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.
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