Disclaimer

This is dementia. It's not just a memory problem.
What you read in this blog is purely my own personal experience in dealing with Lewy Body Dementia every day.

This is not meant to offer any medical or legal advise.
I have no professional training in care giving or experiences in formal writing.
I'm just a woman that loves her husband deeply and wants to provide him with the best quality of life he can and chooses to have.
My prayer though this is "Lord, What am I learning from this; how can I use it help someone else and to glorify You?"
If just one person finds comfort in this public blog. I will feel like it was a success.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Hello? Is anybody here?

From LBDAHallucinations are usually, but not always, visual and often are more pronounced when the person is most confused. They are not necessarily frightening to the person. Other modalities of hallucinations include sound, taste, smell, and touch.

One of the core features of Lewy Body dementia is hallucinations.
When Hubby started having hallucinations I really didn't recognize it as that as it started at a time when we actually had several people around. After those people all left and the only ones left here at home were Hubby and me, he still asked about the "people" in the house. There were times he would wake me in the night and ask me if there were people in the house. Always 'looking' and making sure the doors were locked. But somewhere and somehow in his mind the ability to know that they couldn't be real, could they?

To Hubby, what he saw or sensed seemed very real. Non threatening but still an annoyance to have here. He wanted his privacy. Those people have occupied the bathroom when he has needed to go resulting in an unhappy and embarrassing situation. They have built churches in our bedroom and airplanes in the back yard. They have even put new doors in the ceiling. The conversations of the people have been so loud they have woken him from his sleep and that really annoyed Hubby, who in turn woke me to complain. I complained myself.

Some times he thinks there are children here and only once we have had a dog in our bedroom (Our dogs are outside dogs). Since we have animals anyway I can't really decide if the animals are real or imagined.

So how do we deal with hallucinations? Medications? Argue? Reasoning?

Neuroleptics, also known as antipsychotics, are medications that are used to treat hallucinations. A person with Lewy Body can not tolerate those meds resulting in a rapid decline or worsening mental condition that they may not bounce back from. Lewy is famous for it's ability to go from complete confusion to logical reasoning and back again in a matter of moments, hrs, days, weeks) Why make a bad situation worse? I always consider Lewy Body and  neuroleptics like mixing bleach and ammonia. TOXIC!

Arguing  only results in Hubby getting more confused, upset and anxious. In turn that seems to make his shaking and his cognition worse. No sense in rocking the boat in already choppy waters. (Hubby was in the Navy, I wish I had a great Navy saying)

Reasoning, maybe. Somewhere in Hubby's mind he is aware that he has a problem He does not like to talk about it but he is aware. There are times he will ask about the people only to say, "No, that can't be right". I have seen him looking around corners or into rooms. When asked what he's looking for he just stares at me and says, "Nothing". So I believe he knows. But there are the times when he is very sure that the doors need to be checked that they are locked so nobody can get in. (I agree) He has complained that there were too many people in our bed for him to find a place to lie down. I just assure him that there is plenty of room because I only want him in the bed. I also inform him that there better not be anyone else in the house as at times I am in my pajamas. He is almost always satisfied with my responses.

He doesn't seem distraught by the people. They are just there or not. I on the other hand wish the lazy bums would do something to help out around the house. ;-)

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