ANSWER: Foaming at the Mouth. QUESTION: What do you get when you cross quiet morning hours, with a dementia patient who’s forgotten how to swallow her own spit?
Not kidding. Upon entering her room this morning, that is what I saw: white foam, overflowing from her mouth, down her cheek, and pooled on the pillow. Holy Saliva, Batman!
Of course, it’s not convulsions or anything—just the result of gargling for two hours. She was fine once I cleaned, elevated, hydrated, and fed her. But, yeah: If you want adventure in your daily routine, there’s nothing quite like a Death Rattle.
No, she’s not near death. (That we know of.) It’s just spit. (Man, what’s with these blogs this week? It’s coming out both ends!)
‘Wanna hear something else creepy?
[You decide. …I’ll wait.]
On a web search for “Foaming at the mouth”, guess what came up? Rabies. Okay, a note: I’ve been Effie’s custodian for four years. She’s been nowhere near a rabid animal, and has not been bitten. But Woah, it’s a little eerie the similarity of the symptoms. First of all, the word rabies literally means madness. In addition to “large quantities of saliva” get this: “…partial paralysis, cerebral dysfunction, anxiety, insomnia, confusion, agitation, abnormal behavior, paranoia, terror, hallucinations, progressing to delirium.”
Hey, hey, there. Put your gun back in the holster: there are symptoms of rabies that she does not have, Okay?
As today progressed, it’s looking like this will be chronic; I expect hospice can prescribe a medicine to reduce the effect. But the racket coming from that bedroom, Boy Howdy, I’m not gonna lie—it’s nasty. So bad, in fact, for today’s blog I could not bring myself to call her the little lady.
In the back of my mind, I’m picturing some technician showing up to teach me how to use a suction hose…
Okay, that’s it: I’m going have to set up a blog category called, “Really Gross – Enter at Your Own Risk.”