Mother's illness is progressing...

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wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 11/30/2008 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Everyone,
 
My mother began having symtoms of dementia or alzheimer's about six years ago and during this time
it has progressed.  She sleeps most of the time
now and only gets up to sit at the table for a while.
I try to get her out once a week, but it's harder
getting her ready as she is very slow. Also, she takes
baby steps and going in and out of someplace takes a lot of time.  If we take her to Walmart, we use one of their wheel chairs and push her around.  She weighs around 88 lbs.  Her normal weight is around 110.  My brother is disabled and lives with her and takes such good care of her.  Mom is 85 and my brother is 60.  He does not drive because of an eye disease, so he takes a bus everywhere, shopping, etc. or I take him.  One day my brother came home from the store and mother asked him who he was, but most of the time
she knows who he is and she knows who I am.  I think
that is because we are with her more than anyone else.
She remembers her childhood and things that happened
back then and can remember some other things also.
Her short term memory is very bad.  If I tell her we are going to see my sister, she will ask me about four more times over a period of ten minutes where we are going again.  Do the things I have written sound more like dementia or alzheimers?  We are not sure what she has.
She takes a pill daily her doctor gave her which is supposed to help her memory and I believe it has somewhat. Does anyone know any vitamins that might help her?  The other day my brother put down something on the table for her to eat and she asked what it was?
She didn't know it was food? I don't think this has happened before.  about a year or so before this happened to my mother, she was very ill and we noticed that she was losing weight and was very nervous and just not herself at all.  We couldn't get her to go to the doctor and when we finally did, after some tests, the doctor told us that she had an overactive thyroid.  She had to take a radio-active pill which was made for her by a radiation oncologist for her size and this knocked her thyroid out and then the doctor gave her pills to build it back up. Her thyroid is normal now, but I have often wondered if this could have had anything to do with the dementia or alzheimer's coming on mother.  She has two sisters who are 86 and 77 and they are fine.  Her mother passed away at 96 and she was fine.  There is no family history of anything like this in her family.  Would appreciate any input.  Also,  I have heard there are different stages of alzheimers and I wonder what stage mother would be in.  Would appreciate any response. 
 
Thank you,
Wiggyann

Post Edited (wiggyann) : 12/2/2008 1:19:53 AM (GMT-7)


Martha's Vineyard
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 1119
   Posted 12/3/2008 1:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Did your mother spend time outdoors? did she garden? did she have a pet that went in and out of the house? what state do you live it
how quickly did all of these things start with her? when was the last time that she was well? and do you remember her getting a flu?
marie
2004 in Martha's Vineyard me and my two daughters then 11 mos and 6 all got Lyme Disease. This was only known to us because we found the tiny ticks on us and we got very ill. My dog also got lyme and he went lame.
We have fought it for 4 years to no avail.
We all got it again this summer is Texas.
I am now in treatment in Scottsdale Arizona at Envita.

"The eyes cannot see for for what the mind does not know."


wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/3/2008 2:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Marie,

My mother was not much of an outdoor person because she worked all of her life and ran a home besides. She only had a pet once for several years after my dad passed away.
Her illness began around six years ago and yes, she has had the flu and also gets flu shots every year.

We first noticed that something was wrong when she was about 79, and was driving home from one of her sisters. She somehow ended up in a town over half an hour away. We received a call from the police telling us that mother was lost and they had her at the police station there. This was after one a.m. in the morning and my brother-in-law went and picked her up. Evidently, she was confused and drove past her apartment building and somehow ended up on a highway.

After that, my brother who is legally blind and lives with her
noticed that when she cooked, she would put ingredients in that didn't belong and leave some out that did and she had never done anything like this before. So, we knew that something was
wrong and over the years her illness has progressed. Once last year, she told my brother that she wanted to take the trash out and was determined to do so. My brother watched her from the window and when she got outside on the walk, she looked around and he could tell she didn't know where to go so he went out and got her. She stays in the house and never goes out of the apartment unless I take her or my two aunts will take her somewhere. But she sleeps a lot now.

When her sisters come over they sit and talk, but mother never says anything. She just sits there and appears to listen. I know she understands everything I say. She may ask me to repeat something several times, but she knows what I 'm saying. She doesn't know a lot of our family the ones that she only sees on the holidays. When we are driving she will start singing songs that were popular when she was growing and first married.
And I always sing along with her.

I am not familiar with Lyme Disease. But it sounds serious. I hope your treatment goes well and you fully recover.

Thank you for posting,
Wiggyann

Red_34
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Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 12/3/2008 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not too familiar with the differences of dementia or Az but I just wanted to say that I know it's just horrible to see someone you love decline to any mental illness. Personally to me it sounds like she has Az though - but like I said, I don't know much about the differences. What medication did the doctor put her on?

My gma will do that in social situations too. Just sit and listen. The only time she will say something is if there is a lull in conversation. And sometimes what she says makes no sense at all but at least she is trying to communicate. My gma has either Az or dementia too and is currently living in an assisted living center after living with me for 4 years. I was unable to care for her anymore and I felt she was safer in the center. *Very rough choice for me which still bothers me btw*. But basically what her doctor told me is that I have to stop thinking of her as an adult now. Sure, treat her as such but her whole mental status is that of a child now. A wayward child maybe! :)

I applaud your brothers efforts taking care of your mother. That in itself speaks volumes. And you sound like an awesome daughter as well just by the fact that you are here trying to find advice about your mother.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
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wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/3/2008 11:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Sherry for your post :-)

Mother takes aricept and it seems like it has helped her.

Bless your heart for caring for your grandmother for four
years. It is extremely difficult to care for someone like that.
Mother sleeps most of the time or sits at the table and watches television. My brother keeps the channel on with all of the old
reruns such as I love Lucy and the Andy Griffith Show, and
mom likes to watch those. I do too. There are a lot better
than most of what's on television now.

He got her ready to go Walmart one day when I was picking them up and then he went to do something and mother put her old clothes back on. My brother has his own bedroom
with his bed and a recliner and television in it and mother is in the living room on the couch watching television in there in the evenings, he comes out to check on her sometimes, but that way, he sort of has a little place of his own to relax in.

My grandmother was in a nursing home for six years before she passed away at almost 96. My aunt was keeping her and then she broke her hip and that is when they put her in the nusing home. But mom, and both of my aunts were there every day
for six years to visit her. If they missed a day or went somewhere they had me to go out and stay with her in the evening for a few hours. My grandmother had something, but I don't think it was alzheimer's. She would tell her daughters
when they came that she had been to the store all morning shopping and things like that. But most of the time she was herself.

Wiggyann

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 12/3/2008 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
LOL I used to have all the old shows on for Gma too when she lived with me. I can personally tell you almost every single storyline of Gunsmoke! :) My Gma loves the westerns and I love Lucy. After watching these shows all day for 4 years you can bet that they don't go anywhere near my TV screen now. :)
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3 epidural injections-worked great!, OA
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Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/3/2008 6:57 PM (GMT -6)   
It does sound like she definitely has a dementia
'Now the thing is to find out how far she is gone and what the demetia is
'There are many types of AD
I have a few threads on all the ones that are more common
Like
Lewy Body
Vascular demitia......ect
read thru the threads
I will bump them up for you
Short temr memory is very common with any dementia as is slower actions on their part

I also looked after first Mom and then dad til both passed
It is a very hard but rewrading and unselfish thing you are doing for her
Most dementia and AD ppl revert back to childlike lives
THAT is the most difficult I went thru with both parents

Aricept is a GOOD med for most ppl with this dang disease and I am glad she is doing a bit better on it

I know I wish everyday that
'This was not the cause of us losing our loved ones our seniours
WE need plenty more research and and continued help in the fight against this DD

You and your brother are to be really acknowledged for doign what you's are doign for your Mom

** If you need to talk email me or add me to msn ...........

Alheimers society has alot of info for you as well

Alzinfo.Org is a great site as well to go to .........

Please know you's are not alone

God Bless you and your brother as well as your sweet Mom

LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
    CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            ~ FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE ~
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
..........LYN


wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/4/2008 2:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear Lyn,

I enjoyed reading your post and learned a lot also. I don't know what you meant by "bump them up for me" but would like to read the information you have about this illness.

I think it is amazing that you cared for both of your parents (at different times) through something like this. You must have gone
through a lot.

I was over at my mother and brother's tonight for awhile and mother got up. She had been dozing on the couch and she sat at the table with me. I talked and she listened. She doesn't say much. I try to always go over to her and hug her around the shoulders and kiss her on the forehead and cheek a couple of times while she's sitting at the table with me because I love her, but I know how important and healing affection is for everyone.

Short term memory is something that mom has. If I go over to take her somewhere, she will always say, "We will go in a minute," and seems to want to sit at the table for awhile. Then, she will ask me several more times what we are going to do while we are sitting there.
Also, she moves very slowly any more, as i mentioned before she
takes baby steps and it takes so long for us to get from the car
up to the door of someone's house or from the car into a store. So, we don't go to walmart anymore unless we go to one that has a wheelchair
I can put her in. And if we go somewhere , she is tired after
a couple of hours and ready to go back home. Plus, she gets chilled very easily. In the winter, my brother has to keep the thermostat in the apartment very warm and I know he is miserable, but mother
gets cold. It may be because she only weighs around 90 lbs. Her normal weight was about 110.

Once when I was there, my aunt (her sister) had to have a test ran
at the hospital and and I was talking about it. And the next day I was there and mom said, " Wasn't someting wrong with somebody? She remembered what I had told her. She doesn't pay any attention to her hair anymore unless we are going somewhere. Then, she will put on a little powder, some lipstick and eyebrow pencil. So, I don't know what stage she would be in I take her a couple of times a year to get it cut and a curly perm so it looks nice, but right now it has grown out a lot. my brother wants to wait until the middle of the month to get her another perm so it will look nice for Christmas Eve when our family all gets together.

Thanks for everything, Lyn

Wiggyann

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 12/4/2008 8:41 AM (GMT -6)   
NO problem hun
I mean I will bring the threads to front as I already did
read thru them and see what you think...........

God Bless

LYN
 DX: Crohns,Pyoderma Gangrenosum,Anxiety/Panic,
Fibro & Other DD

Donate at  www.healingwell.com
 
                               Moderator@Alzheimer's..
    CO Moderator @ Anxiety and Panic........Co Moderator   @ Crohns                    
                            ~ FIGHT the FIGHT with all YOU HAVE ~
               Look For The GOOD, Even At Your Lowest
  We Have Anxiety and Panic...................Anxiety and Panic DO NOT Have us         
   
..........LYN


Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 12/8/2008 8:33 AM (GMT -6)   
My Gma is a slow walker too. So what I do, and this is mainly to keep her walking and active, is to let her hang onto the cart and I steer the cart. So when you take your mom out and if she is able to walk ok, have you tried getting a cart out of the parking lot and have her hang on? I don't go super fast or anything like that because I don't want Gma to stumble but I do go fast enough that we aren't at a snail pace :) Also, does your mom have a handicap permit? My gma has one because of her blindness so it puts us closer to the entrance which makes a ton easier on me as well.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
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stkitt
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 12/9/2008 10:56 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning Ann,

This is Kitt and I just want you to know my heart goes out to you.  I read the posts in this forum and I pray for each of you and admire you for finding the strength to carrry on daily.

My Grandmother-in-law had this disease and to watch her change and see how it afected my MIL was so sad.  To have your own parent get to the point where they do not know you is heart breaking but they are still inside the body somewhere so we always visited her and took her Christmas present.  She loved the big read bow.  She would look at my husband, her first born grandson and say " And just who are you?"

I know how heartbroken he felt as all his childhood he only lived a couple of blocks from Grandma and was there frequently.

Bless each of you.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Co-Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/10/2008 9:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Red_34,

Yes, I have let her hang onto the cart or push it, but I have to help
guide and push too. This was several years back, now it is better
for my brother or I to put her in a in a wheelchair if there is one available.

Can I get a handicap permit since she no longer drives? Mother had to stop driving some years back. I had never thought of that.

Thanks for posting,
wiggyann

wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/10/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Kitt,

I'm sorry about your husband's grandmother. It is especially hard for
someone not to recognize you if have always been close to them.

My mother has two sisters, one who is a year older and another who
is six years younger and they do not have any sign of dementia
or alzheimer's. I keep looking for a heriditary link, but then something like this can stike anyone.

Wiggyann

Red_34
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 23353
   Posted 12/10/2008 9:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Each state has their own regulation as to what qualifies as a handicap. Check with your state and see if anything your mother has can qualify. Does your brother have a handicap plaque because of his eyes? If not, then he can get one and you can use it if he is with you and your mother.
 @--->--SHERRY--<---@
Moderator for Allergies/Asthma and Co-moderator for UC
~Left sided Uc-'92-Colazal(9 daily),6mp(50-100mgs),Bentyl, Prilosec,Biotin,Forvia,Pro-Bio**Unable to tolerate Asacol, Rowasa or Canasa**~Year-round allergies-Singulair, Zyrtec~Secondary Reynauds Syndrome-'04-Norvasc~Sacroiliitis-epidural injections~bulging and herniated discs C5/C6 & C6/C7~3 epidural injections-worked great!, OA in my fingers 
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wiggyann
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 12/10/2008 11:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Sherry,


I am going to do that. Thank you very much :-)


wiggyann
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