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Old 10-02-2007, 01:25 AM   #1
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Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

confused: Hello to everyone I was reading all the post here. They are very helpful, but I want to share my story with you all and get your thoughts.

My mom had a knee replacement on 08/20/07 she just turned 75. Before surgery she was forgetful and had slight memory issues also not driving to well. When she came out of anestehsia she was so confused she didn't even know she had surgery. That's all understandable at her age. She attempted to get out of the bed to use the bathroom and fell then the knee opened up and they had to go back in and clean it up.(more anestehsia) She came out of that worst than the first time they wanted to put restraints on her because of her combativeness. I spent so many nights in that hospital no one want to see there loved one in those things.

Since this time my mother is a total different person. She thinks she's right all the time no matter what I say. She was told at my request to the doctor not to drive, because she thinks she lives in new york. She keeps talking about someone coming in the house a family member sleeping in the spare room,she's also packed two suitcases the other day and had them in the garage talking about she was going to my sister house who lives in NY. My mom dosen't seem to realize she lives in N.C. She keeps asking me when is she going home not realizing she is already home. Then there is the issues with the kids she keeps mentioning that are coming over she never mentions there names. I was wondering if she is talking about her grands but there all in NY. She also not eating like she should or drinking as much as she should.

I'm having a hard time dealing with this, because I'm the only family she has here. The rest of my siblings are in NY and nobody has even tried to come down and help out. She is scheduled to see her primary care doc on wed. and hopefuly he will do a cat scan to see if anything is going on or if it's from the anestehsia. (I know I'm not spelling that right)

Any and all help and advice would be greatly appreciated. I think I'm going to be a regular here.
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Old 10-02-2007, 04:17 AM   #2
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

I hope for your sake that all this confusion was caused by the operation and anesthetic. Maybe it wil clear up with time.

All her symptoms sound like dementia. A good neurologist or geriatrician ought to examine her. Maybe it is early enough so that certain medicines will help.

Meanwhile she absolutely cannot drive. If necessary, you may have to disable the car.

Is your Mom on any new medications since her operation? Some of them can also cause dementia like symptoms, as can a blader infection (UTI) ...

Try to keep a close eye on her financial affairs since this is a time when many people are scammed.

I wish you luck and great patience. Perhaps you can get her to assign Power of Attorney to you to help her with banking etc?

Love,
Martha

 
Old 10-02-2007, 04:59 AM   #3
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

Thanks for such a quick response Martha and the kind words. Well the only new medication she taking is hydrocondone for pain everything else is the same. I will have to see what the doc say's tomorrow in the meantime I'm going to be stopping by his office today since they can't return my phone call. I handle all her finances as far as bills, but she's not doing to good in that area either she's always losing or misplacing her money in the house. Have you ever heard of repeatedly putting things in plastic bags then taking them out over and over again this is something she also does.

Take Care
Vicky
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Old 10-02-2007, 07:30 AM   #4
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi Vicky from a fellow NCer. I remember two specific episodes with my Mom and Hydrocodone. My Mom does have Alzheimer but every time she is on Hydrocodone the symptoms were so much worse. Actually it was an episode with Hydrocodone that first brought her cognitive impairments into focus.

Mom is very intelligent and even though she realized it she hid, from everybody including her doctor, the fact that she was having cognitive problems. Twice she was on hydrocodone and both times her behavior was even more bizzare. She lead us to believe it was the medication. The first time she was on hydrocodone was for shingles. She had an antiviral medication and hydrocodone prescribed. I told her that she only needed to take the hydrocodone if necessary for pain but needed to take the antiviral as prescribed. A few days later I had to go home because Mom was not acting right. I discovered that she was taking the hydrocodone and not the antiviral. From what we can figure out she took one hydrocodone for pain (which she really didn't need) and them became so confused she started taking the wrong pills. I spent almost a week at home until the effects of that medication were gone.

At that point we were clued into the fact that something was wrong other than the medication. A few months later, after another drug incident with Dad and Xanax, I had Mom diagnosed by MARS in Wilmington. A few months later Mom broke her arm and once again she was on hydrocodone. It made her cognitive symptoms so much worse. We changed to a half strength percoset and that helped some. It does not effect her behavior like the hydrocodone. Mom does have Alzheimer and I have flushed many hydrocodone pills because she is so much worse when she is on them.

I too hope that the behavior you are seeing is due to the surgery or medication but it does sound consistent with dementia. As for placing item in and out of the bag, my mom's thing was fixing the pine straw in the flower beds. She had new straw put out but was not satified so she sat in the flower beds for days taking out all the old straw, picking out every piece of trash from the new straw, and carefully placing the new clean straw. She did this one handfull at a time and we have 100's of feet of flower beds. Some of the areas she did more than once and if a leaf would fall in what she had already done she would go pick it out. This started last March and she was still working at it for hours daily when she was moved to assisted living 3 weeks ago.

Please take Martha's advice about the POA. Mom and Dad did that for us and it has been a god send. Beyond that do watch out for scammers. Mom was well on her way to giving a large sum of money to some B rated insurance guys she met at a local restaurant when I stepped in. It was the first hydrocodone experience that made me look.

I do wish the best for you and your Mom and hope this is all just the effects of the medication. Kudos to you for being observant and proactive in trying to find an explination.

Love, Deb

 
Old 10-05-2007, 07:51 PM   #5
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

Well I took my mom to her doctor on weds. They did a full work up on her including a Cat Scan she couldn't have an MRI because she had a anyerisim many years ago and they put clips in. The doctor told me to take her off the hydrocodone and let's see what happens. She has been off for two days and I guess it's still in her system because she's still confused. She's still thinking of my nieces and nephews as baby's and not sure of were she lives. Any suggestions about money handling my mom has this thing with wanting money on her at all times, but the thing is everytime she goes to the bank she takes it out. Then the next day when I take her out she can't find her money. It's just taking a toll on me and my finances sometimes, but you only get one mom so I have to do what I have to. She will not let me hold onto the money for her because she feels she in total control. This is all to much for her because she say's it all the time "what is wrong with me" and "why can't I remember anything" all I can do is re-explain things and reasure her. I really appreciate your feedback you guys are so helpful.
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Old 10-05-2007, 10:40 PM   #6
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

Hi Vicki67,

I just had to jump in. Before my dad died, he had a really hard time with Hydrocodone or valium or most all pain killers, except Tylenol. When he had an operation, the anesthesia would knock him out for at least 2 days! And later, when they would give him hydrocodone for at home, or an in office procedure, that two would either knock him out or make him do weird things.
One time, he was sitting on their bedroom carpet, bare bottom and picking bugs (only he could see them).

We learned that when he was give any pain medications, that they should just give him Tylenol. He could have it 3 x day, up until the 4 days before he died. Then it was good old morphine, and no pain!!!

You need to have someone stay with her 24/7, if you work, you need at least a caregiver. Alzheimers loved ones, can go out the door and down the street and then get lost. The caregiver could hand out the meds when you are not there.

Being that you are a daughter caregiver, you may want to get your mom a bracelet, that says her main illness, her name and address and your telephone #. You can get really nice ones online.

Holler if you need more help, there are lots of great people here to try to answer your questions and if you need to vent.

Love, Wannabe

 
Old 10-05-2007, 11:28 PM   #7
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

I agree with Wannabe, somebody needs to be with your Mom at all times. I remember when Mom was on her hydrocodone high. It took her a while (5-7 days) to get the pain med effects out of her system and I am not sure she ever went all the way back to the cognitive level she was before. Perhaps I was just more aware of her antics because that was the beginning of our awareness of her inabilities.

As for the money, my Dad still insist on having several $20 bills. When we had a sitter at home with them she would check the outgoing mail. He was always putting $20 in the return envelope of any organization that was asking for money. The caregiver would take it out of the mail box and I would return it to his wallet. We almost wore out those $20 bills. Mom was still driving ::shivers:: She would go shopping and spend money on the most bizzare stuff. She also lost money but we usually found it in another section of her wallet, a different compartment of her pocket book, or in her pants pocket. The best thing you can do is make sure she only has small amounts of money. If she is in the house then she is probably hidding it or throwing it away. Mom threw away everything... but her money... so check the outgoing trash. You will eventually find her stash if she is hidding it. When we cleaned out Nannie's house. We found her diamond ring in a bandaid box and her "grocery money" in old books. Each one has their own quirks.

I hope you find the creative solution that is right for you and the energy to keep looking for it.

Love, Deb

 
Old 10-06-2007, 03:54 AM   #8
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

When my mother was still active and going to her Senior Center every day, she continually lost money. I never found out where it went. She didn't hide it in the apartment - I did a thorough search when we moved out.

Eventually I began to put a large stack of $1 bills in her wallet every morning. No 5's 10's or 20's. It then 'seemed' to her that she had 'a lot of money' on her, but in reality it was never more than $16 or so. That also disappeared, but at least it was not hundreds.

Luckily she forgot where her bank was or how to make a withdrawal.

I have to give you a word of warning. We lived in New York City and people at banks did not really get to know you. Mom was approached several times in the last year or so of still living at home, by bank employees who thought they could get some kind of bonus by signing her up for some kind of long term investment. The last time she was 94 - and they tried to convince her to put it into a type of investment that could not be touched for 10 years withut penalty. Luckily Mom's money was in a joint account with my brother, and he had to sign all papers too - imagine our disgust when we saw the paperwork Mom brought home. Her money (she was NOT rich!) would have been tied up until age 104.

As it turned out, all her money went to NH care until she had nothing left, then Medicaid took over.

Our doctor once told us that there is NO research on very very old people and drugs, quite simply because the sample is too small to bother with such a study, and half of your subjects would die before the study was over. People of 80 or 90 do NOT need the same dosages as people of 40 or 60. Less is more! They overmedicate. Mom's dementia may be a result of overmedicating her heart probloems - or maybe not.

It is a sad disease, for all.

Love,

Martha

 
Old 10-06-2007, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

The need to have money seems fairly common. I recalled reading Martha's suggestion of putting small bills in the wallet some time ago and thought that was a very good idea. It was my Dad that had this need as well. I think he liked the routine of going to the bank, talking to the girls- who were very friendly, and then making a withdrawal whether he needed money or not. We would often find more than $500 in his wallet. He was having trouble understanding numbers by this time so we think he really intended to take out $100 (5 x $20 bills), but he would say $500. We had POA so we did a few things. We took all money except about $2,000 and put it in term deposits in our names only. We went online daily to see if Dad had been to the bank and withdrawn money - if it was a lot or within a day or two of his last withdrawal we would ask him if he had "enough money" or he needed us to go to the bank for him. He would then check and we would count it for him. We would tell him it was too much money and dangerous to carry around and usually he would agree to go with us back to the bank and put it back in. My Dad had a paranoia about home invasions at the time and the news stories of elderly people being targeted in crimes, so the "dangerous" angle worked to get him to put the money back. We did this repeatedly.

I didn't find this board until after my Dad passed away so I never got to try the small bills idea that Martha suggested but I think that may have worked for my Dad. He didn't need any money as everything was covered but he and Mom would shop for things repeatedly as they would buy personal things (lipstick, toothpaste, etc) and forget where they put them, think they were out, and buy more. Money, like driving, gives them a sense of some control and we tried to let him keep access to his money for that reason.

We all have to do what works in the case of our loved ones. Find an angle and as many have said "tell little white lies" to protect them.

Good luck in finding your way through this. Shirley

 
Old 10-06-2007, 03:11 PM   #10
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

I remember my ex-charge ... she too became obsessed with money. She would go to the bank 3 or 4 times a week if able and try and withdraw 'the lot' which was about $5,000. The bank, in their wisdom, figured something was wrong LONG before the family became involved and limited her to $200 or $500 depending how long it had been since her last withdrawal.

When we got involved, she became even worse, attacking her investment funds ($50,000+) and became VERY AGGRESSIVE when told NO. By that stage, her husband (my FIL) became aware of her antics, and as POA, restricted her withdrawals to $200. That REALLY Pi55ed her off !!!! She might have Dementia, and she might not be able to talk anymore BUT BOY did you get the message !!!!

When we finally got her placed in a nursing home we finally had the opportunity to ransack the house downstairs. I found $500 in a coffee cup, $1,000 in a bible, $50 notes scattered at random in between towels and sheets in the cupboard, and pockets in clothes in the wardrobe. There was over $4,000 we 're-deposited' into her account.

NOw she's safe in a nursing home, she can't touch the investments, FIL passed away almost 2 years ago now, so she's got 'the lot' that comes to around $300,000+ .... her pension covers her nursing home (they can only take 80%) so she's safe and sound and well catered for

 
Old 10-06-2007, 05:09 PM   #11
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

And watch out for the scam men and worse than that they B rated insurance peddlers. Mom and Dad went to eat at a local resturant because they got a card in the mail that they could get a free lunch. Two leaches attached to Mom. They convinced her that if she invested $250,000 with them that it would be sheltered from inheritance taxes and she would make a great rate of interest on this money as well. It was nothing more than whole life insurance with a B rated company and her money would have been tied up until her death. My mom built a large portfolio from nothing by making wise investments.... this was NOT one of them. She told them ok and signed consent for them to withdraw monies from long term investments with major capital gains implications and her IRA which would come out with penalties and taxes. The taxes and penalties up front were more than the interest she would have ever made. I found out about it and stopped it... I thought!! They later called her back on the phone and got verbal verification that it was ok. I had stopped the monies from coming out of her IRA through her financial advisor so they didn't get that..... but they actually got their hands on the long term investments by going directly to the investment and not through her financial advisor. They realized I had a stop on them there. I managed to get the money back because of the 30 day laws but we still ended up paying major capital gains last year because the stocks were sold and then reinvested. None of you want to hear the last conversation I had with these two sleezy characters. They never called my mom again. If they had... she would have done it again. If I had not been vigilent in paying attention to her mail I would have never realized what was happening until it was too late. Needless to say nothing moves out of her investment portfolio now without going through her financial advisor and he only moves when I say it is ok.

Love, Deb

 
Old 10-07-2007, 12:57 PM   #12
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Re: Problems With Mom After Knee Replacement Surgery

It is one of the saddest things about AD that it leaves the victim open to the lies and false promises of such sleaze bags - and that there are such people in this world, who would take advantage of a person's illness to get monetary gains from her. It is so important that the caregiver family member are warned to watch out for this.

Love,

Martha

 
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