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Topic Parkinson's and pneumonia - please help Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By mgardner On 2012.12.31 16:54
Hello. My husband, 81, was diagnoised with PD a month ago, though we think he's had it at least two years. He hadn't presented much except for his shuffling, slow walk. A week and a half ago - Merry Christmas! - he wound up in the hospital for five days with pneumonia, which I understand is not uncommon with PD. He had various symptoms along with it, and I'm not sure if they're purely a result of the pneumonia, or if the pneumonia suddenly kicked the PD into "high gear".
Could anyone else who's gone through this tell me if you saw the same things? The first day in the hospital, he was suddenly stammering and shaking. It went away after that first day. However he has also experienced extreme weakness and now needs a walker, clarity of thinking was affected (but is getting better), vision is not as good, and he's now somewhat incontinent, which is a real hassle. If anyone else out there has experienced pneumonia along with Parkinson's, please let me know your experiences. Thank you!

By parkinit On 2013.01.12 21:53
Hello -

We haven't experienced it, but it is something we fear with a potential for aspirating pneumonia - which can happen with PWP. I'm sorry I couldn't help more than that.

By blue2 On 2013.01.13 17:58
Hi, In our experience it's not so much the problem that sent us to the hospital as it is the hospital stay itself that set my husband back significantly or started new problems. A hospital stay is very disorienting for a PWP. Our neuro confirms this is so for many of his patients. He said it was 'discombobulating.' That's a medical term, right? :)

By lilflower On 2013.01.15 22:18
When my husband went in for his bilateral knee replacement I got a letter from his Dr allowing me to stay with him in the hospital and take care of his parkinsons drugs. The nurses handled everything with his surgery but I stayed with him and took care of all parkinson's related isssues. It was great he was home in 3 days. Previous stays in the hospital were no so good when I was not there. Its sad but nurses are on schedules and they have many patients to deal with so a Parkinsons patient does suffer to a certain degree because each person is on a different med schedule.

By mgardner On 2013.01.21 16:08
Thank you to those who responded. It helps to know that the very fact of being in a hospital can excacerbate things, and it wasn't just my husband. He didn't like it, I could tell, though he was very sick. The doctor strongly advised discharging him to a nursing home for rehab, but the very thought was scary to my husband and to me too, to be honest. He just wanted to go home. Fortunately I had enough sick leave to stay home to take care of him. We told the doctor we didn't want to go the nursing home route. He wasn't happy, but said, "OK." Before my husband was discharged, the nurse and I had to get him up to move around, which was difficult, and when we finally did, he promptly peed on the floor. I thought, 'Oh my God, what am I getting myself into?" but ultimately did bring him home. It was scary going against what the doctor advised.

I won't say it was easy that first week - we got a hospital bed in the living room because of course he couldn't handle the stairs. Right away his residual tremors began to recede. I slept on the couch, and for a long time I had to get up many times each night and help him with the pee bottle. Finally that abated. The doctor had arranged for him to get physical and occupational therapy at home for a few weeks along with a visiting nurse. Now it's been about four or five weeks, and I can honestly say I think we made the right decision bringing him home as opposed to a nursing facility. He is almost back to where he was before he came down with pneumonia. Hopefully he won't come down with it again, at least not anytime soon. Again, thanks for your responses.

By LotsaBob On 2013.01.25 20:21
I'll tell you guys one thing. Your pwp don't even want to get pneumonia. I had three bouts with it in November. Damn near killed me. It affected just about everything in my body and then some. It apparently messed up my pace-maker too. It caused a lot of fluid to build up around my heart. Man, I was a mess for damn near the whole month of Nov.

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