I haven't written in awhile, but have continued to read everyone's posts.
My mom had to go into the hospital a couple of weeks ago. She was having trouble breathing. The home nurse had said she had some fluid in her lungs.
While she was in the hospital they said she just had a touch of pneumonia, but that the trouble breathing was probably from the pain. She had a bad bladder infection.
When she came back from the hospital, she seemed to be a lot worse.
She had had a stroke 7 yrs. ago, and another milder stroke a little over a
year ago. She had been bedridden since. To update, my sister and I have
been staying at her home 24 hours each. This gives us one day to go home and catch up on our work at home, or go to church or whatever.
Anyway, she was pulling to the right with her head and everything. She
had always done this, but was much worse. She can't hardly eat or drink
because she is always leaning to the right.
Also her speech is worse. I have a very hard time understanding anything she says. Once in a while, I can understand her.
She also cannot eat for herself any more. I have her a sausage biscuit, and she gnawed on it for 15 minutes and never took a bite. She acts like she has forgotten how to eat. Now, I cut her food up in small bites and feed her. This works pretty well.
She also acts like she can't remember how to drink. She drinks from sippy cups, but she acts like she doesn't know how they work any more.
Also, two mornings ago, she said there was a man standing at the foot of her bed. I tried to reassure her, but she was sure someone was there.
She tries to talk to me but can't remember what words she wants to use.
( I do that myself sometimes) she does it all the time.
Does it sound like she has had another stroke or that her dementia is getting
worse. Or maybe both?
She seems so weak, and only wants to sleep all the time.
I'm getting really worried.
Jeannie, that leaning to one side worries me. My mother in law did that, for about 6 months before having a massive stroke. At the hospital they found a large tumor in her brain. She didn't live long after that. Has your Mm had an x ray of the brain?
Hope it isn't that, but you may want to rule it out.
The leaning also bothers me... but then you said that was present before just worse. It could be a complication of the old stroke or a new stroke on the same side. I, like Martha, wonder if she had a CT Scan while she was in the hospital to rule out a stroke. The CT scan would show a stroke, bleed, or tumor. Otherwise I would suspect it is the disease progressing.
The things you have mentioned are all typical. The inability to communicate. Input cognition worsens and they don't understand what you are saying to them. Then the speech is affected so they can't find the words they need to express themselves or lose tract of what they are saying in mid sentence so the references are jumbled. Eventually they lose words all together.
I am going through the eating problems with Mom now. She will eat sweet potatoes but doesn't seem to know how to chew meat. She doesn't bit sandwiches well any more. But if I put something soft in her mouth she will swallow it. She still drinks from a glass but straws confuse her. I watch her try to suck a milk shake out of the end of a spoon. So just try different foods at different consistencies until you hit on what she will intake. Try a glass or a straw to see if she will drink from those better. There is also thickened liquids that you can buy or thickening agents that you can put in her beverages. Then if necessary you can give them to her with a spoon.
Delusions were prevalent with Dad. There was always somebody there or somebody he could hear that he had to go see about. If they are in her mind, there is no convincing her that they are not there. The best you can do is try to convince her that they are not harmful or that you will take care of them. Sometimes just validating what she sees is enough.
Check with her doctor's over her symptoms. He might want to check further for a stroke or other brain issues..
I do wish for the best for you and your sister and your Mom....
Thank you all for your replies.
I think the leaning is just getting worse. It seems to be the same problem she had before, only worse. She has been leaning since her first stroke 7 yrs. ago. the stroke was on the right side so that's how she leans. When we turn her to her left side to change her, she acts like it scares her to death. She thinks she's going off the bed.
The eating problem seems to have just happened since her hospital visit.
She has also (forgotten?) how to take her pills. She tries to chew them.
It just seems like she took a quick down turn and I guess that's the way it happens
Just when you think it can't get much worse, it does.
Quick down turns after hospitalizations or other traumatic changes is not uncommon Julie. Mom took a major downturn when she was moved from AL to a locked unit. Dad took a major downturn after an overnight hospital stay. Stress, change, or other upsets in their routine can do this.
Dad also tried chewing up his pills instead of swallowing them. To compensate we crushed all that we could. Others we converted to liquid equivalents. There are also patches that can be used. Just check with the pharmacist to see which meds can be safely crushed or chewed. Some are coated/time release and should not be crushed or chewed.