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Marilee J. Layman

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06:30 pm: I Visited Luke
He's in the Gainesville Rehab because there wasn't room in the Manassas one, but it's only about 15 minutes away. I was startled by how confused he was. I said "Happy Birthday" and he told me happy birthday. He kept trying to take things apart in his hands -- the nurse call button, his clothes, etc. -- and he clearly didn't know who I was. I went out to talk to the RN in charge of the whole place and while I didn't expect her to tell me specifics, she said he had been confused most of the day, coming alert when PT had him up to walk. I went back and he wanted to watch TV and I asked him what he wanted to watch and he said news, so I clicked until I got to C-Span showing Biden's VP candidate acceptance speech. I asked "Do you think you'll be up for voting in November?" and all of a sudden, his voice was clear, his eye twinkly (one is prosthetic), and he said "I sure hope so!" And we talked for about a minute about how awful it is to get so confused and then he slipped back into it and started undressing. I decided I wasn't helping and came home.

ETA: The nurse had also mentioned he kept putting the call button in his mouth and I just realized probably why: he smokes here. I called and told them, not that they should let him go out and smoke, but if they know why, they may be able to handle it better.

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[User Picture]
From:heleninwales
Date:August 24th, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
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Medication can cause confusion and if he's a smoker, it could be the withdrawal from the nicotine which both sharpens and relaxes the brain. Perhaps they could give him nicotine patches or gum?
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 24th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
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He doesn't smoke a lot, but he hadn't been able to smoke for almost a week when I saw him last Sunday and he was fine. I think it's the pacemaker surgery and the necessity for it. That's more likely to have affected his brain.
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From:kip_w
Date:August 24th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
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He's lucky to have you for a neighbor. Does he get family visits?
[User Picture]
From:mjlayman
Date:August 24th, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
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His daughter and son-in-law see him every day, their son every now and then, and his grandson from his other daughter (died early of breast cancer and he and his wife raised Chris) lives in Louisiana and comes to visit frequently, but hasn't been here for this problem.

It's just that I know more about him in some ways than they do. Until he became legally blind, I saw him and talked to him more often than they did.

His daughter is clearly finding all this a burden and when I saw her last and she mentioned it, I agreed instead of telling her how I took care of myself through all my hospitalizations.
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