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Topic Anesthesia affects? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By dkleinert On 2013.08.03 19:42
My pd spouse had his 3rd surgery in 5 years. With each one it has taken him longer and longer to "come out of" the dementia he experiences from the anesthesia (or I am assuming it is the anesthesia). He comes through his surgeries well, and the outcomes have all been good additions to his life, so I don't say 'no" to the surgeries, however, this time, it is going on a week after surgery, and he still has much more pronounced dementia. I have had not sleep during that time because this time it was bladder (TURP) and scrotal (removal of a hydrosele) surgeries, and so he has a catheter for a week. I was told at the hospital, even though the doctor and I both requested a home health nurse to help with the catheter at night, that Medicare does not consider it necessary for a nurse, but that it is "custodial care", and I need to take care of it myself. I can, of course, empty the large catheter bag every 6-8 hours, but during the night, and anytime he decides to move around the apartment, he steps on the tubing, gets tangled up in it in his walker, falls, etc., and so I have to watch him very closely to make sure this does not happen. For him, during the nighttime hours are the worst for the dementia it seems. He wakes up suddenly and wants to get out of bed (I had bed rails installed after the first night), and says things like "I have to go to work", "it is time to get up", "time to leave", etc.

My son showed me an app for our phones which is a "baby" monitor, called "iSitter" (either free or $2.99). I turn on his iphone, click on "Baby" and aim the camera (back side of phone) at him sleeping in his bed, and then turn on my iphone and click on "Monitor", Suddenly I can see him in his bed. The only downside is that there is a bright light that shines on him all night in the dark from his phone. On my phone I can turn the sound volume way up so I can hear everything. I can tell the phone to refresh the screen at 5 second intervals (or longer if you want it longer). And at least I can lay in my bed across the house from him. I just have to lay awake all night and watch/listen. That is the issue. I tried sleeping the first night (had not had any sleep in the hospital for 3 nights) and woke up to see him climbing out of bed - he was all tangled in his tubing and could have fallen, head first onto the floor had I not arrived just as it was happening. And he won't stay in his recliner either (next to his bed). Last night I must have dozed off for a little bit because when I woke up his recliner (where I had moved him earlier because he called out to me he HAD TO MOVE OUT OF THE BED) was empty in the phone screen. I panicked and flew into his room to see that he was in his bed with the tubing all tangled and clamped off so it would not drain into the bag which means his kidneys and bladder won't empty...!!!!

What are your experiences with anesthesia after affects? Does it go away and the dementia lessen or go back to where it was before surgery? Or does it stay like this and get worse over time....?

By Pearly4 On 2013.08.03 20:07
So hard and so sad, but yes we had some similar problems when my mother had back surgery. Even in the hospital I had stayed with her every night or had someone else in constant attendance to keep her from climbing out of bed, etc. They finally put a "posey restraint" on her (something we had to sign papers for to allow them to use) - it was only a soft vest-type garment that allowed them to strap her loosely to the bed. She was able to move around a little, sit up, but not leave the bed.

Where we were a little more successful was in getting her admitted to "rehab" care for three weeks immediately from the hospital - even there I had to spend a night or two or three. She came home suffering some increased dementia with stories of having spent her last night sleeping on the floor in the garage, etc. but they lessened greatly . Doctors were not surprised and actually told us to expect it. I've had nurses tell me it takes gradually longer for your body to clear the chemical effects of anesthesia as you age, couple that with dementia and its terrible. I think one of them told me it could take up to three months to be fully clear of the chemical effects but before you panic, as I said, we saw improvement in a couple weeks and by three weeks definite improvement and lessening of the problems.

Can you afford temporary night help? Or get assistance from friends and family (so hard to ask, I know personally). Speak to his doctor - there may be resources he knows of or maybe there's something more he can do medically - or speak with the social workers at the hospital where he was admitted - they may be able to make referrals. I'm not well versed in what Medicare will or will not pay anymore.

So sad that they didn't warn you ahead of time because it isn't an uncommon experience.

By LOHENGR1N On 2013.08.03 20:13
D, it is a well know fact that Parkinson's Patients have a harder time coming back from being under anesthesia and take longer to recover as they do compared to "normal" patients. Having several in succession 3 in 5 years is quite a bit. As you say he takes longer and longer to recoup. Dementia gets worse over time (that's the nature of the beast) with the added anesthesia and it's lingering effects? Who can tell? I wish I had an answer for you but it is a case of time will tell (I know NOT what you wanted to hear!) You "Guy's" are in our thoughts and prayers my friend. take care, best of luck and hang in there

By dkleinert On 2013.08.04 11:55
Pearly4 and Lohengin - THANK YOU SOOO much. It helps me to know this is a "normal" experience. The social worker at the hospital was useless - she just told me that Medicare would not pay for it and thus our 2ndary - United Health care that we pay dearly for - would not pay for it if Medicare deemed it unnecessary. She said it fell under the category or "custodial care", and that was my responsibility. The cost for any paid care here is $22.50/hour and up - I called before he went in the hospital. Family? Friends? Yes, Pearly4, it is hard to ask....I have told my son and his family of the problem, and their suggestion was the iphone fix. My couple of friends have large responsbilities of their own.....last night, I slept for 4 hours and woke up to find him still in the same position - I put him in his recliner to start last night - propped pillows all around him and he said he was ok. So after the 4 hour check on the phone screen, I went back to sleep, praying for his protection. I woke up 2 hours later and the screen was blank....I ran into his room to find that he had gotten up, disconnected his phone from the charger and the position I had set it in to be able to "watch" him, and was playing solitare on it!!!! The good news is that he was OK - the bad news is that he made absolutely NO connection with why he should not have disconnected his phone from the charger and stopped the monitoring.......he looked at me dumbfounded when I said "Why did you stop the monitor?" He said, "I wanted to play solitare and could not sleep.". The good news is that my prayer was answered - he did not fall, and the catheter tubing was not crimped off anywhere. Will try something new tonight - only two more nights, then the catheter comes out.
THANK YOU again for your responses - you guys are my lifeline when I think I am drowning. Love and Hugs to both of you!!

Pearly4 - I am soooo happy you are still with us after your Mother passed. When I saw a post the other day with "Emma" on it, I was thrilled to see her back on the Forum, but then saw that it was from 2011....do you know what happened with her? I seem to remember she had become ill and could not spend time here anymore....did she ever come back? If so, I missed it.

By Pearly4 On 2013.08.04 18:05
Thank you for your comments - I confess to lurking, not always regularly, but I was so impressed with the site and the people here - the offers of help and support - I can't stay away permanently. Its nice to be told I can still offer help occasionally.

I'm sorry to say I don't know anything about Emma's current situation. So many unfinished stories here......

By parkinit On 2013.08.05 23:45
dkleinert -
Have you tried contacting nursing schools, etc., for extra help. This is how I have found several excellent caregivers for nighttime (students studying for LPN or RN) and you could probably get them at a discounted rate. Even if it is every OTHER night, this may help you immensely!


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