Thursday, May 9, 2024

On that Friday, early in the morning, the woman drove her husband to Danbury Hospital, the closest emergency room to their small Connecticut town. He entered the hospital on his own, unaware that it would be the last time he would walk unassisted for weeks.

After being admitted to the hospital, neurology was consulted and conducted various tests including blood tests, CT scans, an MRI, an EEG, and a spinal tap. Despite some abnormalities found, none of them explained his rapid deterioration in both mental and physical health. There was no indication of infection or tumor, no evidence of seizures, and his vitamin levels were within the normal range. Furthermore, the gastritis he had been suffering from was responding well to medication.

Although he displayed symptoms of stiffness and tremors typically seen in Parkinson’s patients, his rapid decline was unusual. While Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was considered due to its symptoms of rapid deterioration, tests did not show any signs of the rare disease. His wife was concerned about his high dosage of Pepto-Bismol, but tests revealed that his levels were normal.

After five days of investigations yielding no conclusive results, the decision was made to transfer him to a neurologist at Yale University. While not requiring hospitalization, it was agreed that he was too weak to go home and was sent to a short-term rehabilitation center for care and potential recovery.

Upon arriving at CareOne’s River Glen Health Care Center in Southbury, Conn, in the evening, the nurse on duty, Nicole DiCenso, found something peculiar about the patient. Despite his outward appearance of health and strength, he struggled to move even with assistance. His drastic decline in mobility contradicted his wife’s previous reports of him walking significant distances just weeks earlier. It seemed as though his energy had been depleted, leaving his muscles inactive despite their presence.

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