On Monday night, I noticed added confusion. She said she is so tired. She seemed dragged down. I was sad, as a daughter might be when she noticed a downturn in the level of dementia. On Wednesday, Helen and I picked her up as usual for our exercise class. She said she didn't think she would make it through the exercises - she hadn't been feeling well.
"Not feeling well? How?"
"Oh, I'll tell you later."
During the exercise class, I began to smell the strong odor of urine. I wondered if it was her but she seemed to be doing the exercises as usual, no sign of distress, so I decided it must be someone else.
We went for lunch and Helen and I didn't notice any smell of urine. It was nice to be in our familiar restaurant where everyone knows Mom, they coddle her and tease her. She likes it there and it is like home to her.
During lunch, Mom tells me that she is having a terrible time with her bladder. She woke up through the night and it was like her whole bladder was burning. She has trouble getting the urine out, she's dribbling. She wears a light pad for protection of bladder leaks.
I immediately phoned the Doctor and told him I thought Mom had a urinary tract infection. They sent a nurse out that afternoon and Cipro was prescribed. The pharmacy delivered the pills to Mom.
I was at a dinner that evening and got to her place just after seven. When I opened the door, I was hit in the face with a strong smell of urine. I told her and asked her to change her pad. The smell went away immediately. I guess she had worn the same pad all day and with the infection going on, it smelled worse than usual.
She was distressed, feverish, had not gone upstairs for supper. I put the pills into her blister pack and she took one that evening.
The next morning, she is feeling much better. Amazing how fast those work.
Also amazing how a urinary tract infection can cause such confusion in a senior with some dementia. Boy, I know what to watch for now!
But what if there was no family caregiver. She had difficulty telling me what the problem was, fumbled around with words and a lot of "Oh, I don't know".
But, celebrate the day! And Cipro!