Addendum to Previous Post: Time Did Tell

In yesterday’s post, I talked about my looking for patterns in Kate’s behavior. I was motivated to talk about that because she had an unusually talkative day on Tuesday. She was agitated, and I resorted to melatonin to get her to sleep that night. Predictably, she was very tired the next day. Yesterday started out like a somewhat typical day except for the fact that she was awake at 8:30, several hours earlier than normal. In my final sentence, I suggested that “time will tell” if Tuesday’s talkativeness/agitation was a unique happening or the beginning of another pattern.

As it turned out, yesterday was not quite like Tuesday; however, around 3:00 p.m. she became talkative but did not appear particularly agitated. At 3:30, I left for a residents’ meeting. When I returned at 4:30, Kate was talking with agitation similar to that on Tuesday. The caregiver and I decided not to go to the dining room. I brought our dinner back to our apartment. She began to calm down a bit while she was eating.

I thought we might be home free, but she started talking again as we got her ready for bed and continued talking after the caregiver left. Before 9:00, she seemed somewhat agitated. As I had done the other night, I gave her a melatonin. It had no effect. Just before 10:00, I gave her ½ of a 25mg tablet of Seroquel (not crushed) in a spoonful of yogurt. She swallowed the yogurt and spit out the pill. (These tablets are very small, so small that I was unsure I would be able to split them when her doctor first prescribed them. I thought she might swallow it uncrushed.) Then I crushed a whole tablet and mixed it in yogurt. She took it without a problem and was asleep within twenty minutes, and, as usual, she slept through the night and is still sleeping at 9:25.

What’s in store for today? I’m not predicting. I’m just going to wait and see. She should be rested after resting all day Wednesday and sleeping well that night and last night. The focus of my attention will not be on the time she wakes, but her incessant talking during the day and especially at bedtime. By itself, talking would not be an issue. What concerns me is the agitation that makes the talking so out of control.

During the past year, Kate’s behavior has seemed like she might be experiencing sundowning. I haven’t been ready to say that is it because her symptoms haven’t always appeared in the late afternoon or early evening. One of the two occasions this week began much earlier in the day. Nevertheless, I would say that her behavior appears to match what I have interpreted as symptoms of sundowning. If so, I will probably see this again. One thing I know. Tuesday’s talkativeness was not unique. Whether or not this becomes a pattern still remains to be seen. Once again, time will tell.