During Lyn's evaluation with the TEASC team at the University earlier this month, one descriptor which was used a couple of times was "atypical."  It was stated that Lyn's Sundowning symptoms are atypical because she gets agitated when she's out of her environment in the evenings but is calm at home.  This thought has stuck with me a bit because we don't think of her symptoms as atypical.

For us, Lyn's pattern of symptoms matches those exhibited by my maternal grandmother.  Grandma also started showing agitation and a desire to return home if she was out in the late afternoon or evening.  If she was to go out for dinner, she made sure it was an early dinner at about 4pm.  She stopped going to Mass in the evenings and stated she preferred morning Mass.  However, if she was in her home, she was calm and comfortable.  Then it changed.

One evening, after dark, Mom received a call from her eldest brother demanding to know what was going on.    (At this time, Grandma was mostly bedridden and Mom was her primary care provider.  She did that while also maintaining a full-time job.)  Mom commented that nothing was going on... "Why?"

It turned out that Grandma had called him to ask for his help.  She was scared.  She had been kidnapped and didn't know where she was.  She was very worried because her clothes were there and she didn't know what that meant.  She needed him to come get her and take her home.  

Mom assured her brother that Grandma was in her room watching TV just like she did each night before going to sleep.  Mom also assured him that she would go in and check on her.  They hung up and Mom went straight back to Grandma's room.  She was in her bed watching TV with the lights off.  Mom asked her if she was OK as she turned on the lights.  Grandma stated that she was fine and Mom says her body language indicated she was relaxed and comfortable.  Mom asked if she had spoken to the brother recently and Grandma stated she had not.  Grandma had no recollection of a call she had just placed.  From that point on, Grandma became agitated in the evenings in her own home.  Eventually, she had to live in a small nursing home where she received excellent care until her death three years later.

Lyn hasn't had that change yet.  However, we do anticipate it.


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