She jumped a couple of times when either I stepped on something or once a vase fell and broke, neither actually happening. 

I followed her a few times to get something or find something or pick up something — all things that were not there.  She tried to explain things to me on a few occasions and got lost in trying to finish whatever it was, throwing up her hands admitting that she was confused. 

Again today, eating was a struggle.  She let me help her at breakfast, and lunch, except for the ice cream.  At supper she let me help some, but ate more ice cream on her own.  She tried eating it without a spoon, then got a little into her mouth using thespoon, finally agreeing to just put it back in the freezer.  She would not let me help her eat it.   At lunch and supper, she kept using her hands to pick up and take things to her mouth, things that, again, were not there. 

I have been back to the bedroom a number of times now.  The Thursday people are here, even though it is Monday.  She had trouble again with the need to go home.  Then she said something about not being obligated to let the people stay over, although that was juxtaposed with the her wanting to go home.  When she asked what the plan was, what she should do next, I said that it is 11pm and it would be great as far as I am concerned if she would lie down and go to sleep.  She thought she could do that.  I have no illusions that it will happen any time soon.  We have just been up again dealing with the problem of the people she sees here in the house. 

While the intensity of her hallucinations does not have element of hyperactivity as they did a while back, I can see that hyperactivity just over the horizon. 

I need to start writing the note to fax to Dr. Pahwa, her Neurologist, who specializes in movement disorders such as Parkinson’s (a program and the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City).  I need to lay out in the note just what has gone on from the weeks before the increase in Seroquel to now. 

As I have commented in these posts more than once before, changes in medication sometimes backfire.  If something is removed for a while, sometimes when it is reintroduced, it will not do what it did before.  There was a small study reported in the online Lewy Body Dementia Spouses group that showed folks reducing dosage on medications that were causing hallucinations, but in the case of Parkinson’s Disease Dementia, the hallucinations continued in spite of that reduction.  Sometimes meds start something that cannot be stopped.  Sometimes, of course, the disease has just progressed farther and there is nothing that can change that decline. 

While we may be nearing the end of our options for dealing with the progression of the symptoms of this disease, we will continue until all the current options are exhausted — and then we will look for more options after that. 

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