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Jane
Reply with quote  #76 

My mother just finished another hospital and rehab session for renal failure and cellulitis. Everytime she goes into the hospital for a stay she hallucenates. She is so used to 'seeing things' that no one else will admit to seeing also, that she keeps her mouth shut and only tells me! Then if I mention it to the doctor or nurses, they look at me like I am the one with the problem.  Now I don't bother to mention it, either. I know the hallucenations will subside when she gets back to 'normal', off the new meds,  and into her own space again.

 

Last time she told me that there was something spilled on her bedcover and one of the nurses came in and cracked a little egg over the spot. Bugs crawled out of the egg and ate the spot and then died. (It would make a nice sci-fi segment.)

 

Whenever she goes into the hospital she gets even more angry and turns into a racist. I think all the fears she keeps pushed down inside of her come to the surface. She has done some amazing things like pulling out her IVs and catheter herself. Swinging her grabstick at a phlebotomist because he was dark skinned and scarey, accusing everyone of trying to make her think she is crazy by sending talking mice into her room... the list goes on. (If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny... talking mice??).  I imagine that some of the hallucenations our elderly experience can be pretty terrifying to them!

But I think, like sleepwalking, you can't try to wake them up. Just listen and act surprised. 

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Lynn
Reply with quote  #77 

Jane:

Again I can relate to everything you say.I think our Mom's are cut out of the same mold.  Every time my Mom goes to the hospital, she does exactly the same thing hallucinating and showing her extreme racism.  One time she was the High Princess in a play, then in a bird nest with a yellow bird, she left the hospital and witnessed a bank robbery, but the last time was the best.  She was in a semi-private room with the curtin.  She told this elaborate story about the bed next to her being the room where the whores came into the hospital and the doctors and nurses checked them out in the bed next door and then they went upstairs to run "their little business"=))))She only tells me these stories- well, I am the only one that comes to see her. 

Then all the doctors say when they come in is "how do you feel" and she always says "oh just fine" so when I tell them she doesn't know what is going on, and that she is having delusions & hallucinations, they just look at me and pat her on the head and say she can go home.  I really laughed about the eggs and the bugs.

Lynn

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Jane
Reply with quote  #78 

Oh Lynn! Have you been visiting my mother??

My mom believed that immigrants come into the hospital at night to live and then they sneak out every morning. Of course, she thinks the staff is helping them. (something like your mother's brothel?) She also believed that a patient was murdered in the next room because she heard yelling and people rushing in to the room saying STOP HIM!! and then the next day she smelled paint. She thought a visitor killed the patient and the maintenance staff was painting the room to cover up the blood.

 

The last time she was in the hospital I thought things were going well because she hadn't started with the weird stuff. But then I went in to visit her and she was in a different room across from the nurses so that they could keep an eye on her. The night before was when she screamed and tried to hit the phlebotomist, ripped out her tubes, and tried to go down the hall in her johnnny on her wheelchair to escape. It amazes me where she can get the strength to do that when she cannot even dress herself.

 

Sometimes it is funny ;long after the event. I don't even discuss what my mother did with her. It only makes her upset. (EVERYTHING UPSETS MY MOTHER THESE DAYS,THO)

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sharon
Reply with quote  #79 
Quote:
Originally Posted by toni r

 My mom is 90 years old and still writes her own checks out and lives in a senior apartment building, she took a fall in december and has been under Dr.s care since then using a cane and therapy.  She doesn't sleep well and I know she is not used to being cooped up and not with her friends. A few weeks ago she told me she suddenly wakes up and sees two ladies by her bed, the other nite it was a doll near her bed and a man's backto her, she says she blinks and they are gone.  She displays no other signs of senility and I am wondering is this harmless or is it the beginning of something. Please I would like to hear from anyone who has a similiar case.  thanks

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Laura
Reply with quote  #80 

My grandfather has the same problem and he too does not suffer from dementia. He sees people in the house and in a few seconds they're gone!

His behavior has never been good or nice, but it seems to be getting progressively worse.  Also, lately I notice that he not only exaggerates things, but now he has been lying a lot too lately.  Sometimes when he talks to health care providers he leads them on to the idea that he is neglected at home, or writes in a birthday card for my aunt that he only gets minimal help at home.  Then, if I take he to town, he gets mad at me and says don't help him.  He walks with a walker.  He says to leave him alone, but then when he gets attention or people give me nasty looks for not helping him, then he starts letting me help him out.

Is this a sign of up and oncoming dementia or some other form of mental illness?

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Mary
Reply with quote  #81 

I am writing regarding my 82 year old mother.  She has been living with us for the past two years.  She came to live with us because of seeing people, animals, monsters, you name it.    After a few months with us, she ended up in the hospital.  Long story short, they put her on respirdal, that almost killed her.   The people seemed to go away, but she couldn't even move, even her face was becoming paralized.   The psychiastrist, slowly cut her dosage down to nothing, and she regained her strength.   Everything seemed to go good, for about 6 months.    Then this past April, she started seeing some woman, who is supposidly horrible looking, and is always laughing at her.   The illusions aren't from any medicine she's on, no deficiencies, like B12.  We've looked into everything.    The Dr. has tried other medicines, nothing helps.   He's afraid to increase the dosage on any of them, because of bad side effects, and doesn't think that it will help anyway.   He says it's in her subcontious.   Yesterday she started seeing a couple guys in her room.   She yells and curses at the ceiling and walls and says when I get mad at her for doing this, it only makes this woman think she can stay.    Only she doesn't call her a woman, she calls her the (b----).  Lately, she's been yelling at whoever or whatever this is at night, keeping us up, and yesterday morning she was yelling at something.     She honestly thinks these people are ghosts.    I have a wonderful, patient husband, 12 year old son, and beautiful step-daughter.   This whole thing is tearing us apart.   It came to a head yesterday, when my husband told her he wasn't going to put up with it any longer.  He tried to talk to her reasonably, but she only hears what she wants to her.  She said fine, I'll go home.  She really can't go home by herself, because she'll start this at home, and the police will be coming to take her.   My husband told her he doesn't want her to go, only realize what she's doing to all of us.  Last night, she's been quiet, and this morning so far, but has the if looks could kill face and not really talking.    I feel so torn in the middle of all this.   The only thing we all want for her, is to have a normal life, but that doesn't look like it's going to happen.   I don't know what to do anymore.  

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Sue
Reply with quote  #82 

Hi Mary,

 

Your situation is indeed an awful one and there's no easy answer.  Since you say that you don't know what to do anymore, I'd like to offer an opinion.

 

I think the time is coming when you will have to place your mother in an approriate facility.  I'm not sure if that's an AL, a NH or other - a professional could give adivce on that.  I'm not sure from your post if the hallucinations are dementia-related or come from other causes.  If it's dementia, many AL's have special dementia units.

 

The key phrase in your post is "...tearing us apart."  As much as you might love your mother and wish to care for her, you might be risking your own family in doing so.  It sounds like you've built a wonderful family - I think they have to come first.

 

I'm not saying that you have to act immediately - I think you can spend some time planning and researching.  But I think you do have to act.

 

Good luck - this is very, very hard.

 

Sue

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Mary
Reply with quote  #83 

Sue, thank you so much for your support.  It is really, really hard.  This might sound stupid, but I feel so lost.   I'm not sure if the doctors know if it's dementia or alzheimers.   Her memory is excellent.  It's just this woman that she sees constantly and thinks it's a ghost.  She can't see out of her right eye, but insists she sees her perfectly out of both eyes.  The psychiatrist says to try to keep her distracted.  But I can't do that 24 hours a day.  Even when I do, anymore she says this woman is flashing lights in her eyes.  She's been kind of quiet the past couple of days, but pouty.    Keep me in your prayers to make the right decisions.  Thanks again.    

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Lynn
Reply with quote  #84 

Hello everyone:

I just had to tell someone about the weekends events with my Mother. Thanks to all of you here, I was able to back off from the visits to my Mother and I go by to see her about once a week.  I call her daily and have the same conversation, but at least I know I have checked on her. I also turn off my cell phone at night.  She never calls me durring normal hours anymore either because she wants me to call her and refuses to call me, or she doesn't think to call.  If she does call, it is in the middle of the night with some wild story and she has no idea what day it is or what time. When that happens, I am awake the rest of the night.  It takes forever for my heart to stop pounding, then I get mad and just lay in bed fuming!! The last week or so her paranoya and delusions have been getting worse. On Friday night I called her about 6:45 when I got home from work.  We had the normal conversation, --one minute she is fine, the next she doesn't feel good.  I can never get her to say where she feels bad.  Her entire life she has been kind of a hypocondriac. She told me that she has been sleeping in the chair, because she honestly believes that someone is coming in her window every night and getting in bed with her.  She says she is fighting with them and her arms are all bruised up.  I keep telling her that no one can get in the window because it is locked and she must sleep in the bed so her feet won't swell.  In passing conversation, I said well Mom you probably feel bad because you are sleeping in the chair and you could get a stiff neck too.  I said "If there were something we really need to worry about your blood pressure would go up and you would probably have trouble moving around or trouble breathing.  Well, we ended our conversation and my husband and I went out to dinner with some friends. When we got home, I forgot to turn off my cell. I got to bed around 12:00.  Well, about 2:30 I hear my cell phone ringing.  My heart starts pounding like it is going to leap out of my cheast.  My husband jumps out of bed and tries to get the phone. We miss the call, but check for a message.  It was the AL calling saying that my Mother was complaining that she was having trouble breathing and they were calling the paramedics.(Keep in mind that she has gone by ambulance to the hospital 5 times since March).  I didn't dare speak the words outloud, but I am thinking "Damn her!! I told her if we needed to worry she would have trouble breathing or something".  So I just laid there in bed and tried to go back to sleep.  Half an hour later the AL calls back to say they had sent her to the hospital. Now, keep in mind that I have spent more nights than I can count in the ER just sitting there--so my husband and I decided to just do nothing and see if we get another call.  Well, sure enough, 6:30 am the ER calls and says they gave her a "breathing treatment" and are discharging her.  I was ready to get up and get dressed, but they said they were sending her back to the AL by ambulance, because that is how she arrived.  I was so tired, I just said ok. So Saturday I waited till about 1:00 to call her--no answer. So I called the AL wellness center.  They say, oh she is fine- she is down eating lunch now--(unbelieveable)!! So I called again about 3:00 and she answered the phone.  I go through the usual conversation of people stealing from her, someone climbing in her window and sleeping with her (she thinks that they want to have sex with her)!!!!! anyway, not one word about the hospital.  So Sunday afternoon I call to check in with her and she says all the usual stuff about the window and people stealing underwear, then she says--Well I took a walk today.  I said Good- where did you go??? She says "Well you won't believe it, but I walked down to the hospital- she also said "you were there talking to them about my medicine"  She said it was a nice walk and didn't take too long. (She uses a walker and gets winded at 20 ft.) I gave up trying to make her believe that she could not walk 10 miles to the hospital. Then she says that she was about to leave the hospital and 2 "good looking" young men ran up to her and asked where she was going and told her to hop in their car and they would take her home.  I said- you got in the car with 2 strange men?  She said yea- they were real nice and "good looking".  I just said --"oh".  So, I do feel justified in turning off my phone at night and letting the AL take care of all of this.  I am sure that if she gets to the hospital and is in bad shape, the hospital will call me on my home number.  They have it etched in stone-they almost know her by name every time she comes in.  What a way to live--I just can't live on the edge anymore just waiting for my cell phone to ring every night.  I got myself so exhausted that I may never recuperate. I am over wondering what the AL and the hospital are going to think when I don't jump every time she doesn't feel well. I know she is 90, and one of these times it will be real, but how long can you go on like this?

Lynn

 

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Sue
Reply with quote  #85 
Hi Lynn,

You're learning the fine art of pulling back and that is wonderful.  I know there's still things you  have to do for her and it's awful, but you're getting the hang of deciding what you'll do and when you'll do it.  It is never going to be easy, but you are doing just great - seeing that mom is cared for, but drawing boundaries around yourself.  Hang in there and keep taking care of yourself. 

Sue

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Lynn
Reply with quote  #86 

Thanks Sue for taking the time to read my long post and respond.  It is because of this board tha I have been able to take the steps I needed to set my boundaries before I lost my mind.  I am still working at it and telling myself every day that I am doing the right thing and should not feel guilty.

Lynn

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Vicki
Reply with quote  #87 

Hi. My Dad is 87 and in poor health. He spends way too much time in bed during the day. My Mother constantly tries to get him to get up "use it or lose it" she tells him. He's very weak and falls occassionally.  The other day she tried to wake him, and in that state of mind somewhere between asleep and awake, he said "Did you say my Mother is waiting for me at the gate?". He never talks like this. It frightened my Mother who thought he was going to die soon. I remembered hearing a woman in the hospital one time say "I'm coming Jesus" and raising up her hand to the ceiling and died right after. Is my Dad dying? Is this statement a result of him feeling like he may see his mother soon or be in heaven? I also saw an elderly man curl up into the fetal position and call for his Mom right before he died. It's so sad, do you think he's dreaming. Is it wishful thinking because his quality of life isn't so great and he's giving up? Anyone else out there who have heard their parents say things like this? To make matters worse, my 84 yr old Mom is losing her memory and writes everything down. I mean EVERYTHING. She has little notes everywhere and then forgets where she left the most recent notes. Some of it's commical, mostly just heartbreaking. Thanks for your helpful comments. Vicki

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pp
Reply with quote  #88 

I know what you are dealing with.  One thing you might want to check out is a urinary tract infection.  My mother gets them frequently and she usually doesn't realize anymore when they are starting.  Now our first indication that she has this infection are the hallucinations along with being unable to sustain a conversation.  It really mimics dementia.

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Janet
Reply with quote  #89 

 My mother is 86 years old. She has been in a nursing home for 9 years.  She had a stroke about 15 years ago and is paralyzed on her right side.

She has been telling me about seeing my half brother and my cousin living in her room and hiding behind her door.  She also thinks they are having sex and that they now have 2 small children.  She told me they eat all her snacks and take things away from her.  I have asked her doctor to please check her medication on numerous times and nothing has been done. She also sees a house shrink and he just thinks it is funny and laughs about her seeing these people.  He told me to just tell her that she is having hallucinations!

I am at my wits end. She seems OK other wise. She calls me and tells me these stories about these people hiding in her room.

How can I get someone to listen to me? I am worried about my mother. Some nights she says she doesn't sleep and she looks like she is very tired and has dark circles under her eyes.  She also tells me how her nerves are bad because of this. Please give me some advise!

 

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fiona
Reply with quote  #90 
oh what can i say, it was such  relief to read these stories... My mother age 92 is in hospital yet again, had a bump on her head.  I phoned her yesterday and she told me, under her breath, to phone the police !!!  The ward had rats in it, she saw them and the staff were having sex at night... and my poor old mum is a very 'proper Edinburgh Lady'.  I have spend the entire night worried out of my head  about her,,, until I read all your letters. I did reassure her that I would make sure everything is ok for her.  The only problem is that I know she tells the Doctors that she is fine,,, and the only person she tells about seeing these things is me !!  So I will have to convince them that everything is not ok with her.  The same thing happened about a year ago, when she was in the same ward in the same hospital... but  that time they discharged her, she lives by herself  about 150 miles away from me.  That time she raved about people being in her flat, hitting each other, and sticking post it notes on the ceiling... it took her a good month to get over that episode...
Ah well, just wanted to let you know that this site is much appreciated by me.. at least I know that it is a far from uncommon occurance in old people. 
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