I should have known last Thursday that Mom had her usual UTI. I just wasn't sure what was happening to her. I saw unusual things Sunday. Then Monday I knew something was definately wrong. I watch her so close and still dropped the ball. Took her to the Dr. yesterday and she has a horrific UTI. She even has blood in her urine. Silent of course. She has no burning or increased frequency. Very low blood pressure also. They took alot of blood tests. Not sure why the pressure is so low. She has always had a problem with high blood pressure. She is so fragile that in a matter of 24 hrs she can go downhill very fast.
Just wanted to say again to watch for a UTI when our LO's change quickly. More confussion, unusual behavior, her depression came back full force. She also gets a very mean. Which is not like Mom. Of course the shower problem continues...........she doesn't want one. Thats always a fight. I'll never understand that one!!!!!! No matter what you say to her, or how you word the request, its a NO!!!!!! "I just took one". Then why is the shower DRY??? Drives me nuts. It upsets her so much she actually gets sick. No matter who it is. Or how they try. No one sees her nude. I guess she thinks someone is going to see her. I guess thats never going to change. I can't give her something to calm her because any new meds just make her like a zombie. I do my best to keep her clean and dry but the UTI's continue. Sorry, I'm rambling.
Have a good day everyone.
Ramble on Chris because I understand exactly what you are saying and how frustrating it is. I was there myself two weeks ago. Mom was the worst I have seen her and after much conversation, a trip there, a meeting of the minds, and med changes.... it was a UTI! We tend to beat up on ourselves because we didn't know a day earlier. We should be glad you found the reason and something is being done. Some, like your Mom and mine are just susceptible to UTIs. Some like my Dad rarely get them.
With Mom, it is more a problem of dehydration then uncleanliness. Mom has always showered excessively and that has not changed. She doesn't drink except a minimal amount during meals and those tiny cups of water that comes with the pills. The last weekend I was there I would open a bottle of gatoraid and leave it beside her chair and then she would drink it. If I just tell her she needs something to drink she will say she drinks enough when in fact she has had very little to none. After pushing gatoraid for two days she was better, even without the antibiotice for the UTI.
Dad's usual response to a request that he take a shower is that he already had one. There are days nothing can move him towards the shower. There are other days he will go in that direction. I think you hit on something with others "seeing" them when they shower. Dad will let me see him in his boxers and t-shirt but that is it. I have to get him to that point, turn on the water, shut the bathroom door, and let him get in the shower with much coaxing from the other side of the door. Once he is behind the curtain I can go in, encourage him to wash his hair, hand him what he needs, and then when it is time for him to get out I have to disappear. It's just not right for one of his girls (or even more so a stranger) to see him naked. Not remembering when they had a shower, the complicated process of showering, and the modesty of the elderly all combine to make it an almost impossible task for some.
Mom is still teary and sad but the med changes and UTI antibiotics have helped eliminate the hysteria, rants, and over the top behavior. I am leaving Friday to spend another weekend with Mom and Dad. I hope I can find her smile while I am there.
((((CHRIS**)))) it sounds like you need a great big hug and some more towels to hang onto. I do hope the test come back ok on your Mom and she is better soon. I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers
Thank you Deb. I seem to be just walking around today not getting much done. I can't concentrate after a bout with Mom. She won't drink water either. I buy bottles of water for her. Unless I'm there to open it and sit it beside her she won't drink. I thought maybe she couldn't open one. Nope, she knows how and she can do it without much effort. Like your Mom, she drinks when she takes her meds and a small amount at meals. I'll call her and tell her to open a bottle of water. "Oh not now honey. I don't feel like getting up". When the staff gives her one it just sits there. She will tell me her mouth is so dry. Drink, Mom. "I'm not thirsty". "I need some hard candy to suck on. When are you going to get me some"? There is some on your table beside you. "Oh yeah, there it is". Same conversation, different day.
I hope you have a good weekend with your Mom. Hope you see that smile of hers. I know her rants can be terrible. Bless both of you. I'll be thinking of you. I think we will be sticking close to home. Looks like a wet weekend here. Not a good time for the lake house.
I underestand wandering around not being able to accomplish anything after dealing with the chaos of this disease. The brain goes on shut down for a while except to replay all that happened as we try to make sense out of the nonsense. We second guess ourselves. At some point we realize we have done the best we could with the impossible and can move on. Or that is how it is here. Then we get ready to do it all over again
We have the rain today and tomorrow but the weekend should be pretty. Hopefully I can get Mom out of the room and into the sunshine for a while. I hope you and your Mom have a good weekend as well.
Just thinking Deb.... Maybe I'll try bottles of Gatorade. We tried bottles of tea. Didn't work. She doesn't even think to look in the fridge and get something to drink. If I could find something she really likes maybe it will spark a memory?????? Or not. LOL Still trying to think of something that will help.
I think I'll grab that towel now and HANG ON. Tomorrow will be better I'm sure. Thanks for listening.
Oh my. UTIs are the pits. DrewsGram, i bought daddy one of those sipper cups meant for adults. It was at Walmart, and it has a "straw" that is part of the cup. He drinks well out of that, but not so much a glass or cup. Weird. But if it works, he can drink his tea, juice, water and pop right out of the same cup if he wants.
The shower thing. Ugh. A few months ago, daddy informed me that I was "torturing" him by showering him. That was his last shower. Now, I wash him by hand, with the bucket of warm water, Ivory soap, and a nice lotion afterwards. And although he has no idea where he lives, who I am, what he ate at his last meal or where we are, he is still modest.
So, I wash down as far as possible, up as far as possible, and then leave him to wash "possible". (Credit to Dolly Parton for that line. Love it.) I make sure and don't let him get chilled by washing, drying, lotioning and re-dressing immediately.
He still hates the process. But if I let him just "go", he honestly starts to smell. So I wash him, clean his ears, cut his hair, cut his nails, and try to spread the process out over a few days.
New subject: Dad's BP is in the drink, too. He is not talking today. I see why. His BP was 98/54 last check (a couple hours ago). Does anyone have any idea why a person's BP drops like that? Is the harbinger of something I should be watching for?
I HATE this disease. HATE HATE HATE. I am throwing DrewsGram a nice pink towel, and I am wringing the hell out of my white one. I am gonna take up drinking. Heh.
Thank you little deb. I do need a towel today. Believe me when I tell you we have tried everything. She won't even let me do what you suggested. She has Chrohns disease. She needs her butt cleaned often. To put it bluntly. LOL The Dr. told me yesterday that it could be Moms heart. She has CHF and COPD. Her kidneys are "sluggish". Could be any one of these things or all of the above. And here I am worrying about her BUTT being clean. NUTS!!!! Thats what this disease does to us. Makes us COO COO!!!!
I can't drink too much anymore. I guess I'm too OLD!!!!! Makes me sick. Last time I drank too much I was sick for 3 days. I don't have 3 days to be sick. LOL But a good glass of wine......that I can do. Thanks again.
You defnintely need a big hug today Chris, and sounds like Little Deb could use one too. This disease is enough to make any caregiver nuts. I hope both of you have a better tomorrow. I am just thankful my today was better and hope you can all say that tomorrow.
Little deb.... dehydration can cause a sudden drop on BP so make sure he is drinking enough. It can also occur when some go from a sitting or prone position to a standing position. Postural hypotension. It happens when the autonomic nervous system doesn't respond correctly. When you stand up blood would normally pool in your lower extremeties. The autonomic nervous system controls your involuntary vitals. Normally a signal goes to the heart to beat a little faster to keep the blood from pooling in the lower extremeties. When this doesn't happen you get a sudden drop in blood pressure and normally dizziness or light headedness. Ten to twenty percent of elderly have this problem. It would make sense in a slow functioning brain. These are just two reason that come to mind
I don't know why Drews post reminded me of a comment Mom made about Dad. She told me Dad needed a shower. She couldn't remember when the last time he had had one but she did tell me that his underware were color coded. I had a hard time stiffling that laugh.
Near the end of our conversation today Mom told me she was having problem with her hair. I ask her what kind of problems. She stumbled for the right words and finally said..... "It's all white" I was thinking DUH Mom.... it's been white for a long time. Then she added, "I just noticed that there is this brown streak right in the front, I don't know why that brown streak is there!" I did stiffle that laugh as well. Her hair has been white gray with a brown streak right in the front for over 15 years. I told her it was probably a result of the chemo (that's when her hair turned white) and she said I was probably right. When I hung up the phone I wondered how young she thought she was before she looked in the mirror and didn't know that lady that looked back? But at least she took it with good humor today
Tomorrow is another day...... I do hope each of you have a good one.
I wanted you all to know how much I admire what you do and what you deal with on a daily basis. I deal with it by "hearing" about it from my uncle, not the same as "doing" it by far.
Having to check for UTI's....and having to clean and shower your parents.....is tough. I think alot of my family ran a mile from this part of it. My uncle does this for my grandma. In her "pre-Horrible Disease" days.....she would have been absolutely mortified by this, especially by her son. I hate that this illness has stripped her of her dignity, you know? At this point, maybe she doesnt realize anymore, but before, she used to cry about it. She would even call my uncle by a different name....I think it was her way of blocking out who it was helping her with her hygiene. People dont realize it's not an easy thing, it takes a lot of love, and in my opinion, a special kind of person who will care for their parents in every way.
God bless your loved ones, they are so blessed to have your love and caring during this awful time.....
You have so much my respect and admiration, and I'm just tossing towels at all of you!!!! I wanted you all to take a moment and be proud of the wonderful people you are as it is easy to lose sight of that in the midst of all the daily struggles.
Love, Caroline xo
Deb, good suggestions. I know that when dad's BP goes too low, he turns into a giant "vowel Movement" - aaieiooouuuuueaaaaa - and sure enough, when I slap the BP cuff on him, it's super low. So I give him some water, or juice, wait a bit, and sometimes, it's back up. He does not have postural hypertension - I have taken his BP standing, sitting and prone, and it seems to be fairly consistant. I don't get it. I think his heart is wearing out and the electrical system is malfunctioning. Doctor doesn't seem concerned - but she never does.
Carsam - you know, I was reading your post, and although we have never met him, I think your uncle is a saint. We daughters that do what we do with our disabled parents - well, I have read that your greatest chance of never having to enter a nursing home is to have a daughter - seems to be our lot in life. But for a son! I know how modest dad used to be. If he knew I was seeing him all naked and stuff, he would be horrified.
I never ever thought that once I had my brood potty trained that I would be cleaning another bottom. Ha. The circle goes 'round unbroken, doesn't it?
I was talking with my daughter last night about grandpa. He has no joy anymore, no matter what I do. To hear him laugh is so rare now. So I told her that the first time I put my car keys in the freezer, the first time I put my wallet in the toilet tank to hide it from intruders, the first time I swing at her and tell her she is the devil, to wait till I am asleep and put a pillow over my head and sit on it.
I swear. This breaks my heart to see my daddy like this. I sure never want to do it to my family. By the way - my daughter said she would NOT do as I ask. *Hmph*
My poor little Mother..............she called me again. She is not sure where she is or what is going on there. She just realized she doesn't have any memory of the entire day. She said she is afraid she will get lost and wander away. I could just SCREAM when shes scared. I'm having the staff go in and take her blood pressure. Not much more I can do from here. She is on the antibiotic for two days and I've been pushing water. I may have a trip to the ER before the night is over. That is at least a 12 hour ordeal.
She wants to know what is wrong with her??? I answer as best I can. "Your sick Mom. Your blood pressure is bad. So don't be afraid". My God how I hate this for her. I'm hoping its just the UTI that has her this messed up. Who knows? It could be sundowners in the mix?
I know this is not that big of a deal to some who have it much worse. But it sure is a big deal to me. I know she is afraid because of the nervous breakdowns she had when she was in her 20's and 30's. She would wake up in different rooms and not know how she got there or what was happening to her. Thats another long story ................anyway I'm rambling again. Thanks for listening to my fears.
You are in my prayers, Drewsgram. It's such a handful, isn't it? Oh wait. Handful would be good...it's a LAP full!
I hate it when daddy's scared. I want to just give him a "happy pill" - if only I knew what that was. I would rather he be mad. Or asleep. Or something. Not scared. That is the worst. And all we can do is answer as best we can.
And, dear, here's a pink towel *deb tosses towel to drewsgram* - let it's lovely color raise your spirits. Feel free to ramble. You're in a safe place where that's ok, and believe me, I ramble, too.
Chris.... if it is any comfort to you it took almost a week after Mom started the antibiotic for her to come back to her normal self. It improved daily but it took a while for her to come around. What your Mom is experiencing today may be mixed with sun downing or she might have just had a particularly bad day. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. Hopefully she will calm down tonight and you won't end up at the ER. Keep pushing fluids and if it doesn't get better insist on a retest to make sure the UTI is responding to the antibiotics they are giving her. Hang on to your towel..... we are holding the other end.
You deal with so much, I don't know how you manage. I will pray for you and the ones you love and take care of. If I may ask...what is sundowning? I know if my mom calls after 4:00Pm it's going to be weird stuff and she's going to psycho-call every 10 minutes, but I've never heard this term. What does it mean?
It means exactly what you described Q. It is not know why but for some unknown reason many patients with dementia get worse at Sundown.... therefore it is called Sundowning. My Dad sundowns. He is fine until about 4:30 or 5 PM. Then he starts asking about his Mom and his brothers (all died many years ago). When he was still at home he would not recognize the house (that he had lived in for 55 years) and at times didn't recognize Mom. He would be come paranoid, repeatedly locking the door. He would wander around the house aimlessly looking for something. If he ever caused any problem it was between 5 pm and bedtime. The next morning all was forgotten.
Mom's starts later. Usually closer to bed time but she will stay up all night brooding and then cause problems in the morning after she has worked herself into distress.
Dad gets his antianxiety meds about 4:30... we call it his happy pill and it does help. Mom gets hers closer to bed time and it is enough to usually put her to sleep. Usually!
Having worked in LTC for years I have seen it repeatedly. I could always tell the experienced aids... they didn't want to work 2nd shift. They would rather take the night shift than work through sundowning. As I said.... nobody knows why..... but it is a reality!