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Phyllis
Reply with quote  #16 

I cannot believe I'm reading this!!

 

My mother, who just turned 88, has been seeing animals, people, etc. for years. It used to be only at night, but now she sometimes sees them during the day. Last January, she has surgery and had a horrible reaction to the anesthesia. She halluciated wildly for several days but eventually got better.

 

Right now she is suffering from bronchitis and has been taking an antibiotic and cough syrup. The medicine is helping the bronchitis a lot, but she's seeing people and everything else. Last night she said smoke was coming out of the light fixture!! When I woke up this morning, I found both door standing wide open and lights on all over the house. She had her socks and shoes on and the walker out and was putting on a robe she hadn't used in years. This behavior was strange because, since she got sick, she has been dizzy and unbalanced and has barely been able to stand. I've almost thrown my back out several times trying to help her get situated in the bed. Now suddenly she's running around the house in the middle of the night and I don't even know it. Way too scary!!! When I asked her why the doors were open, she said "the people" who had been walking through the house all night had opened them and that she hadn't even been in the kitchen, much less opened the door.

 

I have explained this crazy behavior to numerous doctors. Most of them just shake their heads or ignore me. I finally found one who said he's seen this happen many times. That made me feel better.

 

My mother is perfectly sane and usually sharp. But when she gets this way, she gets confused and makes no sense whatsoever.

 

I am sooooooo happy to find this message board to see that I am not alone in this stuggle.

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Cathy
Reply with quote  #17 

Please do follow up on the medication review as well as the UTI angle.

 

Regarding medication, I looked up Elavil and found:

 

Symptoms of an Elavil overdose include seizures, confusion, drowsiness, agitation, hallucinations, and low blood pressure (dizziness, fatigue, fainting).

 

I was a little surprised because usually it is withdrawal from tranquilizers, anti-anxiety drugs, etc. that bring on hallucinations(auditory & visual).

 

In addition, do find a method to determine if Mom is taking her meds or not. For example, count the pills.

 

 

 

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Cathy
Reply with quote  #18 

I just looked up Namenda and it reads basically the same about overdosing and hallucinations.  You might want to look at Drugs.com (geez I hope I'm not violating some rule here by giving a web name). You can also find interactions by searching on "drug interactions" and you should find a link to one of those sites where you can enter all the drug names and see what interacts with what.

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Jude
Reply with quote  #19 

Hi, I'm new to this, but it is such a relief to hear that others are going through this and have a place to talk and exchange ideas. My 83 year mom just moved in with me. Since a series of TIAs, she has been 'seeing' people and animals in my house and because of short term memory loss continues to get lost in what is a fairly small house. We have conversations about the third and fourth floors of my house (which don't exist btw) but she says the furniture's really nice in those rooms. Anyway, we have a great doctor who actually listens to my mom and he prescribed risperdal and on top of that, she has a chronic UTI and is being treated with antibiotics - so a double whammy,  it was good to read about rising ammonia levels. It's frustrating at times, but I'm hopeful. Thanks for listening.

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Phyllis
Reply with quote  #20 

I think I've found the source of my mother's hallucinations -- the antibiotic Levaquin. I had no idea until I began to search that Levaquin frequently causes hallucinations in all ages but more frequently in the elderly.

 

The last two nights have been horrible, so I stopped by the doctor's office today to get something else. We're going to try a different drug.

 

I am amazed at the number of accounts on message boards about the dangers of Levaquin.

 

Beware!!!

 

By the way, I had no idea that my previous post contained so many typos and mistakes. As a veteran English teacher, I'm particularly embarrassed. Sometimes my fingers have a mind of their own, and when I'm in a hurry or upset -- as I was when I typed that post -- I frequently forget to proofread. Sorry.

 

Anyway, I hope all of you continue to search for solutions to the problems you have discussed here. I am truly relieved to find that my situation is not unique.

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Bette
Reply with quote  #21 

Looks as though I am in the same situation as a lot of you are.  My Dad passed away about 2 1/2 years ago and my mother used to see him standing over her, which I could accept that.  Now what she is seeing is totally different.  It is mostly at dusk when she has the problem of seeing people in her home.  They are only in the kitchen, Living room and Dining Room no where else in the house.  This has been going on for about 7 months.  She did live with my husband and myself for 6 months and it did not work out at all.  She is very controlling of my life and has been my whole life only I have just figured it out after 57 years.  These visions did not start until after she moved out. So is it a pitty party thing or what?  When I have her over here to spend the night she doesn't see them.  I have always been the child to do everything for both of my parents and I didn't mind that until now. 

My husband and I can't even go away overnight without her calling on my cell saying that she sees people and what should she do.  I tell her to go in the bedroom and close the door. 

I am at my wits end and have started to take double anxiety medication which I don't feel is fair.  She won't even take coumindin and she has chronic A-Fib. and has for 8 years.  She brags about not taking any meds. And I have to because she drives my nuts.  She did have a brain MRI and the radiologist said that she saw what looked to be cancer which could have come from Breast Cancer.  But the neurologist said that he did not agree with the radiologist report and also the films. So he sent us to a neurosurgeon for another opinion and he agreed that it looked to be benign meginomas.

As far as medications go. The only thing that she takes is occuvite for Macular degeneration and a baby aspirin. I don't know. But feel as though I am losing it altogether.  My husband are going away tomorrow but I made the mistake of telling her 2 weeks ago and she has done nothing but think about it. How can I get them to stay.  So when we return, I am looking into some type of housing either independent or assisted. Which she really doesn't need because she can do for herself.

Sorry that I got so longwinded, but just wanted to voice my story. Any opinions or thoughts would be welcome.

 

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Jane
Reply with quote  #22 

Bette,

It sounds like your mother has a classic case of anxiety. Most noteably,  she sees people whenever she is feeling stressed or insecure (when you go away) so she is either feeling anxious or she is trying to get your attention.

 

As always, anxiety medications such as Lexapro can help with anxiety in the elderly. If you look for a new home like an AL or nursing facility, the anxiety will not get better, and in fact, may make the facility folks think she is dementia-prone. I would talk to her doctor about these 'sitings' and see what he has to say. You mentioned that she has some abnormalities on her brain. Is it also possible that these tumors could cause the hallucenations? Ask the doctor for more data or do a web search for side effects.

 

Jane

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Bette
Reply with quote  #23 

Hi Jane,

Thanks for your response.  Yes, when I was with her today I thought about possibly getting her a mild anxiety medication.  I took her to the doctors office today and I am so sick of the doctors here in Florida.  They just don't want to listen.  You are just a number.  I am trying to help my Mom and now realize that this is not an attention getter. Because I told her that I did not want to hear anymore about the people that she sees.  I strongly feel that if she wanted my attention then she would think of something else.  I don't mean to sound harsh. I love my Mom to death, but I am starting to wonder if I am going to be around to see her through it all. I have health issues as well and this stress isn't making matters any better.

But, I will check into the anxiety meds tomorrow.  She is a real stickler about taking any kind of medication. She has chronic A-Fib and refuses to take coumidin. I can't force it down her.  The one medication the the Neurologist prescribed for her has a big write up from the FDA about very serious side effects and even death. My word, do these Doctors not read the history of the patients.

Thanks for your caring.

Bette

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Mary E.
Reply with quote  #24 

Hi Bette,

 

I have been remembering back to when my father had hallucinations.  He  had a cerebral hemmorage in 1989 and had been in the hospital and rehab. for a couple of months and when he came home, he was on Haldol.  I don't know if it was the medicine (or even some of the others he was on) or the brain damage, but he started talking about a civil war soldier he was seeing over in the corner (in full gear and carrying a rifle).  He also saw ladies with long dresses and people holding little dogs.  Since my parents lived in a pre-Revolutionary era house, and a teenager who had lived in the house previously to my parents told my mom that he had seen the soldier, too, when he was a little boy, it was quite an interesting story to tell! (And my mother tells the story to this day.) The hallucinations never caused him any anxiety.In fact, I think he liked seeing those people. This story is not to make light of how disturbing it can be to have our loved ones seeing things that aren't there - I know it must be extremely fearful for some patients and their caregivers.  Anyway, my dad's hallucinations went away gradually as his condition worsened during the next five years.

 

Could your mom have had a tiny stroke?  Or perhaps the macular degeneration is causing shadowy effects? 

 

My mom, who is now 88 and still living in the same house next door to me is just as clingy and controlling (out of her sense that she is protecting me) as yours is.  I am just about your age, and it gets so tiresome to have to tell her every place I go, when I'll be back, etc. Even when I'm with my husband on weekend trips or even day trips, she wants to know where we are!  She calls me many times a day when I'm in my house, because she can see my car from her window, and gets offended if I would ever think of going out without telling her.  The other thing she does that has always made me irritated, is that when she has company she expects that we will drop in to see them - she thinks it is rude if her visitors know we are home (because they can see our car, too) and not go over. I've been thinking that not only is she trying to protect me, but that it is a kind of jealousy that I am so mobile and she is mostly housebound. Sometimes I think she is trying to take me over - as her body is wearing out - she thinks she can live through me.  Anyway, since coming to this site and reading about what others go through, I see that I am not alone, and it helps me to sympathize with her more and be less stressed.

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Daughter
Reply with quote  #25 
Hi, Thought I would tell you that my dad who is in his 70's started hallucinating last year. I was very worried so we went to the doc. Come to find out it was the AMBIEN sleeping pill he had been taking for 2 years. He stopped taking them and the hallucinations stopped.
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Gigi
Reply with quote  #26 
Hi Bette and all,

My mother was seeing things awhile back and still, on occasion, will do so. When I drive her somewhere at night, she will see shadows and think they are people and slam her foot into the floor as if to hit the brake. Thank goodness we stopped her driving about 7 years ago. She has macular degeneration --- thus the shadows. She can only read the top E on the eye chart now. Really sad as she used to love to read.

She is on several medications, but not the one you are giving notice on. What is that one for?? Just in case I hear it come up in a doctor's conversation, I'd like to be aware. Thanks for all your good writings.

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Bette
Reply with quote  #27 

Thank you for all that have replied.  It really does help reading your stories. I just wanted to let you all know that my Mom started taking B12 injections last week and seems that her hallucinations( people) have not been visiting her as much.  Her B12 blood test was on the low side but still within limits. So she will go again for the next two weeks then once a month. I just hope that this is the answer.

She did have an MRI of the brain, and showed 2 meginomas in which the radiologist thought might be cancer, but the neurologist and neurosurgeon said just meginomas and the MRI will be repeated in 3 months.  I hate to put her through all of this testing but feel it is necessary. 

There was some talk about putting her in a retirement home since she is still considered independent, but now she is having second thoughts about that.  She told me today that that was belettling her. I asked her why she thought that, and all she told me was that she thought that she might just still be better off by herself.  She doesn't like to mingle with people anymore either. After working with the public for 38 years I feel that is kind of strange. She lives in a mobile home park which is right next to my development, and I told her that this summer my husband and I are going away and if a hurricance starts brewing while we are away, I am not going to come home. I told her that she would have to go to a shelter if her park were to be evcuated.  I will not ruin 7 months out of the year because she can be so stubborn.  Yes I do love her dearly, but what about time with my husband.  He just turned 64 and he isn't getting any younger either.  He has things that he wants us to do and we are going to do them.

This is a very difficult time in trying to figure out what is best.  She has the money to go into indepent living, but she says that she wants to leave money to me.  I told her that I don't care about the money.  Because right now I am so stressed about this whole situation, I would be around to collect anyway.

Well, thanks for letting me vent, I needed that.

Bette

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Mary E.
Reply with quote  #28 

Hi Bette,

 

I think you are doing the best thing to think of your husband and of your time together.  Part of my discontent right now is that too - I am hoping my husband and I will have a little time to be together without responsibilities.

 

There was an elderly woman who lived up the street from me whose daughter and son in law would come regularly to mow her huge lawn, landscape, and take care of a multitude of tasks inside the house.  The elderly mother had Alzeimers and got progressively worse and the couple was spending more and more time taking care of her, when the son in law died suddenly.  The daughter continued to be devoted, in fact, moving in and caring for her mother full time.  She got to the point where she even had to have a lift to get her mother in and out of bed. She lived there full time for eight years and when her mother died the inheritance was intact for all five siblings, four of whom probably will never understand what their sister gave up for them.  I would imagine that if the daughter could go back in time she would chose to spend those remaining years with her husband.  It was very tragic to lose him.

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Bette
Reply with quote  #29 

Hello everyone,

 

I just wanted to update you all on my Mom's situation. She had a few spells this week where as the hallunications made her call the police.  So needless to say, I had to do something and soon.  So, she is going to be going into an assisted living facility nearby.  I took her down there yesterday to look at it and she liked it but was afraid of spending the money and she didn't know if she could afford it.  Well, really she couldn't not on her own.  But, we are getting the VA involved because my Dad was a Vet and my Mom is entitled to benefits.  So that will help.  We will still have to dig into the savings, but I strongly feel that she will do much better being around other people on a daily basis.  They will be serving 3 meals a day and they have numerous activities.  Independent living after this week was clearly out of the picture.  This way, if she needs more care it will be available to her. They even have a LPN on duty 24 hours a day.

It's so very hard. I cried most of the day.  We never think that it will come to this.  I know that she is depressed and the Doctor gave me some samples of an antidepressant, but since she will be moving by the end of the month, I think that she will be to busy to be depressed. I love her so much. She cries, I cry then we hug.  She is so worried about me and my health. I don't dare tell her about my health issue that came up this week, she would freak out.

Well, that's it for now.  I am so very glad that I have had you all to talk with. It really is a good means of support.

Take care and again thanks

Bette 

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Jane
Reply with quote  #30 

Bette, I went through the same thing with my mother. She went into an AL at the end of AUgust. It takes them a couple of months to sort things out and meet folks, but you will both start to feel better about the decision soon. I remember crying all the way home after I brought her there her first day.  Now we have nice visits and even though IO still many things for her, it diesn't feel like a horrible job. I actually enjoy shopping fore her now.

 

Now you know she is safe and warm and fed and someone can be there to help her 24/7. Yes, it is expensive but it is her savings, after all. Of course we would all love to inherit our parents money rather than give it to a nursing home (hey, I know I would, especially after taking care of her for so long)- but it doesn't always work out that way and we just have to do what is best in the long run.

 

Best wishes- jane

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