37 days ago my Mother had an acute lithium overdose. She quickly developed uncontrollable neuro-motor movement and extreme confusion. Within a few hours she was placed on a ventilator. I have been told two different stories. 1. To calm the motor movement she required so much sedation she needed the vent to continue to breath. 2. The lithium caused parts of the brain to loose oxygen and this hypoxia was causing the motor movement and confusion. She was on the vent 8 days and a feeding tube was placed. As soon as she was conscious (~day 5) there was extreme agitation and constant movement with very little sleep. Every now and then she would say a word or give you a smile. Only moments of lucidity. On day number 28 we found her living will which stated she did not want to be on a feeding tube. On day 30 it was removed and she was placed in hospice. On day 33 she started talking and was much more lucid at times. She regained the ability to swallow and asked for water and food. She been eating about 5 teaspoons of apple sauce a day. She is agitated, hallucinates, panics, gets scared, cries and only sleeps about 2 hours a day. Even on 100/mcg/hr of Fentanyl, and doses of morphien and Ativan. She is VERY drug tolerant. Yesterday they started her on Halidol and she has been sleeping ever since. They are going to slowly reduce the Meds and see if the behaviors return. I have been told lithium overdoses can be like strokes and the brain experiences permanent damage.
Here is my concern. If Mom recovers to the point she will be an invalid and in a nursing home her depression will be so overwhelming I can't imagine doing this to her.
Does anyone have experience with lithium overdose? Advice?