How To Deal With A Partner's Illness? And Did I Do Wrong?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 9:02 AM GMT
    It's 5:05 AM US Time on our East Coast. I've been up all night, fortified with caffeine.

    He started trembling slightly last night around 10. Not really feverish, maybe feeling a little warm. I took his temp, 99.7 F, not too bad. I started checking it every 30 minutes while he was awake. Afterwards every hour or so when he woke from dozing. I hugged him a bit in bed and the trembling became less. It was mainly his arms, and if I held them firmly the trembling, at times now increased and disturbing shaking, would stop. His respiration was also visibly elevated, which alarmed me.

    Not like him to tremble. I put all the necessary legal paperwork on a table near the front door, in case I had to take him to the hospital ER. It's all supposed to already be on file there, with me listed as 'Next of Kin' with full legal medical authority, as he has for me, but I trust & assume nothing. I'm gonna have that stuff with me. I also dressed to go out, still am, in case I had to react quickly, his wallet with ID and med card in my pocket, whether calling 911 or me driving, and had him put clothes on suitable for going out.

    He hates the thought of the ER, so I have to handle it carefully, as I have in the past. His temperature was rising, and my line was 102. If he reached that we were out the door. He got pretty close, but didn't hit it. Nor did he ever sweat or get delusional. I have myself when I got to around 105 in the past at home, with pneumonia.

    Right now he's a bit below 100 F. No trembling and he's feeling much better. Hopefully the crisis is passed. We have no idea what it was. Some bad food, or a quick virus, we dunno.

    A lotta stress, and a lotta wondering what I should do. This is not a guy in his 20s, 30s, or even 40s. He's 82, has had 2 major strokes (miraculously with no residuals), a near heart attack resulting in open heart surgery, and more assorted medical issues than I want to list. He needs more than the usual attention when he becomes ill.

    So did I do it wrong? I'm still unsure. When we relate this to local friends, probably Friday because today is now Thursday and I think we'll stay home, we're both exhausted, I'll be told all the things I did wrong and how stupid I was. And maybe that's correct. I value the opinions of guys here, except the dedicated haters, of course.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 9:16 AM GMT
    So did I do it wrong?
    you were wonderful.

    sounds like it is all good now. Make a doctor's appointment, see if they can figure if it was an infection.

    did you guys eat out or anything different

    rest well
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 9:28 AM GMT
    OK, just checked him again, he was awake. Temp is still hovering around 100 F. Obviously that concerns me. But the chances of getting him to see his primary doctor on short notice today are virtually nil. I'll try anyway.

    He's feeling much better, though. No trembling, and respiration appears normal. We both agreed we could take off our street clothes. Well, I've got my shirt and boxers still on, with my other stuff at my side. Old Army habit, I can throw my clothes back on in a flash if needed.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 9:47 AM GMT
    pellaz said
    So did I do it wrong?
    you were wonderful.

    sounds like it is all good now. Make a doctor's appointment, see if they can figure if it was an infection.

    did you guys eat out or anything different

    rest well

    Thank you. We did eat a lunch at a place with a fairly new food operation today. He had a dish that I didn't, nor did our 3 friends. So that the other 4 of us would not have been affected.

    And then he made a pasta dish for himself around 7 tonight. That I didn't eat. He did tell me that he used some frozen hamburger meat with the sauce, that was at least a week old.

    Well, I gotta tell yah he's really careless with those things. He's always way off with his dates. When he says 1 week it could be 3. And his kitchen sanitation is dreadful, I'm always after him about it. But the kitchen is his exclusive domain, I'm not supposed to comment or criticize, or else I get my head bitten off.

    No one we've encountered in weeks appeared to have any illness. And I asked him if he had any insect bites, which he doesn't. We almost never see mosquitos where we live, but the Zika problem isn't that far from us in Miami.

    So we remain puzzled about what this could be. I've never seen him tremble before, nearly convulsively shake at one point. But it's totally over now, so it passed in what I would consider a short time.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Aug 18, 2016 3:32 PM GMT
    You did right. Do try to get him into his primary. You can always cancel if he starts getting better. Make sure he's on aspirin. The shaking is disturbing. Lots of fluids or better, crushed ice. Toast and tea.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11524

    Aug 18, 2016 4:19 PM GMT
    What could you have done differently?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 6:34 PM GMT
    rnch said
    What could you have done differently?

    I dunno. Why I ask. Just because I haven't thought of something doesn't mean there wasn't something I omitted. That I should know for next time. For me it's one of the ways I learn, when others tell me.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 7:24 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    You did right. Do try to get him into his primary. You can always cancel if he starts getting better. Make sure he's on aspirin. The shaking is disturbing. Lots of fluids or better, crushed ice. Toast and tea.

    Thanks. I did try calling his primary. No-go as I figured. I gave him aspirin, he already takes that for both heart and stroke. The coated kind to ease his stomach, and I doubled it. His temp has come down, yet still not quite normal. I continue to monitor.

    He insisted on going out to have something to eat. And meeting friends, our usual routine. He looks great. I wish I did, I look like hell. Or MORE like hell than I usually do.

    At our second place right now, I'm on the iPad. We'll be going to the supermarket next, his favorite activity. With perishables we'll have to go home directly. Good.

    And I'm running on emergency reserves. I was awake continuously from dawn yesterday until 6 AM today, 24 hours, when he began sleeping soundly. Woke about 8, all my sleep for 2 days when this one is done, not something I can do very often at my age. I'm hoping I can crash tonight.
  • Destinharbor

    Posts: 4433

    Aug 18, 2016 7:33 PM GMT
    Take a nap. You're probably going to be restless at night.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 8:04 PM GMT
    Destinharbor said
    Take a nap. You're probably going to be restless at night.

    Yeah, certainly restless if his temp hasn't gone back to normal. And now it's off to the supermarket with him, that I hate.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 18, 2016 9:50 PM GMT
    He did it!!! We just got home from the supermarket and he was 98.6 F !!!!!!!!!!!

    The nominal normal body temp, and what he ordinarily is. I happen to run a little cooler myself, more around 98.4, just the way I am.

    I'll check him again later tonight. I'm just glowing. Now I think I can sleep tonight. icon_biggrin.gif

    My thanks to the guys here who said nice & supportive things. Last night I was really in full tension mode. But I wouldn't let him see it, and perhaps make things worse. Outwardly I go dead calm, virtually emotionless. My voice becomes as flat as a telephone digital voice answering machine, like a robot. My Army crisis mode.

    When his shivers started to become serious shakes, almost like convulsions (that I've had myself with my epilepsy) my hand was reaching for the telephone to dial 911. But as I held and hugged him tightly in bed the shaking diminished. After an hour of continuously hugging him he calmed totally. Suggesting to me it was primarily a muscular reaction to his feverish condition, not fundamentally neurological in origin like a classic seizure. Whatever it was it passed.

    He's increasingly thinking this was a "self inflicted wound". He had put some ground hamburger into last night's pasta sauce, that I did not eat. He says he made the hamburger a week ago, but his sense of time is dreadful. When he says a single week it could be 3 or more.

    And yesterday I thought he said it had been in the freezer. Today he said no, it was just in the refrigerator. That had been out at room temperature while he was cooking back then, whenever that was, and he didn't use it all. So he put the remainder of the meat in the refrigerator afterwards.

    OK, I'm gonna have to start monitoring him more closely in the kitchen. He doesn't want me or anyone remotely near his kitchen, but I'm afraid I'm gonna have to put an end to that. We're gonna have some battles over that for sure.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 2:48 AM GMT
    WestCoastJock said
    It does sound like he is suffering from dementia based on your description of him. Though it is a little difficult to tell because you made this topic all about you rather than him.

    No, Doctor, no dementia. He's quick, bright & smart, with a good memory. He can just be a little careless with food storage, I suspect reflecting the pre-refrigeration era of his mother and grandmother, from whom he learned Italian cooking as a kid.

    He cleans the kitchen very assiduously, and it was from him I learned about some dishwashers that have a special sanitize feature. We're on our second one of those washers. But he doesn't seem to appreciate that food can spoil naturally if not protected and quickly preserved. A curious contradiction.

    And we don't even know if he actually did have food poisoning, and from his own cooking. The cause remains unknown. That's one of his own guesses. And kinda open-minded and flexible thinking on his part, that he might consider blaming himself. Again, perhaps not a typical sign of someone with dementia.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 3:03 AM GMT
    Do they offer assisted suicide to put him out of misery incase it worsens?

    My uncle died last night and my cousin gave him hourly shots of morphine that seems to
    quicken death.

    He's gone now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 3:13 AM GMT
    2BFree said
    Do they offer assisted suicide to put him out of misery incase it worsens?

    My uncle died last night and my cousin gave him hourly shots of morphine that seems to
    quicken death.

    He's gone now.

    Sorry about your loss. But in case what worsens? Was that directed at me and my husband? He has nothing chronic, except back and foot pain. As I also do.

    To my knowledge Florida does not permit assisted suicide. Not needing that, we haven't investigated the option.

    We've each been given morphine and narcotics pills associated with post surgery and some high-pain temporary situations. We insisted on being removed from them as soon as possible, to avoid addiction and other side effects. We don't want a Rush Limbaugh reaction. We've been sent home from the hospital with bottles of narcotic pain pills and they expired without ever being used.

    Silly story: My husband was in terrible pain from arterial clotting in his right leg, which brought him within a few hours of amputation. The final surgery attempt after 6 days of trying worked, putting him in an ICU unit for 6 days, and he's got the fully-functional leg today.

    OK, the silly part. He was still in a general hospital room, on a morphine IV drip. Really pretty much out of it. But he was still using his cell phone with family & friends. And as I'm sitting there he was telling someone:

    "They had to cancel my surgery this morning because I have low pockets."

    "NO!" I said. "You have a low PLATELET blood count! You're not Captain Kangaroo with low pockets!"

    Today he hardly remembers any of those 12 days, 6 in ICU, and what he thinks he remembers is all mixed up. No, we don't want that stuff given to us except as a last resort, and for as briefly a time as possible.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 3:26 AM GMT
    I wish you were taking care of me when am sick! Am still a Summer Chicken (Wouldn't be right to call myself a Spring Chicken.)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 3:38 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    2BFree said
    Do they offer assisted suicide to put him out of misery incase it worsens?

    My uncle died last night and my cousin gave him hourly shots of morphine that seems to
    quicken death.

    He's gone now.

    In case what worsens? Was that directed at me and my husband? He has nothing chronic, except back and foot pain. As I also do.

    To my knowledge Florida does not permit assisted suicide. Not needing that, we haven't investigated the option.


    Oh ok,

    I figured this was something life threatening.
    Foot and backs will heal up

    Why do you need to tell us?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 19, 2016 4:16 AM GMT
    2BFree said
    I figured this was something life threatening.
    Foot and backs will heal up

    Why do you need to tell us?

    Read the OP that begins this thread. He got suddenly sick at home at night, and it was kinda scary. When you live with a guy you may have to deal with these things.

    The most difficult for me was about 13 years ago. My late partner started gagging at night, choking on his own vomit and blood. I had to clear his airway with my bare fingers, and I didn't have rubber gloves. I knew he was HIV+, and I was in danger of him biting me. He was still having trouble breathing, and after dialing 911 I started giving him mouth-to-mouth.

    But then some 6 years earlier I also had to give CPR to my own father. Consider doing that with your own Dad to keep him alive until the EMTs arrive.

    Sometimes you gotta do these things with BFs & partners, guys. If not CPR then dealing with other sudden medical problems. It's fine when you play around and mainly trick. But when you start spending serious time together you're moving into the big leagues. And the older the other guy is the more you better be ready to handle these issues when they happen.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 23, 2016 3:16 AM GMT
    Well look on the bright side.....compared to Hillary Clinton, he's the picture of health and vitality.

    Unlike frail Hillary, no falls....no hacking cough...no dementia.

    150816hillary.jpg
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 23, 2016 4:44 AM GMT
    woodsmen said
    I wish you were taking care of me when am sick! Am still a Summer Chicken (Wouldn't be right to call myself a Spring Chicken.)

    Getting back to this thread, after the haters invaded. Thanks for your kind words. As most other guys here gave.

    I'd like to believe I'm a good caregiver. It took the Army to teach me I was a selfish, privileged, spoiled brat. Sorta like a "Private Benjamin" story. I've tried all my life to turn that around.

    And frankly, when you're with the man you love, it doesn't, or shouldn't, take any effort. You just do it automatically, and instinctively know what to do. I think gay guys are naturally especially good at that.

    And he takes good care of me, too. This is not a one-way story, all about Bob. It's about him, as well. After he got better last week I simply collapsed. Couldn't attend a luncheon I really wanted to do, but told him to go without me. Friends from Palm Springs were here visiting, and he was especially planning on it.

    I hadda kick him out of here, he wanted to stay at my side, but I couldn't be the cause of him missing this. He did go, and had a great time. He did bring me back a lovely lobster bisque, almost more a chowder, that I was able to eat 2 days later.

    I stayed in bed another day before I was able to go out. He continued to look after me. I now think we both had some kind of virus that he got first. I'm fine now, and so is he. But it was almost as bad as the flu.

    Speaking of which, we were notified a couple days ago that this season's flu shots are now available. We'll get them shortly. Flu at our ages can be doubly miserable, and even deadly. We just wanna make sure we're over this thing first, which is what they advise.