Ed­i­tor’s Let­ter

Reader's Digest (Canada) - - Contents -

A COU­PLE OF YEARS AGO, my mother spent close to two weeks in a Mon­treal hospi­tal fol­low­ing an op­er­a­tion. De­spite some ini­tial com­pli­ca­tions, her con­di­tion im­proved over the first few days. She was char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally sweet and wholly de­ter­mined to re­turn home as soon as pos­si­ble. She did ev­ery­thing the doc­tors and nurses asked of her, with pa­tience and hu­mour. My mother was well on the road to re­cov­ery—then some­thing changed. What fol­lowed was as con­fus­ing to me as it was to her: she be­came dis­ori­ented and for­got what day it was or who had just vis­ited her. She lost her ap­petite and her mo­ti­va­tion to do the ex­er­cises that were help­ing her heal. The most dif­fi­cult part was that she just wasn’t her­self.

I hounded the med­i­cal staff in search of an­swers, but no one could ex­plain th­ese changes. It wasn’t un­til I read Syd­ney Loney’s “State of Con­fu­sion” (page 56) that I fi­nally found a di­ag­no­sis that seemed to fit: hospi­tal-ac­quired delir­ium. I hope this story pro­vides re­as­sur­ance for read­ers who have ex­pe­ri­enced sim­i­lar sit­u­a­tions, and that its in­sights help pro­tect pa­tients dur­ing their hospi­tal stays.

This is­sue, our cover story (“How to Avoid Iden­tity Theft,” page 44) is also fo­cused on keep­ing Cana­di­ans safe. Do check out our smart strate­gies for pro­tect­ing your per­sonal in­for­ma­tion from con­niv­ing thieves.

Send an email to do­minique@rd.ca

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