Covid with Alzheimer’s–UGH

Yep, Ralph got Covid. And luckily it has not been life threatening. But the last few weeks have been “interesting” to say the least. In part because Ralph was the last to fall from our family outbreak:

Several Thursdays ago (I’ve lost track of time) Granddaughter A had her high school graduation Ralph did NOT attend the ceremony or celebratory dinner. I did, along with her three parents and various other relatives. It was a lovely day. Over the weekend A attended graduation parties, then spent a special evening with my daughter and son-in-law 

That Monday A tested positive. Not terribly sick.  

On Tuesday my daughter tested positive. Very sick but went on anti-viral meds which helped

On Wednesday my son-in-law tested positive.  Very sick but went on anti-viral meds which helped

On Friday the one-and-a-half year-old tested positive. Not too sick, but he couldn’t really tell us.

On Saturday Ralph tested positive. Very sick. But like the baby, he really couldn’t articulate well.

Everyone but the baby is fully vaccinated. Everyone but the baby masks. The two left standing, five-year-old  mini-Ralph and I, are still wearing masks around each other; we’re basically not allowed to be around anyone else in the family until tomorrow. 

The thing is, Ralph had not been anywhere, and once A was positive, precautions wen into high gear—masks, washing, and quarantining. Over and over I told Ralph to stay in his room and never never to leave it without wearing his mask. The only people he came in contact with at all were me, Mini-Ralph and the baby since  they had to stay with us once their parents and sister got sick. And I don’t think he was ever around them for more than a few minutes at a time before I shewed him back to his lair. But Ralph did wonder out of his room unmasked occasionally. While I always caught him it was not always immediate and those few minutes mattered. That baby who was not masked was the innocent culprit. He is too hard to resist. I know I snuggled him. And Ralph must have too. But I was never unmasked. That might be the difference—or it might be pure luck.

In any case,  Ralph’s Covid has been difficult for him because he doesn’t understand exact and has complicated life in general for the rest of us, especially my daughter the nurse practitioner who has basically banished me and Mini-Ralph to the second floor (a bit of a problem given I’m still not quite as strong as I’d like on my new hip) and taken over Ralph’s care.

Fortunately over her Covid symptoms (but still masked), my daughter has been sleeping on the living room couch and caring for Ralph while her husband, also post symptoms, cares for the baby at night. They are also back to their jobs, taking turns keeping the baby during the day using up PTO. (A is fine by now, and back at her job.)

Ralph went on the anti-viral meds as soon as he tested positive, but whether they are helping or not is impossible to tell. I haven’t actually seen him, except from a half closed doorway. I do talk to him regularly but 

  1. He doesn’t remember how he felt the day, or hour, before so there is no point of reference. He knows he’s sick but keeps forgetting it is Covid and will ask me what is wrong with him.
  2. He always has a cold this time of year and has been stuffed up for weeks and weeks—I was testing him regularly even before the family outbreak just in case. He is if anything less cold-like than he was, but he is thoroughly listless.
  3. He embraces his listlessness, which breeds more listlessness. So even as other Covid symptoms abate, his lack of energy continues because it always is there. His favorite activity is sleep under the best of circumstances.
  4. The anti-Covid medication gave him stomach issues that others I know also suffered but could deal. Ralph had more issues because he is so passive about his personal habits under the same best circumstances as above. Or because he had to stop taking some of his normal drugs.

I am taking over Ralph from my daughter on Sunday—and sending Mini-Ralph home to his folks. Ralph will be past the infectious stage by then, although masks will be worn. I am a bit nervous but also ready. I am also thinking that barely over two years ago, just before our move to New Orleans, he had to be hospitalized with a blood infection; afterwards his cognitive skills declined sharply and never full returned to their pre-infection level.

I am a little worried.

10 thoughts on “Covid with Alzheimer’s–UGH

  1. So sorry to hear Alice and I hope you manage to stay well. I am glad to hear from you though. It’s been a while. Down here in Aus Covid is running rampant but everyone is pretending the pandemic is over. I feel like it’s just a matter of time that one or both of us get it. We are still masking up and trying to stay safe and spending a lot of time at home. Given it is winter, that’s not hard as it is freezing. On other matters, my partner just got up and dressed (it’s the Sunday of a long weekend) expecting his support worker to come. Starting to lose track of the days. I guess it is what it is but it’s still a shock. Stay well x

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    1. Thanks for your concern. Interested in your comment about tracking the days. It seems different capacities last or disappear for each person with Alzheimer’s. Ralph’s sense of a calendar time has been gone for years, but in other ways he still is, or seems, cognitively competent. Yet when slippage occurs in any area that seemed okay, it is always a shock, isn’t it.

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  2. Goodness… so very sorry. We’ve started wearing masks in stores and when I went to the post office I had on a mask but the clerks weren’t wearing theirs so I took mine off but was never closer than at least 8′ from anyone. Hoping Ralph gets better soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wishing you strength and good luck with the weeks ahead. It certainly is a an additional challenge caring for a person with dementia when they are ill. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

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