My name is Amber, my father in law Paul had surgery on January 10th to clip a very large unruputred aneurysm(over 7). I joined this group in hopes of getting ideas and ways to help him. He was a very “normal” 78 year old man, he golfed, he loved yard work and was enjoying his retirement. Since the surgery hes lost all of himself. He believes hes married to my husbands mother ( they’ve been divorced 30 years and hes been remarried for 28 years) he believes his adult children are still little, he doesnt sleep at night, he doesnt believe his home is his ( him and his wife moved there 3 months before the surgery), he escaped the house at 430 am 2 weeks ago and was lost for 4 hours, before the police found him, we were all searching for him and he was about a mile away. His primary doc has found hus iron to be extremely low and started him on iron infusions, but all follow up tests are normal they say, and it will take time…People hes getting worse, hes going ack further and further in time. We dont know what to do to help him, i go over there multiple days a week before i go to work, my hisband goes by afterwork, his wife is exhausted. Ive bought activity books, im making a photo album with all out pictures and who it is and years to try to help. What else can I do… He knows hes confused and he knows theres something wrong, he states hes confused, but cant get it all straight. We need help, ideas, what do i do
I’m sorry to hear what you and your family are going through. I’m not a doctor, but I believe that the only way to get some help is to continue to contact the primary care physician and perhaps also the neurosurgeon. I know that being older and going through a surgery can result in a special kind of delirium. Also, spending time in the ICU can also make people develop delirium, ICU doctors and nurses are familiar with this .Some patients get over it by themselves and some patients need medication. It can also be a sign of an infection. Hopefully someone in this forum will give you some advice, but I don’t think you can solve this by yourself. You definitely need more help and guidance from the doctors.
All the best to you and your family in this difficult situation.
Welcome to your new sanctuary, Amber. And thank you for caring enough about your father-in-law to join us.
The timing of the symptoms of his diminished cognitive abilities (immediately post-op) leads me to believe that he would possibly benefit from seeing his neurologist. Neurosurgeons and Interventional NeuroRadiologists (INR) tend to be myopically focused on the technical aspects of their surgical procedures, whereas a general neurologist is more broadly trained to address a whole host of cognitive deficiencies. My INR preferred not to discuss certain post op symptoms of mine and referred me, instead, to my neurologist. This seems to be a common practice for some.
Your father-in-law is fortunate to have a daughter-in-law like you.
This may sound overly simplistic, and it’s a longshot, but has anyone checked for a UTI? I got one after one of my surgeries. Elderly patients with dementia get substantially worse when they have one, and they often don’t recognize it or don’t articulate the symptoms which would lead to testing. I know he was fine before surgery (no dementia) but its still a possibility. Which leads me to ask if he’s adequately hydrated as well. As simple as that sounds, it’s very important, more so in elderly. Meanwhile, I wish you the very best. That is a horrifying situation. I hope you can get him the appropriate help he (and all the rest of you) needs. I’d keep taking him to the Doctor so they keep trying things. Even if it’s his GP. Don’t let them give up on him.
You are right, a UTI can give these symptoms, I have seen it myself when I was working in a hospital. After having a urine catheter it may be possible for an infection to occur.
Don’t give up!
Hello, I think you are a wonderful daughter-in-law to your 78-year-old father-in-law. I am 73 years old and a 10-year survivor of a ruptured 9.7mm brain aneurysm. I was hospitalized for four weeks following the rupture, two weeks in neurological ICU. I knew my husband at once when I regained consciousness after 3 days on a ventilator. I went back in time as your FIL has done, but only in respect to current pets and their names. I also stopped sleeping at night and still only sleep during the day unless I’ve stayed up for around 36 hours. I can then sleep at night, but within a day or two I’m back to being a day sleeper. I’ve read accounts by others on this forum with the same problem. After fighting this for 10 years, we’ve decided I should just sleep when I can. It is a problem when one has a doctor’s appointment but do the best you can to allow him additional sleep time before and after an appointment day.
Sleeping these “reversed” hours can in itself cause confusion. I often cannot figure out what day it is and depending on the time, I don’t know if it is day or night.
My first reaction to your request for help was that it was awfully early in his recovery to be too worried. Brain surgery is not to be taken lightly. Blood in the surrounding tissue puts pressure on the brain. This may not be the case for your FIL, but perhaps it is and is contributing to his symptoms.
During my release from the hospital, my husband had to sign an agreement that I would receive 24/7 supervision. He took that very seriously and never left me unattended. Your MIL may have signed a similar agreement and is therefore getting very little quality sleep. Although it may not be convenient for them, other family members can take responsibility for Paul during the night. If no one accepts this responsibility, perhaps they would be willing to pay for a night nurse/attendant. There are also devices available to sound an alarm if someone tries to leave the home or operate certain unsafe appliances. Though often meant for toddlers, they may be perfectly adequate for this situation. The caregiver taking the night shift may choose to sleep on the couch or another central area of the home to prevent themselves from becoming too deeply asleep to be aware of Paul’s needs. Checking in with him at least a couple of times in the night (assuming he is up) is also a good idea.
It took me, at age 63, at least a year or two before I could follow a complicated tv show or movie. My husband had to pause the tv and explain whatever I was having difficulty with. This still happens on occasion, but not frequently.
I hope your family members will remember that their patience with Paul is of utmost importance to his recovery.
I am speaking as a patient/survivor and have no medical training or knowledge beyond my own experience. In pre-aneurysm days I was a chemist and chemistry instructor. In post-aneurysm days my memory has been inadequate to allow me to continue my career.
Wishing the very best outcome for Paul and all of his family members.