Sliding backward

2 days after her last appointment with Dr N, I got call from mum. She had gotten worse. She couldn't think, head was heavy, face was stiff, she wanted to scream  and she was afraid she might take her life. Said that the day before she scratched herself with fork. I didn't know what to do except to tell her either she go to GH's A&E then or wait until a few days later for her appoint with Dr N. She didn't respond and so I offered a third choice i.e. I texted Dr N.

Dr N (via text messages and phone call) advised us to admit her to Penang GH's psychiatric ward. She contacted her ex-colleague there, briefing him about my mum. She asked us to bring mum to the GH's A&E, telling them that we had been asked to admit my mum and that mum's psychiatrist had spoken with the geriatric psychiatrist.

I was still in PJ then and would later be driven by Ban to Butterworth that night. Meanwhile, my sister and my dad brought my mum to GH's A&E. It took like 6 hours before she was admitted @@. When the resident doctor attended my mum, he was keen to get her agreement to be admitted. Some background: my mum had bad experience at Seremban GH's psychiatric ward, where nurses were rude and she was housed together with "crazier" patients.

This resident doctor assured her that the nurses here were nice and that "crazier" patients were housed separately. I heard that he was a nice doctor. Unfortunately, when my mum first steped through the "gate" of the ward, she was already scolded loudly by a nurse there to walk faster. Even in normal state, my mum couldn't walk fast, what more in such a dazed state.

Dad: Hey, how can you be so rough with a sick patient?
Nurse: If you don't like, you can get out.
Dad: Sick patient has to get in to get well, but you shouldn't be so rough on them.

Something like that. So my mum was even more anxious after that and wanted to get out. My sister waited to speak with the resident doctor, who was aghast at the nurse's behaviour and terribly embarrassed about it. Apparently, for psychiatric ward, once paper was signed, patient must stay for at least a night (if I'm not mistaken) and so my mum had no choice.

However, the resident doctor did the following: he got another nurse (who was quite nice at the start) to attend to mum and, someone, prevent the rude nurse from attending mum. Apparently it worked.

That night itself, they replaced Alprazolam with Lorazepam but, clearly, it didn't work because she slept only for an hour. Otherwise, she was pacing about, sometimes wanted to bang her head against the wall and punched the wall. She calmed down when the doctor talked to her but back to those actions again once he was gone.

So the next day, the team of doctors (geriatric doctor, HOD and resident doctor) decided to reinstate Alprazolam but at much lower dosage i.e. 0.5mg, increased Olanzapine back to 7.5mg and to increase Epilim to 200mg day 400mg night. We were told that she should stop taking Tramadol (as prolonged use would increase her "blurness") and just to rely on Gabapentin and paracetamol to manage her pain from fibromyalgia.

Future blood tests would test the absorption efficiency of the medicine.
4 Responses
  1. William Says:

    A trying time. Hope the doctors will find a better formula, and that there will be a conducive environment that your mum can get better. * hugs *


  2. Jaded Jeremy Says:

    William,
    Thank you so much for your words.


  3. Twilight Man Says:

    My father had most advanced dementia and I knew nothing could be done except to bear with his condition using the best instincts. I refused to bring him for more brain scans and brain tests as recommended by the govt hospital's doctor which also meant going to psychiatrist ward where I have heard much horror stories. I do understand that most medicines have side effects that caused the patients to suffer mentally with bouts of severe depressions. A close doctor friend told me that patients were often been treated like unintentional guinea pigs to test the medicine's strengths. So I was advised to start by giving half or even quarter dosage to check if there would be bad reactions. It worked better.

    I pray for your continued strengths and your mum's recovery.


  4. Jaded Jeremy Says:

    Twilight Man,
    Thank you.