By the time of his admission he’d been on the steroids for six months, to counter swelling caused by brain metastases. His wife had stopped nursing at the GP practice in order to care for him.
He had been deteriorating in recent weeks and could no longer be reasoned with.
We couldn’t talk to him, he just stared at us blankly when we asked him questions, his wife had to answer for him.
She described him sitting on the bed eating mandarins spitting the seeds out onto the carpet.
She said that he would be horrified if he knew what he had been doing, as he was the tidiest person she knew and he had always been house proud.
The worst thing that had happened was after he had urinated on the bedroom floor having mistaken it for the toilet. He then slipped on his own urine and fell to the floor, luckily he did not hurt himself badly.
I asked if he had any seizures. She said that at times she had seen his arm going rigid, and then he seemed to be even less responsive. She had thought of seizures, but there was no jerking. She had mentioned it to the Oncologists but they had not looked into it any further.
I was intrigued by this. Could it be non-convulsive status epilepticus – repeated ongoing seizures without convulsions leading to decreased consciousness? His wife agreed to a trial of anti-seizure medication. If the medication didn’t make any difference we would stop it.Continue reading