Dear Help. My mother-in-law is an alcoholic (about 6 drinks/day for about 50 years). She was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia on April 1 and was immediately transferred to ICU in a very compromised breathing condition. Medical staff was informed of the alcoholism. She had to go on a ventilator for about two weeks as they treated the pneumonia. The whole time they had her on adenol (sp?) as well as other drugs to sedate her for the tubes in her. Upon extraction of the ventilator they took her off the adenol and it took her 6 days after that to open her eyes and be somewhat alert. Although she's moved out of ICU, she's still in hospital because of severe dementia. Her pneumonia is gone but she is very confused and angry. She's trying to pull out her feeding tubes and release her restraints. They cannot let her out because of this, and are still giving her drugs to sedate her.
We have a neurologist visiting her this week, but we wonder to what extent her alcoholism comes to play in her behavior now. Is there something the hospital docs may not know in treating her right now?
She wasn't a very pleasant person before, but she was independent and normal. At three weeks into the crisis, we wonder if this may be permanent condition that requires full-time assisted care, etc. Any thoughts or previous experiences would help. Thanks in advance... Chris